News: Field exercise prepares Marines, sailors for overseas service
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
Approximately 200 Marines and sailors with Ragnarok Company, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a field exercise here Dec. 9 to 12.
The purpose of the FEX was to prepare the company’s service members to work together within their sections for its future role in support of NATO exercise Cold Response 2014.
“Marines have to be ready to deploy at any moment, whether it’s cold weather, hot weather or nice, comfortable weather,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick M. Burke, the logistics chief for Ragnarok Company. “This is the first time we are working as a unit, broken into our cave sites. We’re getting familiarized with our leadership, seeing how they operate and seeing what they demand of their Marines and sailors, and for the leadership to see how their junior service members operate.”
The service members conducted mobility and throughput operations, which consisted of checking out equipment, loading it into vehicles and keeping continuous radio communications with the convoys moving equipment between five sites used in the FEX.
“For the Marines who have never been on a field exercise before, this is their first opportunity to touch equipment they’ve never had the opportunity to use in the past,” said Burke, a Flower Bluff, Texas, native. “This field exercise is to get the kinks worked out and get the Marines the basic understanding and familiarization with the equipment they’re going to use in a deployed environment.”
The training prior to Cold Response 2014 moves the focus away from operations in the Middle East and to the Marine Corps’ wider mission as a global expeditionary force.
“There are different problems that are going to arise,” said Burke. “We’re facing completely opposite operating environments [compared to Afghanistan]. Each has its own logistical challenge, and we’re going to test Marines Corps equipment and ensure it works with the Marines and sailors using it.”
The company views the expected harsh weather as a challenge to overcome, rather than something to be anxious about.
“There’s a lot of excitement for the Marines to go on some type of deployment,” said Burke. “In the slowing down of operations, Marines are always looking for a deployment, even if it’s a training deployment. I’ve seen a lot of motivation and willingness to do this training.”