MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit recently took part in II Marine Expeditionary Force’s Exercise Atlantic Response aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 21-23, 2012.
Exercise Atlantic Response is a simulation exercise designed to afford 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, a subordinate command to II MEF, the opportunity to exercise command and control during contingency operations.
The 22nd MEU provided a response cell for 2nd MEB, planning and conducting scenarios like amphibious raids, noncombatant evacuation operations and humanitarian assistance operations.
“The goal of the response cell was to simulate having a subordinate MEU for the MEB and provide them with realistic feedback,” said Capt. Kyle Lynch, assistant operations officer for the 22nd MEU, and a native of Rocky Mount, Va. “It gives [2nd MEB] an idea of what it would be like to exercise command and control during contingency operations.”
The 22nd and 26th MEUs’ response cells gave 2nd MEB two Marine Air-Ground Task Forces to employ as needed for multiple contingencies.
“It simulated what we would do in the event if the MEB had two MEUs floating off the coast of one country, how those relationships would work out and how the 2nd MEB staff would employ the two MEUs in that scenario,” said Capt. Jacob Hummitzsch, assistant logistics officer for the 22nd MEU.
The combined training is in preparation for Exercise Bold Alligator 13, a massive amphibious exercise that will employ the same command structure utilized in Exercise Atlantic Response. This exercise gave MEU and MEB personnel the chance to work together and simulate command and control for operational responses to crises.
“[2nd MEB] will be our higher headquarters for Bold Alligator,” said Hummitzsch, a native of Waukesha, Wis. “It’s more of a building block approach in building those command relationships.”
For the 22nd MEU, the exercise helped to give new staff members insight into planning for missions unique to the MEU and assimilated MEB forces.
“It was a good week of training,” said Hummitzsch. “We understand what our higher headquarters requires from us as a MEU and what their expectations are.”