MARINE CORPS MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER BRIDGEPORT, Calif. --
Marines from 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade erected and are maintaining an operational capability set, or CAPSET, during Javelin Thrust 2011. The CAPSET is a large modular tent which houses a combat operations center and is capable of being deployed to any environment.
Keeping 1st MEB’s CAPSET running takes Marines from several sections: G-4, which handles logistics and supplies, G-3, which handles training and operations and G-6, which handles communications.
Cmdr. Scott McClellan, the G-4 medical planner, said the supply and logistics mission is ensuring 1st MEB has everything it needs to remain mission capable and able to fight.
Getting the CAPSET and all the gear inside it to Bridgeport required transporting 28 shipping containers.
In a real-world scenario, McClellan said most of the needed supplies are sitting on ships that are a part of a Maritime Prepositioning Force. Since these ships are spread throughout the world, reaction times are shortened. Marines could fly into an area and meet their gear there.
“Logistics, in my mind, is the backbone of the whole war fighting force,” said the Munson, Penn., native. “It takes beans, bullets and bodies to make the animal move. So the machine doesn’t work if your logistics lines aren’t there.”
Gunnery Sgt. David Jones, the G-3 current operations chief and one of the people in charge of keeping the CAPSET running, says coordinating with the G-4 is important because of fuel requirements, transporting gear and personnel, and keeping people fed. The CAPSET can be constructed using internal assets and doesn’t rely on contractors for any out-sourced assistance.
“I could go out to the desert, and set this up and really only need chow, water and fuel and I could run this bad boy,” said the Washington, D.C., native. “With the way modern combat is now, it moves so fluidly and so fast, you can’t just take up a building anymore. You have to be able to say this is the spot where we’re setting up our operations.”
Jones said having the ability to deploy the CAPSET to any environment and have it up and running in less than 24 hours is a critical asset to a commander. He added, since it’s modular, it can be configured any way the commander wants it. MEB’s are the Marine Corps’ flexible force and their structure is tailored to the mission. If a mission doesn’t require a section of the CAPSET, it can be left behind.
Gunnery Sgt. Michael Moore, the G-6 operations chief, from Richmond, Va., said for this exercise, the CAPSET provides both unclassified and secret capabilities from Bridgeport back to Camp Pendleton. Each of the more than 100 workstations has a headset, allowing Marines to communicate with each other from any part of the CAPSET. Internet-capable laptops and phones allow Marines to communicate with the outside world.
“The MEB would not be able to function without G-6 capabilities,” said Moore. “Once you move into a deployed MEB staff you absolutely have to have that communications coordination at the G-6 level.”
Thirty Marines spent three ten-hour days setting up the CAPSET. By working together the Marines from each section ensure the CAPSET continues to function till the end of the exercise, July 31.