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I MEF (Forward) completes Mission Readiness Exercise

14 Nov 2013 | Sgt. Frances Johnson

First Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) conducted a Mission Readiness Exercise from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., in preparation for their upcoming deployment during early 2014.

The MRX is a training event created to develop the responsiveness of the Marines and sailors by putting them through different scenarios they may encounter while deployed. 

Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, commanding general, I MEF (Fwd), thought the exercise was beneficial and helped better prepare the Marines and sailors for their future deployment to Helmand province, Afghanistan.

“I’m happy with where we are at this stage,” said Brig. Gen. Yoo. “I would call the exercise a beginning rather than a success, and we have a lot of hard work to do before we depart. We owe it to our Marines, sailors and coalition partners to ensure every individual is fully prepared for the upcoming mission.”

The drills I MEF (Fwd) worked through were tasked by the Marine Air Ground Task Force Staff Training Program, which provides training to enhance the warfighting abilities of leaders in a joint task force environment. The Marines and sailors accomplished each exercise drill by coordinating their combined “real-world” reactions as if they were in Afghanistan.

“This was the first time we have come together,” said Capt. Jonathan Arnold, senior watch officer, I MEF (Fwd), and a Pewaukee, Wis., native. “It’s important for us to work through the (MRX) because you need to get the whole picture and understand how everyone works together before deploying.”

During the MRX, I MEF (Fwd) worked as a team to solidify their skills and procedures.

“I think everybody feels a lot more comfortable now than they did a week ago,” said Cpl. Joshua Crabb, current operations noncommissioned officer, I MEF (Fwd), and an Oregon City, Ore., native. “As for how we’re looking as a MEF, I think we did pretty well.”

I MEF (Fwd) will assume authority of Regional Command Southwest during early 2014 from II MEF (Fwd), which is currently deployed from Camp Lejeune, N.C.