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    Task Force Commitment

    Task Force Commitment

    Photo By Cpl. James Stanfield | A U.S. Navy Corpsman with Task Force Commitment checks a recruit's temperature at the...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. James Stanfield 

    Marine Forces Reserve

    One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Marines and Sailors with Marines Forces Reserve (MFR) continue to execute restriction of movement (ROM) operations at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Jacksonville, Florida, prior to shipping recruits to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island to attend recruit training.
    Task Force Commitment is the Marine Corps’ response to the risks posed by the COVID-19, allowing MCRD Parris Island to safely execute its mission of making Marines. Recruits are put into a restriction of movement status, which limits their exposure to everyone but a roommate, for two weeks before traveling to Parris Island. Keeping a consistent flow of COVID-19 free recruits to earn the title of United States Marine is essential to the Marine Corps, and the security of the nation.
    “It's really important for the Marine Corps to continue the training pipeline because of our commitments throughout the world,” said Lt. Col. Brian Lionbarger, Task Force Commitment Deputy Commander. “Even though we still have this COVID-19 pandemic we can't stop training and making Marines.”
    Quarantining recruits off site lowers the likelihood of a platoon or company of recruits aboard Parris Island contracting the virus. When new recruits arrive to quarantine, they are initially met by Joint Reception Center Marines who handle their in-processing.
    “We process them and take care of a lot of the initial [administrative] things that you would have typically done on Parris Island, like contraband checks and initial gear issues,” said Sgt. Alicia Petty, a Ground Radio Repair Technician, who is currently serving as the Task Force Commitment Joint Receiving Assistant Chief.
    After the poolees are in-processed, they are passed on to the troop handlers who take them to their assigned rooms. The task force provides three meals a day as well as medical checks twice a day to all recruits. The troop handlers keep a 24/7 watch over each floor while the Navy corpsmen check if the recruits are in good health, both physically and mentally.
    “We do daily temperature checks to certify they're not coming down with any symptoms,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Rosendo Villastrigo, a Navy reserve corpsman with Task Force Commitment. “When we come by, we ask them how they're feeling from a medical and a psychological standpoint as well.”
    The relationship between Marines and Sailors is an integral part of Task Force Commitment, with the mission requiring both side services to work together.
    “Task Force Commitment has really highlighted the Navy-Marine Corps team,” said Lionbarger. “We really rely on our Navy corpsmen day in and day out, who are keeping these poolees, and also ourselves, mentally and physically ready to go.”
    COVID-19 produced a unique challenge that Marine Forces Reserve has adapted to combat.
    “Obviously, there’s no MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) that's going to teach you how to take care of recruits, aside from drill instructors,” said Lionbarger. “So we know coming from different reserve units across Marine Forces Reserve, 4th Tanks all the way to 23rd Marines, to our LE (Law Enforcement) Battalion, we've really had to learn to come together and develop those mission sets. When the active component had this mission, they were on a 3-month basis. We’ve had this for more than eight months now, so we've been able to really develop a strong SOP (standard operating procedure) of how to do this job so the next [rotation] that comes in is able to stand strong and take this over from us.”
    Originally staffed by active-duty Marines and Sailors from II Marine Expeditionary Force, MFR became the sourcing solution in August 2020, highlighting the Marine Corps Reserves mission of augmenting and reinforcing the active component.
    “If we didn’t have a reserve unit to carry this load, I don't think we could actually do what we do now,” said Sgt. Maj. Julio R. Gonzalez, MCRD Parris Island Headquarters and Support Battalion Sergeant Major and Task Force Commitment Sergeant Major. “What they do and how they are able to support the pipeline to keep moving forward has been magnificent. I have nothing but great things to say about the reserves that we have right now.”



    Date Taken: 03.30.2021
    Date Posted: 03.31.2021 10:47
    Story ID: 392643
    Location: NEW ORLEANS, LA, US 

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