Marines and sailors of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade command element have mobilized to establish a command center in the mountains of Bridgeport, Calif., to practice for a crisis response.
The Camp Pendleton-based unit is functioning as the higher headquarters for elements of 4th Marine Division, Air Wing and Logistics Group training at several locations throughout the western United States during Javelin Thrust 2011, the largest Marine Corps Reserve exercise of the year.
Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, commanding general of 1st MEB, has tactical control of more than 5,000 reserve Marines and sailors during this exercise.
“Javelin Thrust 2011 is a perfect opportunity for 1st MEB to enhance our expeditionary nature and gain proficiency in the skills it takes to provide a rapid response force,” said Spiese. “Our frequent training keeps us ready for the call when the nation needs us.”
First MEB is what the Commandant of the Marine Corps calls a “middleweight” force, light enough to leverage the flexibility and capacity of amphibious ships, yet heavy enough to operate independent of local infrastructure and accomplish the mission.
Larger than a Marine Expeditionary Unit but smaller than a Marine Expeditionary Force, a MEB is a flexible-size force that is capable of self-sustained operations in austere environments from deserts to mountains. Its command element can deploy quickly on short notice to any place in the world to provide command and control for a wide range of contingencies, from combat to humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Article by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter, I MEF