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    Javelin Thrust 2011 comes to another successful close



    Story by Lance Cpl. Frans Labranche 

    Marine Forces Reserve

    NEW ORLEANS – Once a year, Reserve Marines from across the country are sent to America’s deserts and mountains to train and remain ever-ready for deployment to the barren lands of countries overseas.

    Every summer since 2009, the Javelin Thrust exercise brings together more than 5,000 Marines, sailors, and National Guardsmen over dispersed training areas in Hawthorne, Nev., Bridgeport, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz.

    This year reserve ground, air, and logistics units combined under the command of the active-duty 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade for the first time; making the operational force a middleweight contender against its invisible foe.

    “We’re not tied to a standard organization or have to force things into a mission or deployment that have no role. We only take those things we need and leave what we don’t need behind,” said Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese, commanding general of the 1st MEB.

    One thing that was brought to the exercise was necessary training that many Reserve Marines do not have the ability to complete while drilling at their home units. Weapons-training, combat life-saving courses and anti-improvised explosive device training rank among these as well as problems that can only be solved by seeing them “in the field.”

    The exercise provided real-world training and allowed Marines to train at the brigade-level, as a middleweight force.

    “I think what we’re able to do is buy time and space for higher-level decision makers. We can move quickly,” said Spiese. “We can start getting forces in a position to either be a presence or start being engaged in a particular crisis. We can hold until bigger decisions are made, and larger forces have to move in.”

    Another challenge Marines at Javelin Thrust experienced was buying that time in an environment that reflects real-world operational environments. Marines train at the Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif. learning everything from mountain terrain cover and concealment to how to load a donkey for carrying military equipment in harsh summit conditions.

    It is important for all Marines to be prepared for today’s battles, but a new direction for the Marine Reserve means being more ready than ever before.

    “Moving forward into the 21st century, Marine Corps reserves is going to be an operational reserve,” said Brig. Gen. James Lariviere, commanding general of 4th Marine Division. “Unlike a strategic reserve or a ready reserve where units train and ready for when the call comes, we anticipate that in the future Marine Corps reserve units will be incorporated into contingency operations and operations around the world on a regular basis. Javelin Thrust accomplishes the goal of allowing us to be ready to integrate with our active duty counterparts to achieve that goal.”

    Future integration with active-duty Marines means reserve training at Javelin Thrust is essential for deployment.

    As mock battles are won on America’s high deserts and mountains so too will battles be won in every clime and place. As Javelin Thrust has proven each year, Reserve Marines are ready to fight and ready to win.



    Date Taken: 08.07.2011
    Date Posted: 08.07.2011 15:21
    Story ID: 75007
    Location: NEW ORLEANS, LA, US 

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