DVIDS – News – Marine Aircraft Group 36 proves ready to respond at any time during exercise without notice
OKINAWA, Japan – As hundreds of Marines with Marine Aircraft Group 36 and Marine Air Control Group 18 staged in the early hours of Friday morning with all the equipment necessary to support operations for a short period of time, leaders and planners observed the culmination of 48 hours of tireless execution. Over the previous two days, several squadrons from across the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing rushed to plan and respond to an unannounced exercise designed to surprise and test their ability to respond at any time to any eventuality.
Marines with 1st MAW conducted this Marine Air-Ground Emergency Alert (ACM) exercise from May 19 to May 21 in order to maintain readiness as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Air Combat Element in the ACM Indo-Pacific.
The Indo-Pacific region is a disaster prone area and the ACM must be prepared to respond to unforeseen situations. In preparation for a possible humanitarian assistance or disaster relief mission, the 1st MAW has shown strength to show its current position of readiness.
When the exercise order was issued by the commanding general, 1st MAW, in response to a fictitious natural disaster, MAG-36 immediately established a planning cell to prepare for and support the emergency response. This exercise was designed to test the planning, staging and loading of materiel and equipment as well as to prepare planes for take-off within 48 hours.
The MAG-36 commander acted as the ACE commander in the scenario and provided aircraft including MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53Es and UH-1Ys to transport equipment and personnel. To mimic the self-deployment of aircraft in another country in the region, the aircraft were equipped for long-range air operations capabilities. “This exercise allowed MAG to test the capabilities and processes of our squadrons necessary to support the ACM,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Alissandratos, the general manager of MAG-36 who acted as the senior planner for much of the exercise. “It was a great opportunity for us to test and refine our established procedures. The exercise is also vital as it will help shape our recommendations to the commanders of 1st MAW and III MEF on the composition and execution of ACE within ACM, which will allow us to better respond to any eventuality. .
Within 24 hours of notification, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 deployed two MV-22B Ospreys to embark Marines with the 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division.
Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18 was the MACG-18 unit tasked with providing vital command and control capabilities to the ACE for this exercise. After receiving notice from the ACM drill, MWCS-18 packed its equipment, loaded it onto MTVRs, and then staged it on the flight line of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to be transported by mobility planes. MWCS-18 2nd Lt. Casey Killeen said that “exercises like these are important because we have to be able to deploy at all times and with an ACM fly-away exercise on short notice we are able to train our fight.
Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 172 provided aviation ground support during the exercise. Similar to the MWCS-18, the MWSS-172 received the drill alert and immediately began kinetic movements. They were tasked with providing various equipment such as tactical fuel systems and expeditionary lighting for runways and landing zones. This and other equipment was prepared, loaded and transported to another location for inspection. The ACM exercise “allows the unit to assess how long it takes us to complete our mission of supporting aviation, from planning to execution,” said Staff Sgt. major. Kenneth Kondrat, the logistics chief at MWSS-172. “It gives us a chance to practice operations on short notice and make sure we are better trained and prepared for a real scenario.”
Part of the mission of the MWSS-172 is to provide food services. Food service specialists with pallets of MWSS-172 packaged rations, which were then lifted and loaded onto motor transport vehicles by logistics and boarding specialists, to be driven to a meeting place by motor vehicle operators for equipment to be inspected by mobility personnel. “It’s important that the sections work together to make sure we’re ready on the spot,” said Cpl. Teodoro Lopez JR, boarding specialist with MWSS-172. “We are preparing for any ACM via MCCRE [Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation], FCLP [Fleet Carrier Landing Practice] and day-to-day operations, and if we’re on, we’ll be ready. “
As is evident from the conduct of exercise AMC, the readiness of 1 MAW relies on the individual preparation of all components and their pooling in order to plan and successfully execute its mission. The ACM exercise was conducted to ensure that the ACE remains in position and ready to deploy anywhere in the region, with little notice, should the need arise.
Exercises and rapid deployment exercises are essential to maintain and improve operational capabilities and meet its commitments to allied and partner countries in the Indo-Pacific. The 1st MAW is and will continue to be ready to fight now.
|Date posted:||05.25.2021 05:06|
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