News: Black Sea Rotational Force Marines participate in first field exercise
Story by Cpl. Phillip Clark
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, participated in their first field exercise in preparation for the upcoming Black Sea Rotational Force deployment.
The noncombatant evacuation operations course is a week long course which consists of classes with the culminating event being a simulated evacuation control center where about 50 Marines were role playing as civilians that needed to be evacuated from a simulated crisis.
A lot of the Marines with 2/2 have done similar training in the past, but for new Marines this is great training for their upcoming deployment as well as a refresher for senior Marines.
“The purpose of this training is to be able to evacuate foreign civilians and American personnel safely and in a timely manner,” said Capt. Brian Darracott, the Black Sea Rotational Force Logistics Combat Element officer in charge. “With our upcoming deployment this training is essential for us to be prepared for any situation that could arise.”
The Marines knew they were in a simulated ECC, but they didn’t know what the role players had whether it was contraband or a simulated sickness. Once the role players were cleared they were moved to an extraction point where they simulated leaving the country.
After the Marines moved the role players through the evacuation control center they got a chance to see what they needed to work on afterwards as they performed their after action report.
“It’s our job to safely evacuate these civilians that need our help in a crisis situation,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jose Reese, the maintenance chief with Headquarters and Support Company 2/2.
“There is always room for improvement, but after this training I’m confident that these Marines have learned a lot since we started this training up until now when were finishing.”
Training like this is very important for the Marines and even some of the junior Marines enjoy the training and wish it could be done more often.
“It’s a very real possibility that a crisis could happen while were deployed,” said Cpl. Timothy Cline, an Axton, Va. native. “It’s crucial for us to be prepared for anything and this training was definitely important and a learning experience all around.”
The Black Sea Rotational Force is preparing to deploy as the United States’ crisis contingency force in Eastern Europe.