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    Exercise Semper Durus 2024

    Emergency Operations Center - Semper Durus 2024

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Nataly Espitia | U.S. Marines, Sailors, and staff with Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Erin Vandehoef 

    Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

    MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marine Corps Installations West hosted Exercise Semper Durus 2024 April 22-26. Semper Durus is a regional full-scale antiterrorism and force protection exercise focused on emergency preparation and quick-reaction to a variation of threats or crises that could occur at MCI-West installations. Installations participating included Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

    This exercise tested the regional command through varied scenarios, challenging systems and procedures of MCI-West in the commands support of the deployment of West Coast Fleet Marine Forces, while improving installation capabilities in response to a variety of threats in a contested environment.

    “If and when conflict arises, it is our responsibility to protect and enable the deployment of the operating force through power projection, force generation, regeneration, and sustainment,” said U.S. Marine Col. Philip Laing, the operations officer for MCI-West.

    This iteration of Semper Durus significantly builds from previous similar exercises by hosting constructed events supported and actioned in live training environments. Last year’s exercise was executed primarily in a constructed environment with a scripted set of training objectives.

    This year’s exercise is a large step forward in terms of realistic installation response and tactical preparedness. Marines from elements of the 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division supported EXSD24 by providing a living, breathing adversary.

    This opposition force provided capabilities beyond a simulation and required MCI-West installations to respond to a free-thinking enemy, moving this year's execution from “checkers to chess.”

    Within this exercise a team known as the exercise control group, oversaw each of the events to determine success or failure from friendly or enemy forces based upon their responses to scenarios and actions, while an evaluation team provided key insight from an outside perspective of how MCI-West succeeded and where improvements should be made.

    “It goes back to resiliency, sometimes you learn more from failure than you do from success,” said Laing. “I am interested in what we did well, but I am fascinated by what we didn't do well. I think that’s the desired outcome of this, we will build on from this year and continue to expand to next year.”

    Protecting bases and stations from existing threats is a top priority for the Marine Corps, requiring a multi-faceted approach combining complex multi-domain approaches. This is done in coordination with local, state, and federal partners, ensuring safety, security, and long-term viability of our military installations.

    During the week, many different scenarios simulated deployments of operational units, active shooter drills, cyber-defense, bomb threats, and installation security requiring interagency and MCI-West staff coordination and response.

    “I am not suggesting what we experience in Semper Durus will actually come to fruition in the time of crisis or conflict, but what we have established is an operational framework and tactical standard operating procedure and a baseline to fight off of,” said Laing.

    The primary objective of Semper Durus 2024 practices enabling MCI-West to engage in regional defense, strengthen security, and ensure active preservation of infrastructure and personnel. To do this, MCI-West must train for any potential enemy course of action.



    Date Taken: 04.26.2024
    Date Posted: 04.26.2024 14:02
    Story ID: 469641

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