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    4th Civil Affairs Group Conducts Site Survey

    4th Civil Affairs Group Conducts Site Survey

    Courtesy Photo | The remains of a member of the Mayan civilization, uncovered during an archeological...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Joseph Karwick 

    Marine Forces Reserve

    BELIZE CITY, Belize – Marines with 4th Civil Affairs Group, Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve, conducted a site survey of the Belizean History Museum June 17, during exercise Tradewinds 2015.

    The purpose of the survey was to familiarize the CAG Marines with Belizean culture and history, so they could better understand how to interact with their partner nation populace. Though they may be requested to assist the local populace in a time of evacuation to protect items of cultural significance, this is not their main mission.

    “Civil affairs are forces that are specially trained to look at a problem from the perspective of the civilian populace,” said Maj. Jason Wetherington, a team leader with 4th CAG, FHG, MARFORRES. “Civil affairs trained Marines are the advisors to a commander on how their operation may affect the civilian populace. We are the only ones in the military that are specifically trained to focus on the civilian populace.”

    Military commanders face numerous decisions each day, and with each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is the job of civil affairs Marines to make sure those reactions will be favorable ones.

    “It is not always clear cut to commanders how their decisions could affect civilians,” said 1st Lt. Lindsay Bartucco, a civil affairs team leader 4th CAG, FHG, MARFORRES. “It’s important for civil affairs Marines to familiarize themselves with the local culture. Say a commander is looking at a map of potential targets; civil affairs Marines will be able to tell him if there is a school, some sort of religious building or something significant to the locals that we would not want to harm near those targets in coordination with intelligence Marines.”

    When conducting civil military operations, it is important to have the respect for the civilian inhabitants in order for Marines and civilians to understand each other.

    “Having a civilian population fighting against you while conducting operations is extremely detrimental and having them on your side is a much more preferred outcome,” said Sgt. David Garcia, a noncommissioned officer with 4th CAG, FHG, MARFORRES. “We want to win the respect and understanding of the people we are trying to help.”

    While in Belize, 4th CAG Marines will be conducting site surveys and coordinating with local civil affairs personnel to better understand each other’s roles and procedures. TW 15 is a combined, joint U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise and an opportunity for the participating partner nations to come together to enhance regional security.



    Date Taken: 06.17.2015
    Date Posted: 06.19.2015 12:26
    Story ID: 167310
    Location: BELIZE CITY, BZ 

    Web Views: 324
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    4th Civil Affairs Group Conducts Site Survey