September 6, 2012

On the Horizon: Exercise Pacific Titan

Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
Desert Warrior Staff

A Yuma-based aircraft group is slated to use a support squadron in its training operations at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Sept. 9-14.

Marine Aircraft Group 13 will see itself using assets with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, which fell under the MAG’s command recently, and participating in simulated deployment scenarios in exercise Pacific Titan.

MWSS-371 now operates under MAG-13 as part of the Corps’ efforts to streamline ground and aviation assets into larger commands.

“We’ll be providing aviation ground support for the MAG and flying squadrons,” said 1st Lt. Steven Richardson, MWSS-371’s Pacific Titan Mission Commander and a native of Chicago, Illinois.

The aviation squadrons will include Marine Attack Squadron 214, Marine Attack Squadron 311 and Marine Attack Squadron 513. Also lending aviation and command support will be Marine Air Control Squadron 1.

“We’re going to get back to what Marines are known for doing; being able to go out and accomplish our mission anywhere,” said Sgt. Joel Flores, a MAG-13 Marine Air Ground Task Force planner and a native of Oakland, Calif.

The training will include professional development type courses and basic Marine skills classes. Ground operation training will include land navigation, compass and map reading, use of force and interior guard type tactics.

Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear practice will be going on early in the week. Nearing the end of Pacific Titan, the Marines will be going through a CBRN endurance course. The obstacle course will have them donning Mission-Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear and training for casualties in a hostile environment.

“We’ll also have MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) going on every day,” said Flores. “The Harriers (AV-8B) will also be going through exercises, landing at Red Beach (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) and going through refueling procedures.”

“Typically, Harriers don’t operate out of Red Beach. Only a few of the MAG-pilots have flown in that area,” said Richardson.

For the MAG, the main portion of Pacific Titan will be setting up the combat operations center and exercising tactical command and control of the Harriers that will be flying and landing at the vertical take-off and landing pad.

“Most junior Marines – this is their first duty station – will be operating in their first field-type environment past what they did at MCT (Marine Combat Training),” said Flores.

Getting used to a new environment, setting up the site and getting all the networks up and running helps provide MAG-13 Headquarters with a closer look at what conducting day-to-day business in the field is like.

“This is to remind people that Marines can get the job done anywhere,” said Flores.

Pacific Titan is slated to begin Sept. 9.

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