MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marine Aircraft Group 12 intelligence, operations and communication shops conducted command and control systems course training, Oct. 20, during the three-week long MAG- 12 Operation Center exercise at the Penny Lake Fields here.
“Training like this is a perishable skill,” said John W. Lynch III, Combat Operations Center specialist, Marine Integrated Systems Training Center Okinawa, Japan. “Being able to do it here in our home station where we live and work allows us to stay sharp at that skill.”
Marines were trained on two different opperating systems.
“Today we’re looking at C2PC (Command and Control Personal Computer) and Command Post of the Future (CPOF),” said Lynch. “The unit’s operations clerks, logistics clerks and Intel clerks are learning how to use these systems in order to provide situational awareness in the battlefield.”
C2PC is used as a tool to track friendly units by displaying a common operating picture, referred to as an overlay, of unit activity. CPOF is an executive-level decision support system that provides situational awareness and collaborative tools to assist with decision making.
“Marines are smart; they’re motivated and have a lot of ingenuity going on, but sometimes they’re not aware of a system, application or network that gives them rapid access to information that can just make them much more efficient at what they’re doing,” said Lynch.
Combined, these systems provide commanders with a clear overview of unit and enemy activity, which can be productively used for a wide range of possibilities such as identifying rally points, tracking unit movement, indentifying previous attack locations and much more.
“If you were going to OIF or OEF, you would see that every battalion, regiment, group and squadron has some place where they’re executing command and control, sharing information with our coalition partners and also providing information back to our higher headquarters wherever that may be,” said Lynch.
The Marines were intentionally given the training in the COC of the MOC to bring the Marines closer the deployed experience.
“This brings us closer to what we’re going to do in real life. The classroom is nice and comfortable and air conditioned, but if we’re going to the Southern Philippines or Thailand for example, we’re going to have to take our own air conditioning and power. We’re goin to have to set up everything from scratch, and this allows us to duplicate that capability,” said Lynch. “If we do this repeatedly, it becomes a very simple process to conduct expeditionary warfare.”
C2PC and CPOF are systems more commonly used by intelligence and operations Marines; however, communications was trained to familiarize the computer savvy Marines with a universally-used computer system.
“It allows other Marines outside this (military occupational specialty) to get the knowledge on how to make overlays, so if they’re ever put in that situation or predicament, they’ll know how to do this,” said Lance Cpl. Justine McPeters, MAG-12 warehouse clerk.
Although intelligence and operations functioning systems, it’s not uncommon for their Marines to be unfamiliar with these systems, which is the primary reason MAG-12 conducted this training.
“You can use C2PC to build intelligence products, plan future operations and manage current operations, which are S-2 (intelligence) and S-3 (operations) functions,” said Capt. Joseph M. Zane, communications officer in charge. “If it has to do with computers, people will usually ask (communications) questions, so it’s important for them to sit in
on the training and know the basics of these systems.”
Several of the Marines attending said they would like to see this information passed more frequently, especially to junior Marines coming in.
“I hope we get a chance to do this more often,” said Zane. “We really need to get out here as much as we can.”
MAG-12 will conduct various training evolutions within the MOC throughout October.