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    NECC Conducts Task Force Training

    NECC Conducts Task Force Training

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Alan Lewis | 180410-N-YN937-022 VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (April 10, 2018) – Chief Electronics...... read more read more

    VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, UNITED STATES

    04.19.2018

    Courtesy Story

    Navy Expeditionary Combat Command

    18 April 2018
    NECC Conducts Task Force Training
    By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Lisa Reese,
    Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) – Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) Sailors conducted a staff exercise (STAFFEX) onboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story April 9-12.
    The STAFFEX was based on a Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) training scenario in which a federal disaster had been declared in the wake of a hurricane.
    “The worst part about these disasters is they're absolutely unpredictable,” said Chief Personnel Specialist Amber Devries, Maritime Operations Center (MOC) watchstander from Lafayette, Louisiana. “This (STAFFEX) gives us the opportunity to see what real-life impact we might have in a recovery zone and what types of constraints we may need to overcome.”
    During a DSCA event, NECC, designated as CTF 86/186, serves as a first-responder when Department of Defense (DoD) support is requested by the lead federal agency e.g., Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security, etc. NECC, in coordination with federal and other DoD entities, provides Navy forces with distinct capabilities to support relief and recovery efforts until DoD forces are no longer needed.
    This exercise replicated the establishment of a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) and Operational Planning Team (OPT) at NECC and the forward deployment of a Maritime Command Element (MCE) to an affected area. The exercise focused on maintaining the “brilliant in the basics” standards for TOC and OPT team members and further developed the capabilities of a forward deployed MCE, a new concept that proved invaluable during the 2017 Hurricane Season. The MCE is a contingent of NECC members who deploy to the affected area to collocate with federal, state and local authorities to represent Navy capabilities, create a common operational picture for the CTF 86/186 TOC and potentially command and control Navy forces operating ashore.
    NECC forces, such as Naval Construction Forces (Seabees), Explosive Ordnance Disposal units and Coastal Riverine Squadrons, have inherent capabilities that directly support DSCA operations including clearance operations in support of road, airstrip and port openings, facilities such as mobile kitchens, medical, fueling and water purification stations, as well as logistics, administration, intelligence, medical, weather, legal and public affairs support.
    “This evolution is the first time we have gotten together as the Maritime Command Element to exercise our functions as a forward arm of both Combined Task Force 86 and the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander,” said Lt. Chris Willich, a liaison officer deployed with the MCE from Valparaiso, Indiana. “It has offered us the opportunity to identify strengths and backgrounds within the team which will undoubtedly enable us to be more effective and efficient in a real event after this training.”
    Successful communications can make or break task force coordination. With expeditionary operations taking place in areas often miles apart, reliable connections and a constant flow of factual information between the MCE, MOC and deployed forces is vital for mission success and exercising the setup of remote communications was an important element of this STAFFEX. “There are so many ways to get and lose communication. Sometimes something as simple as not having the correct cell phone number can stall important information,” said Chief Operations Specialist Sharon McQueen of Birmingham, Alabama. “The STAFFEX gave us the opportunity to test all our available communication methods.”
    A key piece of equipment is the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN). It is a global satellite network using portable terminals. The terminals are normally used to connect a laptop computer to broadband Internet in remote locations, although as long as line-of-sight to the satellite exists, the terminal can be used anywhere. Testing was done on the BGAN, the command cellular phones, satellite (Iridium) phones, and Navy/Marine Corps Intranet fly-away kits.
    “Being able to chat over computers is ideal because you can see the words and know you have received correct, clear information,” said McQueen. “Phone communications can be hard to hear, especially if there are bad weather conditions. We need to know that every possible communication tool is available and working.”
    The exercise concluded on Thursday with the disestablishment of the MCE, TOC, and OPT.
    “Overall, the exercise was a success. The staff received valuable training that will be directly applicable if NECC is called upon to support a DSCA event” said Lt. Charles Shepperd, NECC’s Exercise Officer from Santa Rosa, California. “In the end, the training value of this exercise enables us to be great at our jobs which may end up saving lives in a real world event.”
    NECC is an enduring warfighting force providing sea-to-shore and inland operating environment capabilities across the full range of military operations that is focused on delivering combat effective expeditionary forces ready for worldwide operations now and into the future.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.19.2018
    Date Posted: 04.19.2018 14:45
    Story ID: 273717
    Location: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US 
    Hometown: BIRMINGHAM, AL, US
    Hometown: LAFAYETTE, LA, US
    Hometown: SANTA ROSA, CA, US
    Hometown: VALPARAISO, IN, US

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