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News: 26th MEU, VMM 264 and CLB-2 conduct interoperability exercise

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26th MEU Interoperability Exercise Lance Cpl. Andre Dakis

U.S. Marine Corps Col. Matthew St. Clair, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) commanding officer, and Sgt. Maj. Scott M. Schmitt, 26th MEU sergeant major, board an MV-22 Osprey during an interoperability exercise conducted with the 26th MEU and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 264 at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., May 13, 2014. The exercise gave Marines from different units an opportunity to work together in a simulated crisis response scenario and prepare them for future operations. Marines and sailors with CLB-2, VMM-264 and 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment (2/2) led by members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit elements are conducting a predeployment training program for the next rotations of SP-MAGTF CR, SP-MAGTF Africa, and the Black Sea Rotational Force. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andre Dakis, 26th MEU Combat Camera/Released)

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – When the country faces crises abroad ranging from radicals attacking embassies to humanitarian efforts in the wake of a natural disaster, the United States calls 9-1-1 and the Marine Corps answers.

The Corps offers the expeditionary forces necessary to act quickly with a wide array of capabilities to complete the mission at hand.
To sharpen the skills and readiness of these Marines, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted an interoperability exercise with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 264 and Combat Logistics Battalion 2 this week.

“We need to be efficient and prepared for missions we’ll encounter whenever we deploy,” said Staff Sgt. Robert I. Manion, the 26th MEU chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear chief, and one of the watch officers in the exercise.

The exercise is comprised of a simulated crisis scenario involving a fictional attack on a U.S. embassy and the capture of a U.S. ambassador. The crisis response operations center (CROC) is the hub of the exercise where many decisions and calls are overseen. It’s located at the 26th MEU command post aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“The CROC is the brain of the exercise,” said Manion. “The other sections function as the eyes and ears, but we’re the tip of the pyramid.”

The personnel inside facilitate the command and control for the exercise.

Marines in the CROC rely on communications Marines to provide them with the resources necessary to connect with the other units.

“We provide communications capabilities for the other units from here,” said Cpl. Greenwood, a 26th MEU radio technician. “This is the ‘ant hill’ or antenna hill.”

The ant hill is located outside the unit command post. It’s comprised of a tent with communications equipment and Marines with various communications based military occupational specialties.

“Once we get the Internet up down here, we run it up to the CROC and ensure they have Internet capabilities,” said Greenwood.

After the CROC Marines establish Internet capabilities they maintain contact with the other units in the exercise. That includes VMM 264, the air combat element operating at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., and CLB-2, the logistics combat element based out of Camp Lejeune, but operating at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., for the exercise.

CLB-2 left Camp Lejeune, boarded MV-22 Ospreys at New River, and flew from New River to Quantico on Tuesday.
Today marks the last day of the exercise.

“We’re correcting our deficiencies now,” said Manion. “We’re preparing to go at a moment’s notice and ready to execute with efficiency.”


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This work, 26th MEU, VMM 264 and CLB-2 conduct interoperability exercise, by Cpl Joshua Brown, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:05.14.2014

Date Posted:05.14.2014 14:38

Location:CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, USGlobe

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