News: Marines work together, set up MDTC combat operations center
Story by Lance Cpl. Charles Clark
KADENA AIR BASE, Japan — The Marine Aircraft Group 12 main body arrived here June 1 to complete combat operations center preparations for the Marine Division Tactics Course.
MDTC is a graduate level course for pilots to improve their air-to-air efficiency.
This course is the first MDTC to be conducted outside the continental United States.
MAG-12 is responsible for organizing the event with Marine Wing Liaison Kadena hangar and the squadrons participating.
They are also responsible for ensuring the equipment required is readily available.
“MAG-12 is taking the weight off the other MAG’s shoulders in the U.S. to make sure this exercise gets done,” said Lt. Col. P.J. Kerr,MAG-12 operations officer. “It’s a great way for MAG-12 to test its capabilities, and we’re supporting the entire F/A-18 community this way.”
An advanced party for MAG-12 set up the tents along with Marines from Marine All- Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 before the main body touched down.
Cpl. Joseph T. Dang, MAG-12 aviation logistics information management system specialist noncommissioned officer in charge, instructed and assisted the Marines putting up the tents.
“The Marines from VMFA(AW)-533 and VMFA-314 were a huge help with getting the tents ready,” Dang said. “We worked as a team, and got the tents up quickly.”
Marines from the two squadrons volunteered their time while also preparing for MDTC in their own jobs to ensure the students, instructors and the Marines who will be supporting the aircrews and daily operations are ready.
“We work crazy long hours with keeping the equipment and aircraft maintained,” said Lance Cpl. Drew C. Weston, a VMFA(AW)-533 aviation flight equipment technician. “Sweating this much is worth it knowing we’re helping our aircrew get their job done.”
After touching down, the MAG-12 main body Marines finished the combat operations center. With rain pouring, the MAG-12 Marines set flooring, moved tables into the tents and set up the computers and wiring.
“We worked hard to get ready,” Dang said. “We made sure that we’re set up and ready for the flights.”
The tents will house a current operations center, future operations center, briefing rooms and storage space for equipment.
The current operations center will provide information on the day’s briefs, flight schedule and syllabus exercises being flown.
All of the training in the syllabus are planned in the future operations center.
Any changes in flight schedule will go through the future operations center and will be passed to the instructors and students to ensure they stay up-to-date on what’s coming ahead.
A tent was set up solely for briefs. The tent is set up like a lecture hall with upwards of 20 chairs facing a wooden table and white dry erase board.
Students from VMFA-232 and VMFA (AW)- 225, both based out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, along with VMFA (AW)- 533 and VMFA-314 aircrew are slated to participate in the course.
The instructors for the course come from Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 based out of Yuma, Ariz.
MAWTS-1 instructors are responsible for laying out the syllabus for MDTC, and keeping the F/A-18 community up to Marine Corps standards.
“The MAWTS-1 instructors fly anywhere they are needed to teach,” said Kerr. “That shows me how dedicated these Marines are to their job and teaching their fellow Marines.”
The students for MDTC finished their ground side classes and are scheduled to take to the skies to complete the syllabus the instructors put together.
MAG-12 continues to write another page in history’s book by ensuring the first MDTC runs smoothly while the aircrew complete their training.