MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C - Marines and sailors with 2nd Marine Division, conducted a command post training exercise March 18-20, 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
The CPX is a follow-on to Bold Alligator, where Marines simulated commanding division units in a combat scenario that involved restoring the sovereignty of an occupied fictional nation.
“The commanding general has two priorities, the first [is where to supply] forces in a foreign country. The number two priority is the command and control of the division,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Andrew Hampton, the operations chief for 2nd Marine Division. “This scenario was built in order to exercise the commanding general’s command and control functions, and as a part of this exercise we have response cells that simulate all the division units.”
The CPX headquarters was where all command staff and subordinate commands were located, and when they were given a scenario they had to react accordingly to complete the mission.
“Our goal is to be prepared, so if we get the call to go forward to an expeditionary environment we can pick up and move. Everything that we are using here is what we would be using deployed and can be run off of generators. We are mobile and still capable of completing a task,” said Hampton. “We would pack all this up in a [shipping container], deploy and as quickly and proficiently as possible set everything up so we can start completing the missions from the commanding general.”
Even though this was primarily a chance for the command staff to practice what it would be like to deploy, the junior Marines used it as a learning experience as well.
Some of the Marines had even been prepping for this event six months in advance by performing training exercises to get familiar with common weapon systems.
“Our job out here is to be the security force for the headquarters,” said Cpl. Samuel Adkins, a musician with the 2nd Marine Division Band. “We have been training the past few months with different weapon systems so we are proficient with them and have been learning proper procedures for standing guard.”
Adkins, from Savannah, Ga., has personally enjoyed the experience to be security force since it’s not the typical day for him
“As Marines we are supposed to be [well-rounded], so we can complete a task given to us. This is an outstanding chance for us to do a refresher on things we haven’t done since recruit training,” said Adkins.
Even though CPXs aren’t regular training events, some of the Marines wish they could get the opportunity to do it more often.
“I think the training has gone really well so far,” said Cpl. Chris Schott, a section leader with the 2nd Marine Division Band. “Training is essential for any Marine and this kind of exercise is a great way to experience a little bit of everything the Marine Corps has to offer.”