CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 1st Intelligence Battalion and 9th Communication Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, embarked tactical and logistical vehicles in support of Exercise Dawn Blitz 13.1, at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Jan. 23.
Dawn Blitz is a 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Expeditionary Strike Group-3 combined exercise to conduct brigade-sized amphibious operations and develop a stronger working relationship between Navy and Marine Corps personnel.
The battalions loaded 20 equipment-filled seven-ton trucks to establish communications and an expeditionary intelligence operations center for the nine-day exercise.
The exercise will identify the embarkation, logistics, systems and communication requirements for an expeditionary intelligence operations center that would deploy in support of a Marine expeditionary brigade-sized contingency.
“It tests us to see if we’re ready,” said Capt. Jennifer Valtierra, a logistics officer with 1st Intel Bn. “I don’t think anyone here remembers the last time we did something like this. We need to be ready if something happens and we’re called out to support the MEB.”
The exercise also identifies training and resource shortfalls and establishes standard operating procedures to prepare for future exercises or possible contingencies with 1st MEB.
“It’s really a test to see what we’re capable of, where our deficiencies are and what we can do to fix those deficiencies. If something happens, we’re ready to go,” said Valtierra, 26, from Highland Park, Ill. “We’ve had some hiccups, but it’s going well. We’re learning from the hiccups. If everything went perfect then what’s the point of training?”
The battalions’ first responsibility in the field is to establish communication with the command operating center so other elements can begin operations.
“This is our piece,” said Capt. Theodore Corbeill, an operations officer with 1st Intelligence Battalion. “We’re going to take our piece and latch it onto the bigger part and try to establish the command element footprint for the entire Marine Air-Ground Taskforce.”
Both battalions will have an opportunity to use the lessons learned from Dawn Blitz and apply them to an upcoming exercise, Sentinel Fury in March.
“I’m kind of excited because this is the first time in probably ten years that we’ve done something like this,” said Corbeill, 39, from Southfield, Mich. “The key part of this is the communications piece. If it’s successful, it’s going to set us up for Sentinel Fury.”