Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Alexander J. Smith, a field radio repairman with 9th Communication Battalion, links tubing together at a combat operations center exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 5. The exercise created a realistic environment for Marines to quickly and effectively establishes a center of operations.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray

1st MEB leads in commanding the amphibious battlefield

10 Feb 2014 | Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray

Over the past decade, the Marine Corps pulled away from its naval traditions to conducting sustained operations ashore for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, the Corps is focusing on transitioning back to its amphibious heritage.

Marines with 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade participated in a combat operations center exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 5, demonstrating the Marine Corps’ transition back to our naval heritage.

The CPX creates a realistic environment for Marines to establish a combat operations center, which is an important part of conducting amphibious landings and securing a center of operations to conduct the assigned missions.

Staff Sgt. David Fiocco, the 1st Law Enforcement Battalion detachment staff non-commissioned officer, says the Marines of 1st LEB play a unique role in the exercise.

“We take guys who are mechanics, cooks and radio operators and we train them to be able to stand posts, conduct patrols, and detain prisoners in the event of an amphibious landing,” said Fiocco. “ Every marine is a rifleman, but if you don’t execute those skills on a regular basis, they can become rusty.”

1st Lt. Yinan Yang, an officer with 9th Communication Battalion, says the CPX prepares Marines to establish necessary communication in a deployed environment.

Communication plays such vital role on today’s modern battlefield. Being able to coordinate with subordinate units throughout assigned battle space and pass on instructions from battle-space commanders is vital, explained Yang.

“We are here to see just how quickly we can set up our equipment and create a means of communication,” said Yang. “ These kinds of exercises really test and improve our capability to effectively deploy as a brigade.”

Yang says the ability for Marines to move into an uninhabited area and construct a COC is the key to maintaining command and control forward deployed.

“This is all about getting back to our roots,” said Yang. “Instead of fighting from bases that have already been established, we are going from ship to shore and we are setting up our own base and ultimately the battlefield.”