News: 1st Civil Affairs Group conducts civil military integration training at Dawn Blitz
Story by Lance Cpl. Scott Reel
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - 1st Civil Affairs Group conducts civil military integration training with role-players as a part of Dawn Blitz, June 25.
Dawn Blitz 2013 is a scenario-driven exercise designed to test Navy and Marine Corps forces at the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) level, while promoting military-to-military cooperation and interoperability with partnered nations, June 11-28.
Cpt. Amaury Gallais, Civil Affairs Officer, coordinated the scenario the Marines and role-players brought to life.
“Our Marines are going through this town, getting to know the people, practicing their engagements and then identifying factors of instability and doing their best to mitigate it,” Gallais said.
He said the role-players have been in the United States for up to ten years, retaining a lot of their culture that makes the training as real an atmosphere as possible.
“It’s an extraordinary exercise,” Gallais said. “For us, it’s been a privilege to be apart of Dawn Blitz, giving us the opportunity to rehearse our tactical expertise as well. What we have through Dawn Blitz is that our entire unit is getting a lot of training operations, from the most junior Marine to senior officer.”
Cpl. Mallory Newman, Civil Affairs Noncommissioned Officer, compares the training to a deployment and notes the goal of the team.
“I was in Musa Qal’ah, Afghanistan,” Newman said. “We did a lot of patrols through the area for the exact same reason. We established relationships with the people in the village and got to know them really well. We’re kind of the middle-man between the military force and the local people.”
Marines from 1st CAG come from different military occupations, bringing a variety of perspectives and experiences to the field and the training exercise. The training teaches Marines to think on multiple levels, working with people is an essential part of that mission.
“We’re always out there with a security mindset, but also our job is to work with those people and get to know them, to understand their lives and what’s going on in the area so we can relay that back to the battalion commander,” said Newman.
The civil military integration exercise provides Marines realistic training while deployed, combining priorities of the mission and the safety of Marines and local populations.
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