News: Canadian soldiers join 1st MEB to support Javelin Thrust
Story by Cpl. Jennifer Pirante
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company conducted training with Canadian soldiers from the 33 Canadian Brigade Group in support of Javelin Thrust 2012/Large Scale Exercise-1 at Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 2-13.
Javelin Thrust is a large-scale military exercise commanded by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade to build interoperability between active and reserve air, ground and service support to improve combat effectiveness.
“For us, this is absolutely wonderful,” said Howard G. Coombs, commander of 33 CBG. “It’s a superb training experience in a great environment with a whole bunch of super-folks. The Marine Corps is pretty cool to work with and we get a chance to practice interoperability with our brothers and sisters to the south.”
The soldiers with 33 CBG worked primarily with higher headquarters to develop a skilful and professional understanding of operations. The training allowed the Marines and soldiers to gain familiarity with conducting operations in a deployed environment.
“Learning to interoperate with American forces allows us to practice things that we would be responsible for in terms of homeland defense along the border region in cooperation with the National Guard, Army Reserve or active duty forces,” Coombs said. “Also, when we deploy, it will allow members of my Brigade, officers, noncommissioned officers and soldiers to better fit in to coalition environments where they have to work with American forces.”
The coordination of the Marines and Canadian soldiers was in support of the Marines and sailors conducting ground exercises at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif. More than 5,000 Marines from the 1st MEB, I MEF and Marine Forces Reserve participated in the exercise.
“This is to improve our ability to manage the overall fight and work with coalition forces, especially multinational forces,” said Maj. George Loyd, liaison officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force. “We don’t get that many opportunities to train with multinational forces, so it’s important that, when we do, we make the best of it. They have been great. They have been very enthusiastic about the exercise and they’ve given a lot of support.”
Canadian forces will provide an integral role in the development of the on-going coalition partnership with the 1st MEB during the upcoming exercise Dawn Blitz 2013.
“Dawn Blitz will allow us the opportunity to operate in a context we are more familiar,” said Maj. Matthew R. Johnson, Canadian forces liaison officer with 33 CBG. “Because we don’t have exposure to amphibious training, it will be a positive experience. It is something we took away from Haiti, the sea-basing, ship-to-shore maneuver training, we can really learn a lot from the Marine Corps.”
Dawn Blitz will allow U.S. and coalition forces to conduct amphibious assault training to sustain operational effectiveness from the sea.