1st MEB, CAOC-Nellis participate in Marines Large Scale Exercise

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Pendleton, California, trained with Combined Air Operations Center-Nellis to enhance the Marines' command and control by integrating the air component into the largest annual Marine Corps, Large Scale Exercise-14 from Aug. 8 to 14, 2014.

More than 5,000 Marine Corps and Canadian forces participated in the exercise at Twentynine Palms, California, with a combination of live, virtual and constructive assets, CAOC-N and personnel from the Marine Air Ground Task Force staff at Quantico, Virginia provided a robust and realistic higher headquarters focus on the integration of field maneuvers, command and control and air operations.

During the exercise, U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III, commanding general, 1st MEB, Camp Pendleton, California, visited the CAOC-N to see first-hand how the U.S. Air Force command and control operations enhanced the Marines' in the field.

The general met with Airmen from the 505th Test Squadron, 505th Combat Training Squadron and 260th Air Traffic Control Squadron at CAOC-N before returning to the field in southern California.

"We want to have great integration such as this because in the future we will fight as a joint or combined force," Mundy said. "We want to see more [integration exercises]."

LSE-14 is the second in a series of exercises designed to test Marines and coalition partners in full spectrum of joint or combined combat operations against a simulated near-peer enemy force with an emphasis on command decision making, airspace control, targeting and decisive engagement.

CAOC-N was integral to providing operational level command and control and worked closely with tactical Marine and Canadian forces throughout the planning development as well as daily execution.

Members of the 505th TS echoed the same sentiments and benefited greatly from the joint exercise.

"The Marines have been planning and training for many months. This major combat exercise is sort of their graduate level exam and we were happy to provide them the opportunity to interface with an experienced and professional Air Operations Center," said Terry Simo, 505th TS CAOC-N test director.

According to Lt. Col. Aaron Hatch, 505th TS director of operations, training such as this alongside other joint services, in partnership with coalition allies, is vital because future real-world operations will demand close cooperation and integrated planning.

LSE-14 provided a perfect opportunity to test joint and coalition relationships in a robust and dynamic manner that only served to prove that these types of complex exercises are critical to ensuring warfighters are prepared for tomorrow's challenges.

The 505th Command and Control Wing stands ready to support future joint large scale exercises and looks forward to demonstrating their skills as one of the premier Air Operations Centers in the U.S. Air Force.

Editor's note: Lt. Col. Aaron Hatch, 505th TS director of operations contributed to this article.