OKINAWA, Japan-- Seabees assigned to U.S. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion (NMCB) 40 attend a week long jungle warfare training course during the first week of April 2012 at Marine Corps Camp Gonsalves in Okinawa, Japan. Also known as the Northern Training Area (NTA), the Jungle Warfare Training Center (JWTC) occupies 17,500 acres (71 km2) of jungle in Northern Okinawa. The hilly and rugged terrain, topped with single and double canopy forest has been challenging U.S. Marines in the art of jungle warfare for over 50 years. Established in 1958 as a Counter Guerilla school in the early years of the Vietnam War, the area offers the same challenges that prepared our predecessors for operations in Southeast Asia. Over the years the base camp at NTA gradually evolved from a few Quonset huts and other small buildings to the present facility today completed in 1984. On November 5, 1986, the base camp was officially named Camp Gonsalves, in memory of PFC Harold Gonsalves who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the Battle of Okinawa. In March 1998, to better convey NTA as a training base, the name was officially changed to the Marine Corps Jungle Warfare Training Center. The Jungle Warfare Training Center provides expert instruction to prepare Marine and Joint Forces for the rigors of combat in a dense jungle environment. Building upon small unit leadership, a tactical mindset and unit cohesion our instructors instill confidence, bolster leadership, and challenge all individuals who train aboard JWTC.
Today JWTC is the only Department of Defense jungle training facility in existence. US Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael B. Watkins