10/24/2013 -- CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – 1st Marine Logistics Group conducted the second installment of a command post exercise, a group-wide communications exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 21-25, 2013.
The exercise was designed to prepare 1st MLG for a scenario in which the unit must provide command and control at a group level in a field environment. Communication is a necessity in combat, and the training gauged how efficiently they pass information between units.
“Command and Control has always been one of the toughest parts of war,” said Capt. Anthony Gold, an air officer with Headquarters Co., Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG. “Practicing now will enable us to be prepared and aware of our surroundings when the fog of war rolls in.”
Communication in war is crucial. We are monitoring how information is passed when something goes wrong, said Gold.
There are several precautions taken when making a command post, including a decoy known as an antenna hill.
“If an enemy catches on to a signal, the signal will lead them [to this antenna hill, instead of the command post],” said Pfc. Trevor Meadows, a field radio operator with Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG.
In addition to providing security, the passing of information could be a matter of life or death in combat.
“Anything you do in the Marine Corps requires communication,” said Meadows. “For instance, if we had a camp on a neighboring hill that gets bombed, with communication you have that split second contact ‘this is happening, get over here now.’ Without that, it’ll take a lot longer to call the quick reaction force, and then Marines lose their lives.”
Marines train frequently to ensure they are prepared to execute their job and quickly complete tasks in chaotic environments.
“In the war games, we have a cell that intentionally causes things to go wrong, and we keep track of how the problems are solved in the passing of information up and down the chain of command,” said Gold.
The last CPX allowed Marines to get an idea of how things will actually be. This exercise provides vital experience for Marines to succeed in combat situations.
“Like the last CPX, I expect people will get an even better idea of what their job is, operations will run even smoother and we will continue to improve,” said Gold.