MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and allied service members aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton gathered around a large terrain model resembling the California coast with signs representing different units and their movements Feb. 17.
The model was not built to wage war on the coast, but to begin the initial phase of the I Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise 2015 (MEFEX-15), an exercise which helps prepare the MEF for conventional combat operations. The rehearsal of concept drill, or ROC drill, breaks down the movement of troops and logistics throughout the exercise.
MEFEX-15 is a scenario-driven, staff-level exercise designed to train the I Marine Expeditionary Force and its subordinate commands and elements.
“MEFEX-15 is a really important exercise for MEF because it exercises our ability to fight as a MEF in conventional operations with international coalition, higher headquarters and adjacent commands,” said Maj. Carrie Batson, the Marine Air Ground Task Force Planner with I MEF Future Operations.
After covering the layout of the map and discussing operations, service members from various military branches began to describe the specific parts of the operation and explain their purpose and actions to the audience.
“This exercise is important for us, so we can get an idea on where [the Marines] are and how the Marine Corps conducts operations to better integrate into joint operations and improve effectiveness and efficiency,” said U.S. Army Capt. Peter Reider, a battle captain with the Army’s 1st Corps.
Throughout the drill, I MEF leaders asked questions to improve the plan of action for the exercise.
“You can do a lot of things to prepare yourself individually but nothing replicates the process and the friction when there are actually people participating in the exercise,” said Lt. Gen. David Berger, I MEF commanding general. “For me, it’s humbling and I’m learning as much as anybody out here.”
MEFEX-15 will allow I MEF, as the warfighting MEF, to exercise and evaluate its current readiness to support operations around the world.