II MEF participates in two week field exercise focusing on strategic aspects of training operations

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) – One of the largest units aboard Camp Lejeune has been out in the field training in preparation for a possible deployment.

Nearly 400 Marines are participating in the two-week long exercise, all in hopes of making sure every piece of the puzzle is in place when they deploy.

For the first time in four years, II MEF’s command is rehearsing its large-scale training operation. One of the main differences from typical field training exercises is that this operation starts at headquarters and makes its way down.

“A lot of what people see is the Marine on the ground conducting the mission. They don’t see the layers removed of planning and coordination that happens before we ever depart on that mission,” said Lt. Dani Phillips with II MEF Public Affairs.

They are tasked with operating the same equipment they would use in real-world operations while covering all aspects of combat from air to ground to behind the computer screen. The goal is to be prepared to fight the enemy from any offensive.

“Here this is an exercise. Where if you’re going to make a mistake, this would be the place to make that mistake because you’re not on a battlefield,” said Maj. Brandon Cooley, a future operations officer with the 2nd Marines Logistics Group.

And to simulate this real-world operation, they were able to bring in a liaison from the United Kingdom’s Royal Marine Force to integrate with II MEF.

Marines say it’s this type of training that helps them be prepared for anything in battle.

“If we were to deploy tomorrow, it means we’ve gained those relationships. We’ve created synergy amongst all the mse’s here,” said Maj. Mark Fowler with the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Lt. Phillips says the training allows a unit of this size to deploy at a moment’s notice.

The exercise will continue through Thursday. On Friday, the Commandant of the Marine Corps will review the exercise’s efficiency.

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