News: Wargame brings Marines, Navy together for amphibious logistics operations
Story by 1st Lt. James Stenger
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors of 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a large-scale training operation designed to prepare the nation’s amphibious - logistics warfighters for an actual humanitarian aid and disaster relief operation, spanning the East Coast from here to Norfolk, Va., June 11-16.
Elements of the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group based at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown - Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Va., teamed with 2nd MLG’s Combat Logistics Regiment 27, Combat Logistics Battalion 8, and CLB-6 to provide support for the Expeditionary Logistics Wargame.
This training exercise was the sixth installment in as many years directed by the Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics, with this being just one of the times 2nd MLG has taken the lead in logistical support. The 2nd MLG welcomed the oppurtunity to reinvigorate its amphibious roots.
“Most of our landing support operations in [Operation Enduring Freedom] and [Operation Iraqi Freedom] have focused on helicopter support teams and air delivery operations. As an expeditionary force in readiness, we also need to be trained and capable to execute our amphibious responsibilities to enable the [Marine Air-Ground Task Force] to embark and debark from naval vessels and sustain the fight, as well as conduct expeditionary operations far inland,” explained Col. Mark Hollahan, commanding officer of CLR-27.
These expeditionary operations inland could take the form of a humanitarian relief effort, such as recent American efforts to aid Haiti in 2010 after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake left roughly 230 thousand people dead and 1.3 million homeless.
Maj. Gen. Michael G. Dana, commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, participated in the Haitian relief effort and knows the importance of Navy and Marine Corps amphibious operations.
"Amphibious exercises like this are critically important as they help instill an expeditionary mindset in our Marines, while at the same time prepare them for the next crisis that may arise in the future. The work our Marines and sailors did in preparation for and execution of the ExLog Wargame was outstanding, and the experience invaluable," noted Dana.
According to Hollahan, the Marines of 2nd MLG worked with their Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group equivalents extensively to perfect convoy operations, shipboard cargo loading and offloading procedures, and beach operations with a beachmaster and various landing craft in the combined Navy and Marine Corps equipment set.
This extensive amphibious traning is what sets the Department of the Navy apart from any other naval force in the world.
“No other governmental force has the organic command and control, and capability, to employ resources to mitigate effects of such an incident,” Hollahan concluded.