Logistics Marines establish command operations center on Courtney
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa - Marines with 3rd Supply Battalion established a command operations center Jan. 13-17 at Camp Courtney in preparation for Freedom Banner 2014.
A command operations center can be seen as the hub of an operation or exercise, according to Cpl. Pablo Arboledapalacio, a packaging specialist with the 3rd Supply Bn., Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. It is a centralized location where Marines with various mission critical skills coordinate together to improve efficiency and communication.
“The COC is the brains of the entire operation,” said Arboledapalacio. “If a situation needs a fast response, we have the (subject matter experts) able to work together in the same place.”
The training was executed to prepare for the unit’s upcoming deployment during Exercise Freedom Banner 2014 later this spring, according to Capt. Joseph Petkus, a ground supply officer with CLR-35.
Freedom Banner exercises the Marine Corps’ proficiency to expedite a fully operational Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
“We set this up to practice how we would operate during the exercise,” said Petkus. “This way we can teach our newer Marines what they would need to know, see if there are any problems with the gear we have, and practice working together before we’re out in the field.”
The training began with the Marines constructing a full COC, to include installing and familiarizing themselves with the necessary equipment. They rehearsed loading and offloading their equipment from transports, and practiced counter measures and troubleshooting techniques should a malfunction occur during the setup process.
The training allowed the Marines to learn individual roles when operating within a COC and prepared them to properly respond to any issues they might encounter, according to Lance Cpl. Shane L. Barks, a logistics and embarkation specialist with Landing Support Company, CLR-37, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“This training gives us more time to get to know each other,” said Barks. “We can learn how we work and be able to function properly as a unit.”
The Marines concluded the training fully confident in their abilities to construct and maintain a COC during a training event, exercise or real-world operation, according to Arboledapalacio.
“Now that we have gotten some practice in before we actually go, things should go (smoother),” said Arboledapalacio. “We can trust each other and our abilities.”