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    Marines hone command capabilities for Afghanistan

    Marines hone command capabilities for Afghanistan

    Photo By Sgt. S.T. Stewart | Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) participate in a training exercise at...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. S.T. Stewart 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force

    CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Since the unit’s Nov. 30 activation ceremony, Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) have been honing their skills during a training exercise in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

    During the exercise, which will end Saturday, the Marines have been enhancing their proficiency in the tactical air command center by dealing with a wide variety of scenarios the unit may face when conducting and supporting combat operations while deployed.

    2nd MAW (Fwd.) will replace 3rd MAW (Fwd.) to take on the role as the lead aviation combat element for southwestern Afghanistan.

    Behind the scenes of every aviation combat element success is the TACC. The command center is the brain behind aviation operations.

    “It is our job to ensure there is balance throughout the battle space,” said Maj. Charles W. DelPizzo, a senior watch officer with 2nd MAW (Fwd.). “We have to anticipate the ground combat element’s moves and try to stay ahead of them.”

    When Marines are injured, Marines in the TACC plan and give the order to execute casualty evacuations.

    When Marines need close-air support, Marines in the TACC decide which aircraft best suits the mission and send it to their aid.

    When Marines need air reconnaissance, Marines in the TACC choose the best route and dispatch appropriate resources.

    Regardless of the circumstances, no matter the time of day or night, despite the severity of the situation, the command center operates 24/7 to provide support in a variety of scenarios within minutes.

    “Every situation is different,” said DelPizzo. “We have to respond quickly with the right capabilities to be able to provide the best support.”

    In order to maintain the TACC in such a high state of readiness, teamwork plays an instrumental role in the success of the aviation combat element within the command center.

    Marines from every corner of the aviation field come together to help run the TACC.

    “It is outstanding what happens in this command center,” said Capt. Christopher Forsythe, an operations officer with Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28. “We have everything from pilots to weather Marines to logistics Marines. I mean everyone is in here working together.”

    Communication also plays a big role within the center. Forsythe said Marines in the TACC work alongside other military forces in tactical environments as well.

    “While deployed, Marines work with Afghan and coalition partners,” said Forsythe. “We train so we can do our job the right way while acting fast and communicating with our teammates, so we are all on the same page. This training is vital to 2nd MAW (Fwd.) while they prepare for their upcoming deployment.”



    Date Taken: 12.13.2012
    Date Posted: 12.13.2012 09:45
    Story ID: 99235
    Location: CHERRY POINT, NC, US 

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