MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment concluded a week of training with Marine Air Ground Task Force Integrated Systems Training Center Hawaii aboard Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Nov. 1, 2013.
The participants conducted various missions within an entirely simulated environment, including calling in a multitude of mortar and artillery strikes and air and ground support.
The mission of the MISTC is to train Marines in a timely and proficient manner as they master their abilities in both the art and science of command and control. This enables them to act more decisively and effectively than the enemy.
Still early in their training cycle, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines enlisted the help of MISTC Hawaii to train their Marines to become more familiar with current fire mission processes and procedures.
“Essentially, MISTC has helped us create a whole simulated scenario to include the application of fires,” said Capt. Christopher Frey, Weapons Company commander and fire support coordinator, and a 34-year-old native of Dickinson, Texas. “We established our (combat operations center) and provided fire support coordination to the white cell, which represents our guys out in the field.”
The white cell, which consists mainly of civilians and high-ranking service members, role-played as “Marines in the field.” The white cell, representing Companies A, B and C, received simulated fire missions from the COC. Information sent from the white cell made its way back to the COC and higher simulated commands.
Acting as a central hub, the COC was where Marines examined and reviewed information sent from the white cell. The purpose of the process was to provide better insight to the commander of what was going on, on the battlefield.
“Our job is simple. We help units with their training, throughout their training cycle, whenever they request us, and we stay with them as long as they need us,” said Garrett Sullivan, MISTC Hawaii director, and 44-year-old native of Houma, La. “The training we provide to a unit helps them know where their shortfalls are at, and we work together to improve those areas.”
To view their progress, the white cell and COC sat down with MISTC Hawaii specialists and discussed which processes the Marines were excelling in and which areas needed work.
“We always do after action reports when a unit is done with an exercise for the day,” explained Dave Bryan, MISTC Hawaii COC specialist and instructor, and 46-year-old native of Terre Hill, Penn. “We are the duty experts, so it’s our job to make sure they’re receiving the training they need.”
After the conclusion of operations and training within the simulated environment and COC, 1st Bn., 3rd Marines will continue to work with MISTC Hawaii.
“The Marines did a solid job of helping each other get accustomed to how we do things in the COC and ensured information got to where it was being sent throughout these scenarios,” Frey said. “We’re still early in our training cycle, but MISTC is providing us with good training, and we’re on track as we prepare for Lava Viper.”
Marine Air Ground Task Force Integrated Systems Training Center Hawaii encourages all units to use their services for support during training. More information and questions can be answered by contacting Gunnery Sgt. William Kaczkowski, MISTC Hawaii operations chief, at 257-8532.
“Training is only as good as the unit’s involvement in it, and we find that units who take advantage of MISTC receive a higher degree of training throughout their cycle,” Bryan said.
“We’re here to help, and that’s all we want to do. We want to see units take the training they’ve gained and succeed on the battlefield.”