Photo Information

Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese (left), commanding general of 1stMarine Expeditionary Brigade, speaks with Randy Smith (center), manager of the Plans, Policies and Operations Department of Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, and Maj. J. R. Clearfield (right), action officer with the Homeland Defense Department, during San Francisco Fleet Week's senior leaders seminar aboard the USS Makin Island in San Francisco, Oct. 4. The seminar was a chance for representatives from U.S. military and government organizations to answer key questions in regard to humanitarian assistance and disaster response in case of a natural disaster.

Photo by Cpl. Jennifer Pirante

Leaders discuss Marine side of Fleet Week

8 Oct 2012 | Cpl. Jennifer Pirante

SAN FRANCISCO - Top leaders from I Marine Expeditionary Force gathered with local and government organizations during the 2-day Senior Leadership Seminar aboard the USS Makin Island in San Francisco, Oct. 4-5.

The seminar was part of San Francisco Fleet Week, an annual event that recently shifted focus on humanitarian assistance and disaster response preparedness while honoring the men and women of the sea services. The event commenced Oct. 3 and will run until Oct. 8.

On the first day of the seminar, Col. Chester Jolley, operations officer with I Marine Expeditionary Force, and Maj. Katia Garcia, communications/information systems assistant chief of staff and regional plans officer with I MEF, participated in a panel discussion titled, “Lessons Learned: SFFW DSCA Exercise Program."

Jolley commended the Marines and sailors for their focus and effort during SFFW’s Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and medical exercise, Oct. 3 in Ocean Beach.

“What I saw in the exercise was a good information flow and an atmosphere of team effort,” Jolley said.

Garcia answered a question from the moderator about how the unit was able to overcome the obstacles of communicating while coordinating the transportation of Marines, sailors and cargo to the Bay Area for the week’s events, and on a larger scale, during a natural disaster.

“One way or another, we were able to send our reports through,” Garcia said. “We learned a lot. I think a lot of this has been captured in the after-action, and I think if we have another iteration next year, we definitely have a good starting point.”

During the closing remarks, Maj. Gen. Myatt thanked key participants and reflected upon the progress made during past events.

“I look at what we’ve accomplished,” Myatt said. “In 2010, we had a meeting, a seminar to understand discipline. In 2011, we had the table-top exercise, we debriefed that and had a great keynote speaker. Then we had an education seminar. This year, we had a functional exercise in August, which was terrific. We saw the panel. A medical exercise as part of Fleet Week and we saw the enthusiasm with the participants.”