SAN DIEGO — Fresh 7-ton tire tracks in the sand and the hum of engines in the distance mark the conclusion of exercise Brilliant Scepter 2014 aboard Coronado Island, Calif., Feb. 13 – 19.
Brilliant Scepter is an amphibious exercise that trains Marines and Sailors to on-load and off-load military equipment, tactical vehicles and personnel to deployed ships. Marines with 1st Marine Logistics Group conducted the exercise with Sailors from the USNS Bob Hope.
“Most of my Marines have not had the opportunity to participate in ship-to-shore operations before,” said Maj. Jennifer Simpson, company commander, General Support and Motor Transportation Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st MLG. “They were able to familiarize themselves with the concept and how things should work when deployed in an expeditionary environment.”
The training gave Marines the confidence to perform their job, despite challenges they faced from the dangerous sea states that cut their training time by two days.
“We have an operation coming up in Jordan and this training gives me an idea of what to expect,” said Lance Cpl. Morgan Whitmer, landing support specialist, Landing Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st MLG.
The Marines are slated to conduct training in Jordan, during which they will execute similar training with the Jordanian military during exercise Eager Lion 2014.
For some Marines, training during Brilliant Scepter is their first field exercise where they can take the skills that they learn in their schools and apply them in a real-world environment.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Lance Cpl. Tara Fisher, motor transportation operator, Motor Transportation Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 5. “I’ve never been in a field exercise before, and I feel like it was extremely helpful. I’m really thankful to the [noncommissioned officers] and everyone here for teaching us and giving us the confidence to do this in the upcoming exercise we are [slated to be a part of].”
Altogether, Simpson believes the Marines under her command appreciated the change of scenery and the opportunity to participate in valuable training to prepare them for, not only the upcoming exercise Eager Lion 2014, but also to operate amphibiously in an expeditionary environment regardless of the mission.