MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 22 conducted a recall for a humanitarian assistance and mass casualty exercise, which began aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 14, 2010, after assuming the role as part of a Global Response Force.
The night before the training evolution began, CLB’s leadership recalled 284 Marines with 63 of them simulating a quick response, time-critical mission.
“The recall itself was very successful,” said 1st Lt. Ronald Hageman, the engineer platoon commander, the humanitarian assistance representative and Springfield, Ohio, native. “It started off at [9 p.m.] with all sections getting a hold of everyone and telling them to show up at [6 a.m.] with a certain gear list.”
Hageman also added that the unit notified and accounted for all of its Marines in approximately an hour and a half.
The humanitarian assistance and mass casualty exercise began early on Camp Lejeune with the CLB Marines boarding buses bound for Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., where a C-130 Hercules from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 waited.
With rifles and assault packs in hand, the Marines climbed into the aircraft’s hollow belly and prepared for a short flight to their final destination, Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, commonly referred to as Bogue Field, approximately 20 miles east of the air station.
“This exercise gives not just junior Marines but also Marines who have completed tours to Iraq and Afghanistan a different aspect of the Marine Corps,” said Hageman. “We are not just land-locked warfighters, but sometimes we [provide] humanitarian [assistance] and mass casualty capabilities too.”
More than half of the Marines that make up the battalion are new to the unit and for some, this was their first experience riding in the 175,000 pound Hercules.
“This was my first flight on a C-130 aircraft,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas S. Phass, a motor transportation mechanic with CLB and Bel Air, Md., native. ”I was not sure what to expect as I climbed into the [C-130], but it gained my trust during this training event.”
Phass also said he thought the lower tempo of this exercise was perfect for the Marines who are new to this experience.
The logistics battalion’s Marines also completed a couple other training missions to include a convoy leader’s course and future operations sight survey in Virginia throughout the week.
Combat Logistics Battalion 22 will attach to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit in December.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps’ smallest Marine Air-Ground Task Force, consisting of a ground combat element, an aviation combat element, a logistics element and a command element, which is commanded by a colonel and comprised of approximately 2,200 servicemembers ready to provide immediate response capabilities in a hostile or crises mission. While deployed, each MEU also incorporates two KC-130 aircraft available from the continental U.S. to support the unit’s operations abroad.
There are seven U.S. Marine Expeditionary Units located around the world with one in Okinawa, Japan, and three on each continental coast of the United States.
In the past, MEUs were referred to as Marine Amphibious Units due to their sea-based capability alongside a naval amphibious force. In 1988 ‘Amphibious’ was replaced with 'Expeditionary' to reflect the Marine Corps' changing role in national defense and theater security.