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    Steel Knight 23.2: 2nd Bn., 5th Marines reinforces embassy

    Steel Knight 23.2: 2nd Bn., 5th Marines reinforces embassy

    Photo By Cpl. Earik Barton | A U.S. Marine with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Earik Barton 

    1st Marine Division

    U.S. Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, demonstrated their proficiency and flexibility during a simulated embassy reinforcement Nov. 29 as part of Exercise Steel Knight 23.2.

    The embassy reinforcement at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, served as the cornerstone event for 5th Marines’ mission rehearsal exercise to certify the regiment to deploy as Marine Rotational Force - Darwin in 2024.

    “The embassy reinforcement for Steel Knight [23.2] is the culmination of a large amount of coordination throughout I Marine Expeditionary Force,” said Capt. Austin Dickey, a native of Virgina and company commander of Fox Co., 2nd Bn., 5th Marines.

    Steel Knight 23.2 has components of I MEF deployed across a large geographic space, from Southwest Arizona through most of California, with various locations simulating islands spread across the Pacific. This dispersion causes friction inherent to the tyranny of distance that forces the MEF to adapt and grow as a fighting force.

    “You’re going to see communication issues,” explained Dickey. “That is something we have been presented an opportunity to learn with – the various waveforms and learning how to get (communications) up at far distances – and then once we have those waveforms up, actually coordinating and communicating to different agencies.”

    At the beginning of Steel Knight, the Marines and Sailors of the battalion, as well as the regimental headquarters, relocated to Yuma, Arizona, where they set up a combat operations center and continued to plan and train. When the order came to conduct the embassy reinforcement, Fox Co. boarded MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 164, Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and flew to the simulated embassy at Camp Pendleton, ready to respond to the unknown situation they would find on the ground.

    “I was proud with what the company did, short notice with the timeline, short notice with the order drop,” explained Dickey. “I’m proud of the Marines, going through rehearsals, going through the order brief, really being locked on with the pre-combat checks, pre-combat inspections. Fox Co. always has something to learn but we are in a pretty good place, and we are ready today to go perform the missions that the Marine Corps and the United States needs us to.”

    The company had been at the embassy little more than an hour when explosions detonated in a market street at Camp Pendleton’s Infantry Immersion Trainer, where the simulated embassy was located. As fog machines filled the air with smoke, role-players acted as civilian casualties. Additional Marines and medical personnel arrived on scene with tourniquets and stretchers to provide lifesaving aid before transporting the wounded to a casualty collection point for further medical care.

    “It gave me a lot of confidence to see our corpsmen, our Sailors, brothers and sisters helping us out, training and ready to respond to a situation like that,” recalled Dickey. “Friction is going to come up, the plan is going to change. I saw the Marines and Sailors handle that unanticipated event well.”

    The company ensured all remaining civilians were properly processed and evacuated. The Marines departed the following day after successfully completing their mission of reinforcing the simulated embassy during a crisis.

    “We’re doing this now in training,” said Dickey. “We could be called on tomorrow to do this in the South Pacific, and that’s going to be a whole different problem set that Steel Knight has given us a repetition at, and we are that much more prepared for it.”



    Date Taken: 12.04.2023
    Date Posted: 12.04.2023 15:27
    Story ID: 459073
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
    Hometown: VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, US

    Web Views: 539
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