Photo Information

Lt. Col. Michael Manifor, executive officer, Helicopter Marine Light Attack Training Squadron 303, greets Jessica L. (Garfola) Wright, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, upon her arrival to the unit’s command post, aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., April 7, 2014. During her visit to Camp Pendleton, Wright spoke to service members and got familiarized with the Marine Corps and the military installation.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado

Under Secretary of Defense Visits Camp Pendleton

17 Apr 2014 | Lance Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado

Secretary Jessica L. (Garfola) Wright, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, visited Marines and Sailors aboard Camp Pendleton Calif., April 7.

Wright visited Camp Pendleton to familiarize herself with the Marine Corps and to meet with officials from I Marine Expeditionary Force and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Wright toured the Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 command post, where she met with officials and visited junior Marines. 

Lt. Col. Christopher W. Roe, commanding officer, HMLAT – 303, said during his meeting with Wright, they spoke about current issues within the Marine Corps such as sexual assault, sexual harassment and suicide, and how the units are working to ensure the well-being of their Marines. 

Wright also learned about the different equipment including aircraft. “We were able to give her some insights from what we see on our level on a day-to-day basis,” said Roe.

Lance Cpl. Sergio Vargas, an aviation mechanic with the squadron said that the meeting with Wright was informational and a helpful way to communicate directly with personnel of such standing. 

Wright moved on to have lunch with six non-commissioned officers of the same unit, where they discussed how certain social issues impact Marines at the junior level.  

Wright also toured the Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, where she visited the simulation center and learned how it’s used to train medical staff. She also spoke with staff members at the physical therapy, labor and delivery and emergency departments.
Later that day, Wright visited the Hope and Care Center and Wounded Warrior Battalion West. 

Paul Swanson, the command advisor for WWBN-West, said that Wright was provided with a general tour of the center and met with officials with whom she discussed her concerns about the Veterans Affairs delay in the Integrated Disability Evaluation System. 

She also visited the voting office, and the Transition Readiness Program Center, where she spoke to transitioning Marines and Sailors.