MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Marines and sailors with II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force conducted a field training exercise at Landing Zone Falcon Sept. 6 through 15.
The exercise prepared II MHG Marines and sailors for expeditionary readiness, which included various classes and activities that tested the skill and proficiency of all participants.
First Lieutenant Jason Pecore, the II MHG camp commandant, said the exercise demonstrated the capabilities of II MHG.
“We’re still very much an expeditionary force,” said Pecore, “This exercise demonstrates that we can get set up quickly and act effectively without the need of elaborate facilities.”
The camp consisted of a command operation center and several other temporary facilities.
Pecore said giving personnel the opportunity to improve their skill sets while demonstrating expeditionary capabilities was the purpose of the exercise.
Marines and sailors participated in a number of collective and individual training events which included military working dog capabilities demonstration, live firing with M240B medium machine guns, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear defense, as well as routine operations, logistics, communications and security procedures.
Lance Cpl. Andrew Webb a CBRN specialist with II MHG said being in a field environment enhanced the CBRN training for participants.
“It was more realistic and taught Marines proper use of their protective gear,” said Webb.
Marines wore Military Oriented Protective Posture gear during CBRN training. The gear provides protection from the effects of toxic environments.
“The training let participants experience battlefield concentrations of gas,” said Webb. “The amount of gas each person experienced varied based on the wind and how close they were to the gas.”
Small units within II MHG encountered a different number of challenges and experiences that the exercise offered.
The engineer platoon maintained generators that provided power throughout the area of operations. The engineers encountered a vast amount of challenges during the exercise.
According to Cpl. Daniel Moore, the quality control chief for II MHG engineers “We operated like we were in a forward environment.”
“It gave the new guys practical application of their skills,” said Moore. “It also involved a lot of cross training for them.”
The engineers had to maintain equipment they generally don’t see on a regular basis such as hygiene units and heavy equipment.
The engineers were able to accomplish their tasks, despite these challenges, and kept the facilities running throughout the duration of the exercise.
There are more planned field exercises for the Marines and sailors of II MHG in the upcoming year.
“It was a well conducted event and we definitely want to do something like that again,” said Webb. “We’re shooting for one field exercise quarterly.”
Future exercises will feature similar training opportunities in addition to any challenges the field has to offer.
The exercise demonstrated we can perform our skills in a
non-garrison environment and operate in support of the MEF, said Pecore. It reaffirmed our capabilities as a unit and our functionality in a forward environment. Ultimately the exercise was a success.