Total Force effort alive and active at Tri-MEF 2001
By Staff Sgt. Luis P. Valdespino Jr.
| Marine Corps Base Hawaii | February 08, 2001
BLOUNT ISLAND, Fla. --
Whether noticed or not, a total force effort is the means by which missions are accomplished in the Marine Corps -- reserve and active duty Marines are working together.
In fact, about 50 reserve Marines ventured to Blount Island, Fla., for a weekend training exercise, Feb. 2-4, that enhanced the 2001 Tri-MEF Throughput Exercise which was also taking place aboard Blount Island at the time.
About 140 Marines and Sailors represented the three Marine Expeditionary Forces for the throughput exercise; a simulation of getting equipment from a ship, through a port and to the combat units, while keeping accountability of supplies and equipment. While they were being taught to use systems and equipment designed for keeping accountability, reserve Marines were quietly adding to the throughput exercise and getting experience for their own benefit.
Leathernecks assigned to 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Co., Marine Forces Reserve, Savanna, Ga., were offloading the Motor Vessel Williams, a maritime prepositioning ship.
"This provides active duty training that they (reserve Marines) don't get everyday," said SSgt. Renata Hogan, Transportation Management Chief and active duty Marine with 2nd BTO Co. The training is consistent with the duties the unit would be expected to perform "if we were ever called out there (activated)."
During the active-duty training weekend, the company was tasked with offloading more that 100 vehicles from the ship, said SSgt Jeremy Worley, 1st Longshoremen Platoon commander, 2nd BTO.
This particular offload training exercise provided the first such opportunity for the company in at least three months -- which added to its significance, said Hogan.
Worley said his Marines had expressed an appreciation for the opportunity "to do what they're trained to do."
The company offloaded vehicles and ammunition from the MV Williams throughout the weekend, enhancing the Marines' skills, continuing progress in the ship's regular offload (which is normally done by contracted civilians), and playing part in the training of the MEF Marines on-hand for the throughput exercise.
The offloaded vehicles were used in the Symbol Technology Scanning training for the throughput exercise classes.
But the skill-enhancement for 2nd BTO Co. Marines did not end with just a weekend demonstration of the Corps' total force effort. Hogan said the company will continue visiting Blount Island for similar off-loading training at least every other month until July, when 2nd BTO Co. Marines will participate in their two-week active duty training.
Blount Island Command is aboard a leased portion of the island, just north of Jacksonville, Fla. The Navy and Marine Corps use the island as a place to regenerate from a maritime prepositioning force ship equipment and supplies in need of repair or replacement.
The 2001 Tri-MEF Throughput exercise began on Feb. 1, and ended on Feb. 7.