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    1st MEB Sailors, Marines share joint training objectives

    Navy, Marine Corps share joint training objectives at Javelin Thrust

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Heidi Agostini | Navy Lt. j.g. Matthew Mitchelson, the requests for information manager with 1st Marine...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Spencer Kenyon 

    1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade

    MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Many would be surprised to find a U.S. Navy presence in the middle of the desert without an ocean in sight, but for the sailors that comprise the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, I Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., this is not an uncommon occurrence.

    These sailors were an integral part of Large Scale Exercise-1/ Javelin Thrust 2012, the largest annual Marine Corps reserve exercise, which took place June 29-July 12 here. The exercise afforded 1st MEB the opportunity to establish command and control over a land force composed of reservists from 38 states, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 9th Communication Battalion, as well as the newly-formed 1st Law Enforcement Battalion.

    Sailors with 1st MEB, many of whom are serving non-traditional tours in support of the Marine Corps, provide critical support for the brigade through a variety of specialized and essential billets, ranging from medical care for Marines in the field to naval gunfire liaison officers.

    The Marine Corps made it a priority to maintain a high level of expertise as an expeditionary maritime force, and the prominent role that sailors play on the 1st MEB staff is a direct reflection of this desire to be prepared to conduct missions by sea on short notice.

    Having Navy officers on the 1st MEB staff brings the 1st MEB a knowledge base of day-to-day naval activities, said Lt. Cmdr. Paul Fischer, the surface fire naval support plans officer for 1st MEB.

    These officers provide Marine commanders with an intimate knowledge of shipwork procedures and the capabilities and limitations of surface warships, said Fischer, a Fredericksburg, Va. native. Such knowledge is imperative during the planning process and allows the Marine Corps to fully and realistically utilize its amphibious capabilities.

    Lt. j.g. Matthew Mitchelson, the requests for information manager with 1st MEB, from Concord, Calif., witnessed this synchronicity firsthand while serving as the naval liaison officer for 1st MEF during exercise Iron Fist in Camp Pendleton, Calif.

    There was great communication between the Marine Corps and Navy during the planning phase, said Mitchelson.

    “The Navy commanders enjoyed having Marine Corps commanders come down to the ship,” said Mitchelson. During the planning phase for Iron Fist, navy staff from 3rd Fleet visited Camp Pendleton to aid in the planning process and ensure cohesion within the Navy-Marine Corps team.

    This cohesion will be tested during the upcoming 1st MEB exercise Dawn Blitz, a two-part joint exercise that incorporates a simulated staff-driven scenario in early February 2013 and a combined arms live-fire exercise scheduled for June 2013.

    Dawn Blitz is the culminating exercise in a two-year capability development cycle designed to ensure 1st MEB meets Marine Corps readiness standards, and gives Marines the rare opportunity to conduct amphibious training on a level larger than a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). Not surprisingly, Navy staff featured prominently during the planning process for this multi-tiered exercise.

    “Every part of this exercise involves a partnership between [Expeditionary Strike Group 3] and 1st MEB,” said Geoff Houck, future operations for 1st MEB.

    The Navy and Marine Corps share joint training objectives, with 1st MEB and ESG-3 particularly having common operational interests on the west coast. In order to remain a viable crisis response force, 1st MEB will continue to coordinate with the Navy in order to fully utilize the Marine Corps’ ability to exploit the sea through amphibious operations.

    “Deployment by amphibious means is one of the principal methods Marines get to a crisis area,” Houck said. “Through this partnership, we get the most out of high-demand resources, like amphibious platforms and quality time to work the Blue-Green team.”



    Date Taken: 07.12.2012
    Date Posted: 07.13.2012 01:55
    Story ID: 91463
    Location: CA, US

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