U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. William Testorff with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, performs a radio check while on patrol during Samurai 20-1 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 22, 2019. The purpose of this exercise is to conduct battle drills that validate the 3rd Marine Division’s movement, setup of a combat operations center, force protection, and passage of command and control between supporting elements. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. David Staten)
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. William Testorff with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, performs a radio check while on patrol during Samurai 20-1 on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 22, 2019. The purpose of this exercise is to conduct battle drills that validate the 3rd Marine Division’s movement, setup of a combat operations center, force protection, and passage of command and control between supporting elements. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. David Staten)

3rd Marine Division conducts Exercise Samurai 1-20

by Sgt. David Staten
3rd Marine Division

Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan -- Over the past week, from Oct. 22-25, 2019, the 3rd Marine Division conducted Exercise Samurai 1-20, as part of an ongoing series of training to exercise command and control on the battlefield. The goal of Samurai 1-20 was to conduct battle drills that validate the 3rd Marine Division’s movement, setup of a combat operations center, force protection, and passage of command and control between supporting elements in a combat scenario.

Members with Marine Air Ground Task Force Integrated Systems Training Center assisted 3rd Marine Division in doing command and control training for their staffs, by utilizing command and control computer systems to help improve the 3rd Marine Division’s capabilities.

“That’s where the MISTC specializes,” said Jay Elliott, COC specialist with MISTC, Okinawa. “We take all the systems whether it’s Command and Control Personal Computer, Joint Battle Command-Platform, commands that are used across the spectrum and we ensure that commands know that they have them to use. They’re not trying to go old school with charts and darts. They’re using the systems that can simplify their tasks at hand.”

In this COC scenario, both the watch officers and watch chiefs have gone through MISTC training where they were trained as the leadership to drive an exercise and command the staff. Members of the MISTC team were assisting by injecting information coming from outside sources. This allowed the team to see how the battle staff took the information, processed the information, and how they worked and trained together as a staff.

“Training seems to be going well,” said 1st Lt. Aidan Fogarty, a ground intelligence officer with Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. “With the overall intent of having all the units synchronized, the setup of the division COC which will directly feed the information to commanding general is going smoother than the first time we ran this exercise.”

Exercise Samurai 1-20 allowed 3rd Marine Division to practice integrating emerging concepts and capabilities into their current procedures. By the end, Marines had a better understanding of their duties in a combat environment, which will help improve the division’s resiliency. Now, with this exercise completed, 3rd Marine Division is better prepared for future missions and complex, real-world operations.

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