Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- Marines with Marine Air Support Squadron 1 conducted a Marine Air Command and Control Systems Training Exercise at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue Jan. 21-28.
Partnering with Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 and the Tactical Air Operations Center, MASS-1 developed the unit capabilities required to operate in a deployed and austere environment. Living and working in tents, without the amenities of garrison infrastructure, gave MASS-1 a sense of the rigors of operations while deployed, according to Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the direct air support drill.
“The purpose of this MISTEX drill is for the Marines to interact with the different entities they would be with in a deployed environment,” said Hernandez.
During direct air support center drills in garrison, MASS-1 simulates a deployed environment virtually, using computers to coordinate notional missions. During MISTEX, however, Marines take to the field and simulate only aircraft and ground forces in an exercise.
To simulate a deployed environment, MASS-1 pitched tents at Bogue Field where they slept, ate, and worked. The training gave the Marines a chance to understand the overall impact direct air support has in support of possible future operations.
“I want my junior Marines to realize that one day what we practice can and will affect someone else, it’s real,” said Cpl. Juan J. Hernandez II, an air support operations Marine with MASS-1.
Exercises like MISTEX give junior Marines a preview of what deployed operations require and help MASS-1 sharpen their skills for future operations and exercises, said Hernandez II.