MCAS Cherry Point News

 

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2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marines initiate and assist with flight requests during Wing Exercise 15 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Oct.13, 2015. Performing defensive and offensive measures to counter both traditional and irregular threats based on today’s real world adversaries, the Marines and Sailors learned to work together to accomplish various missions by conducting Tactical Air Command Center operations during Wing Exercise 15, at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, Oct. 13-16.

Photo by Cpl. U. Roberts

2nd MAW prepares for future engagements

16 Oct 2015 | Cpl. U. Roberts 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

The U.S. Marine Corps is the nation's crisis response force, forward deployed and poised to rapidly respond to crises within the arc of instability and within regions of anticipated future conflicts.

The ability to provide support from the air is predicated on the ability to bring airpower as close as possible to the fight. There isn't a force more capable of responding quickly in any environment around the world than the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. It is the adaptable, rapidly deployable nature of Marine Aviation that makes this possible.

Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing began refocusing training requirements on near-peer adversaries by conducting Tactical Air Command Center operations during Wing Exercise 16, at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Oct. 13-16.

“The idea behind the exercise was to train the battle staff,” explained Col. Kenneth Woodard, exercise director and 2nd MAW operations officer. “The MAW must be ready to deploy and employ as a wing-level headquarters in a major theater war … WINGEX provided us an opportunity to test the battle staff and prepare it for this requirement.”

The battle staff is composed of primary and special staff sections across the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. It supports the aviation combat element’s capability to operate, plan and execute all functions of Marine aviation across the range of military operations.

While it is not possible to plan and be prepared for every future engagement, 2nd MAW plans to optimize its readiness and continuously enforce and maintain standards in an effort to increase the capability of defending the homeland and supporting the ground combat element.

Although the exercise lasted four days, the planning phase and coordination required spanned 10 months. Marines assigned to battle staff positions participated in operational planning teams requiring staff input across the entirety of 2nd MAW.  In effort to make the constructive simulated exercise realistic, planners from the II Marine Expeditionary Force Battle Simulation Center integrated the ground combat element, logistics combat element as well as higher commands such as II MEF and host nation militaries, forcing the ACE Marines to coordinate not only among themselves, but also across the entire MAGTF.

Performing defensive and offensive measures to counter both traditional and irregular threats based on today’s real-world adversaries, the Marines and Sailors learned to work together to accomplish various missions.

“Working with the different agencies across the wing and outside entities was a major takeaway from this exercise,” explained Capt. Kevin Tingley, the future operations rotary wing planner.  “It allowed many of us who haven’t actually deployed in this capacity to truly see the inner workings of what makes the MAGTF work.”

While the purpose of the exercise is to strengthen war-fighting capabilities, the exercise will help key personnel identify training achievements and deficiencies to prepare for future combat operations.

“After several years of sustained combat operations, we need to continue training and executing our mission requirements so that we can ensure we are equally as responsive tomorrow, as we were in past operations,” said Maj. Gen. Gary Thomas, 2nd MAW commanding general. “Outstanding support to the MAGTF is a mindset. There is a global demand for forces to remain ready, and if we are going to do something, we are going to do it well. This exercise speaks to the quality of the battle staff’s preparation and execution to make it happen.”

Although WINGEX has come to an end, the continuous training and betterment of 2nd MAW Marines and Sailors will continue to evolve when 2nd MAW participates in the II MEF-wide exercise, next year. Nonetheless, if the nation calls for the rapid insertion of ground units or the need for close air support -- the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing will be there to answer the call.


Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point