MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- First Marine Expeditionary Brigade conducted a command post exercise aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 16 to 19, 2014. The exercise consisted of various mock operations that helped to prepare the MEB for possible deployment and is supported in a large way by the subordinate Brigade Headquarters Group.
Before anyone else shows up to begin the exercise, BHG is there to prepare the amenities necessary for mission accomplishment. They play a logistical role, providing everything from food to medical services.
A big transition that was made from previous years was changes in regards to asset utilization and energy conservation. The Expeditionary Energy Office has made an effort this year to make the exercise more energy efficient with the help of BHG.
The Marine Corps has not only made it a priority to provide great assets to Marines on the battlefield but also lower their environmental footprint and lower the amount of energy used in the expeditionary environment. This change reduces the amount of convoys required to transport fuel thus reducing the unnecessary risk of exposing logistics Marines to enemy attack.
“The E2O has been a big push in terms of assistance in energy conservation,” said 1st Lt. Abigael Blank, the BHG logistics officer and camp commandant. “Everything is more energy efficient from the lights we’re using in the tents to the generators used to power them.”
Setting up a camp for this type of exercise is no small task. The camp serves as a small city for its occupants by providing the essentials for Marines to survive and serving as an important epicenter for Marines to operate out of.
Blank and her Marines had been at the camp preparing it for the operation and supporting the Marines’ logistical needs for more than ten days, and are committed to providing essential services even to the last day.
“My Marines have been doing very well,” said Blank. “It’s been a difficult and busy task to set everything up and keep everything going, but their morale is usually pretty high and they continue to do what they are expected to do.”
Blank said that junior leadership has played a very large role in the exercise. She said they are kept extremely busy and under high workloads and demanding billets.
“It all goes to the Marines,” said Blank. “They’re the ones that work so hard to make sure everyone’s needs are met. We put a lot on them and they do a phenomenal job.”
The work for BHG does not stop at the end of the CPX either. Once it is finished, they will start planning for the 2014 Large Scale Exercise aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms later this summer.
During the LSE, Blank said that there will be many more amenities BHG will need to provide for the exercise, such as showers and additional air conditioning along with many more resources that will make their role an even more involved one.