VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Virginia Beach-based Expeditionary Training Group (ETG) sent a team to San Diego March 11-13, to conduct a mission rehearsal exercise for several units, including Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 31, Fleet Surgical Team (FST) 9, USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), and detachments from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 1, Amphibious Construction Battalion (ACB) 1 and Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 23.
The exercise was based on one of the Navy’s humanitarian assistance missions and posed several challenges for the participants.
“The training audience learned a lot about working and communicating as a team,” said Scott Brinkman, ETG’s director of training. “The staff had to communicate with forces distributed to different locations in a foreign country, and they had to coordinate their operations with both the host nation and the State Department. We gave them plenty of opportunities to practice both during the exercise.”
Using the Navy’s Adaptive Force Package (AFP) mission essential task list as the assessment standard, ETG’s staff observed how well the training audience planned for and conducted medical, engineering and EOD assistance missions. ETG designed the exercise scenarios around a simulated visit to the independent nation of Samoa, using various locations on Naval Air Station North Island and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado to stand in for the island nation.
The exercise was one of several ETG has designed and conducted for Navy humanitarian assistance missions over the last three years. These missions typically focus on building relationships with host nations and working together to improve a nation’s capacity to respond to natural disasters, or provide medical and engineering services to its people.
Expeditionary Training Group designs and conducts certification exercises and provides staff planning/operations center training to deploying NECC commands.