Marine Forces Europe demonstrate offload capability in Crete
SOUDA BAY, Greece — Marines and sailors of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe are concluding a nearly month-long exercise here which demonstrated the ability to produce combat power from maritime pre-positioned shipping (MPS), and leaders and observers alike deemed it to be a successful evolution.
"The Maritime Pre-positioning Force (MPF) Exercise conducted at Souda Bay was extremely important in that it allowed us to showcase, in detail, a major capability to our allies in the region," said Col. Stephen M. Hoyle, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Marine Forces Europe.
As the Marine Corps service component for the U.S. European Command, MARFOREUR is responsible for the pre-positioning of equipment and supplies within its vast and varied area of responsibility. Directing the offload of weapons, vehicles, gear and sustenance needed to support a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) for 30 days is a key capability within that designation.
"The exercise accomplished three major items for the Marine Corps itself," said Hoyle. "It enabled Marines to conduct analysis on the new requirement to re-assemble armored medium tactical vehicle replacements (MTVRs) in order to gain an understanding of the impact this will have on doctrinal stand up times for a MEB. It helped us to develop business rules and procedures when utilizing wireless radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies to track assets. Finally, it enabled us to examine the feasibility of using a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) command element to command and control an MPF offload and provide those lessons learned back to the Corps."
As the lead agency, Marine Forces Europe was pleased to host Lauri Tumm, Undersecretary for Defense Planning at Estonia's Ministry of Defense, who pointed out that our militaries must plan not only for the most likely scenario, but for the most demanding.
"There is no inherent conflict between collective defense and expeditionary capabilities," said Tumm. "Maritime pre-positioning is a very nice way of projecting force in a peaceful yet bold manner. Let's conduct business as usual, but let's conduct it in a prudent way."
Fellow Estonian Riho Rongelep, Director of Operations and Crisis Management, Estonia MOD, echoed the undersecretary's praise for the cooperation displayed by Marines and sailors of the numerous units taking part.
"There was admirable organization for an exercise of this nature, particularly the way different units were pulled together for the mission," said Rongelep.
In addition to MARFOREUR and the 15th MEU, participating units included the 4th Landing Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, Naval Beach Group 2, Military Sealift Command, Blount Island Command, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, and Maritime Pre-positioning Ship Squadron 2.
Counterparts from other partner nations in the NATO alliance, also on hand to observe in order to further their own logistical capabilities, came away impressed by the experience.
"The Marines were very professional in trying to build up this heavy equipment for the first time from these ships," said Latvian Capt. Didzis Veidenbaums, Section Senior Officer of the Department of Special Support and Transportation, Latvia Ministry of Defense (MOD). "Everyone was familiar with what they had to do. There was no confusion."
"To see how it's all contained in pre-positioned shipping, and to talk to people actually doing the offload - the sergeants, the corporals - and getting their perspective, that was a highlight for us," said Valdis Bucens, Head of Mobilization and Host Nation Support Planning for Latvia MOD.
"This was a really good example of military-to-military cooperation," added Bucens.
Find more articles tagged with:
- U.S. Naval Forces Europe
- ready forces
- Maritime Pre-positioning Force
- U.S. Marine Forces Europe
Several military exercises are scheduled to begin this month in the United States European Command area of responsibility
More than 100 Airmen and three C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, deployed to enhance bilateral defense ties with Polish armed forces members during a scheduled aircraft rotation to the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) departed Souda Bay, March 6, en route to conduct combined training and theater security cooperation engagements in the Black Sea with Romanian and Bulgarian Naval forces.
The U.S. 6th Fleet flag ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), with 300 Sailors and Military Sealift Command civil service mariners onboard, arrived in the Black Sea yesterday to conduct scheduled maritime security operations. USS Taylor (FFG 50) will arrive in the Black Sea today.
U.S. Navy joint, high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) arrived in Rota, Spain, Jan. 27, the first port visit in its maiden deployment. Spearhead's deployment will support partnership-building and maritime security efforts in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of West Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea.
Guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) departed the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations, after more than six months on station conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation off the Horn of Africa, Jan. 9.
Top U.S., Romanian and NATO officials broke ground Monday on a new ballistic missile defense facility being built to boost regional stability and strengthen the alliance's collective security stance.
Juniper Stallion 13 was a combined, bilateral F-15/F-16 air-to-air exercise designed to improve the interoperability and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli air forces. Noble Melinda 13 was an annual bilateral maritime exercise focusing on explosive ordnance disposal and other underwater operations.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomes Greek Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos upon his arrival at the Pentagon, July 30, 2013. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the two leaders discussed issues of mutual strategic importance in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, including Egypt and Syria
“Diving is unique, because your life depends on your fellow divers. Working together helps to increase interoperability of these different navies and therefore builds up trust and friendship.” -Lt. Cmdr. Gary Hunter U.S. exercise planner for EP Dive 2013