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July 12, 2012

General gets front row seat for Exercise Javelin Thrust

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Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
Desert Warrior Staff

Brig. Gen. James Hartsell, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding officer for Exercise Javelin Thrust, is briefed by Maj. Theodore Batzel Jr., Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 detachment commander, before an orientation indoctrination flight on an AH-1W Super Cobra at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, July 7. “To be able to see what I saw today, from the front seat of a Cobra, gave me a better understanding and perception of what I’m asking my pilots to provide my Marines on the ground,” said Hartsell.

As Exercise Javelin Thrust 2012 completes its final week of air-ground task force training, Brig. Gen. James Hartsell, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade commanding officer, met with Marines from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma July 7.

Javelin Thrust 2012 is an annual, large scale U.S. Marine Corps training exercise that builds the interoperability between active and reserve aviation, ground and service support forces to improve contingency, disaster relief and combat operations.  New for this year’s exercise, in an attempt to improve planning, command and control among active and reserve units, reserve units are training underneath the cognizance of an active duty command.

“Between Twentynine Palms and Yuma, we have over 5,000 Marines working together on this large scale exercise,” said Capt. Kevin Hyde, a public affairs officer with MAG-49 and a native of Philadelphia, Penn.

The command element for this year’s Exercise Javelin Thrust is the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. The ground element is composed of 25th Marine Regiment, Fort Devens, Mass. while the air combat element is Marine Aircraft Group 49, based out of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.  The logistics element is Combat Logistics Regiment 4 based out of Kansas City, Mo.

Hartsell came out to meet and speak with HMLA-773 Marines in an effort to get a better understanding of, and show his great appreciation for, their hard work.

After shaking Marine’s hands and getting set up for his first ride in an AH-1W Super Cobra, Hartsell was ready to take flight with his pilot, Maj. Theodore Batzel, Jr., HMLA-773 detachment commander.

“We went on an orientation indoctrination flight,” said Batzel.

Hartsell spent about an hour in the air with Batzel, going over tactical, rearming and refueling procedures.

“To be able to see what I saw today, from the front seat of a Cobra, gave me a better understanding and perception of what I’m asking my pilots to provide my Marines on the ground,” said Hartsell.

For Hartsell, the opportunity to get a first-hand look into how his Marines are training in Yuma was very important, as was showing his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the MCAS Yuma community for providing outstanding support and being great hosts.




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