News: Marines prepare for Forager Fury II
Story by Lance Cpl. Antonio Rubio
BAKER ISLAND - Approximately 100 Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, arrived Nov. 6, 2013, at Tinian’s West Field as part of exercise Forager Fury II.
The joint exercise is designed to employ and asses combat power generation in a deployed and austere environment.
Marines are scheduled to hone necessary skills by improving portions of Tinian’s infrastructure. These skills include but are not limited to critical thinking and heavy-equipment operations. Due to the austere terrain on Tinian, Marines are able to achieve a more realistic level of training than other locations in the Asia-Pacific region.
“North Field is where we are clearing runways as well as taxi ways,” said 1st Lt. Robert Litvin, Tinian’s North and West Fields camp commandant for Forager Fury II with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171. “We’re clearing them in order to bring in a C-130, plus there is historical value to this. As well, our (heavy equipment) operators, who are heavily involved in this, are getting a lot of stick time on their equipment.”
Marines cleared areas near the North and West Fields in anticipation of moving most of their equipment from its staged location at the Tinian port facilities to its designated exercise locale.
In the opening stages of any large-scale military exercise, supervision is critical to ensuring mission success.
“What I’m doing on the deck now is just ensuring all the local governmental agreements, environmental agreements and public affair type matters are being attended to in order to get Forager Fury II started off on the right foot,” said Lt. Col. Bill Sheridan, the executive officer of Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st MAW, III MEF.
“This is a MAG-12 run exercise that incorporates units from around the MEF. So it’s not just wing units, though it consists predominantly of wing elements. We’ve got some other ground units from the MEF that are participating and external agencies such as Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1.”
Forager Fury II provides a unique opportunity for multiple units to use various locations to help ensure optimal training is conducted.
“Forager Fury II allows us to combine all those assets into a large-scale expeditionary exercise,” said Sheridan. “We’ll be operating on Guam, Tinian, Pagan, and (Farallon De Medinilla) as well as within the Mariana Island Range Complex. It allows us to do both air-to-ground and air-to-air training, exercise the capabilities of MAG-12 operations, center and allows us to incorporate (MWSS-171) to be able to conduct aviation ground support to sustain expeditionary operations for our wing.”
Marines on Tinian continue to establish exercise support capabilities and prepare training sites for further units scheduled to arrive early December.