CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group hit the field to fine-tune the process of providing support to ground units during Command Post Exercise 1 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., March 10-14, 2014, in preparation for the fast-approaching Operation Desert Scimitar 2014.
The CPX allowed 1st MLG Major Subordinate Element headquarters and its independent battalions to establish their combat operation centers in order to facilitate communications in a field environment.
“For CPX 1, 1st Marine Division was serving in the [Marine Expeditionary Force] (Forward) capacity. The 1st MLG forces served as the logistics combat element, providing support to the MEF (Fwd),” said Master Sgt. Gabriel Reese, current operations chief, 1st MLG Headquarters, and a Columbus, Ga., native. “All together, there were eight headquarters supporting units that came out.”
Communication between MLG units internally and the MEF (Fwd) was the main focus of the exercise. As a result, the intent behind the information passed was to provide MLG an opportunity to demonstrate command and control tactics.
“It’s a CPX, so some of the information that was passed was notional and developed for the exercise,” explained Reese. “It was to exercise our ability to command and control ‘what was taking place’ more than [executing actual] moving pieces.”
As with most exercises, Combat Logistics Regiment 1 provided most of the supplies to 1st MarDiv.
“CLR-1 is providing direct support to 1st MarDiv that is serving as the MEF (Fwd). They’re the direct link to Division,” said Reese. “The needs are being met by CLR-1. Additional needs of 1st MarDiv and CLR-1 are being farmed out to the remainder of the MLG.”
Although the focus was on passing information and putting simulated procedures in place, the Marines still conducted some actual logistics support during convoy responses, indirect-fire responses and scenario-based medical procedures.
During the exercise, convoys provided the ground units with the necessary supplies to sustain themselves. In addition to this responsibility, 1st MLG Marines were required to react to simulated combat-related dangers, like indirect fire in which they had to perform proper response techniques such as taking cover. Periodically, Marines would act out a medical emergency, requiring corpsman to go through the proper procedures to treat a ‘patient.’
Ultimately, CPX1 and the upcoming CPX2 provide 1st MLG a clear picture of standard operating procedures they need to refine and the day-to-day requirements they will need to fulfill during Operation Desert Scimitar 14 in May.
“We’ll do the same thing with a little bit more regularity and a little bit more detail for CPX 2 and then the big piece – Desert Scimitar,” said Reese. “The command relationships we have during the CPXs are the same command relationships that we’ll be using in Desert Scimitar.”