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June 13th, 2014

U.S.M.C.—First Mobility Exercise For MTACS-28 (Comms)

[SatNews] Members of Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron 28 participated in their first mobility exercise June 2 - 4 in Sunset Park at Cherry Point, North Carolina.

Cpl. Ryan Madden works within Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron 28’s tactical air command center June 4 at Sunset Park at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. during a mobility exercise June 2-4. The exercise tested the squadron’s ability to move a tactical air command center, the main component, forward to support the ground scheme of maneuver. Madden is a tactical data systems administrator with the squadron.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Victor Arriaga

The exercise, held in preparation for the upcoming exercise Bold Alligator in October, tested the squadron’s ability to move a tactical air command center forward to support the ground scheme of maneuver.

“This exercise is important because as we are getting back to our amphibious roots, we need to be able to move quickly,” said Gunnery Sgt. Cliff Brown, the TACC chief within the exercise. “A TACC normally supports Marine Expeditionary Brigades or Marine Expeditionary Forces, and we don’t have the opportunity to train with that a lot, so we are just laying out the groundwork and fixing the bugs.”

A TACC is capable of possessing the ability to provide data link infrastructures, radar pictures, satellites and maintain visibility of all aircraft within the operational area. Along with the TACC, the exercise also contains components such as Humvees and modular extendable rigid wall shelters, which contain the display board, the eyes and ears that allow the commander to see what is going on, said Staff Sgt. Tremaine C. McCallum, the staff non-commissioned officer in charge of the exercise.

“The MOBEX and TACC will provide the wing commanding general with the command and control which will provide the accurate information needed to get the mission done,” he said.

The exercise allowed the Marines of MTACS-28 to brush up on perishable skills.

“The MOBEX is a huge benefit to the squadron because when we train to support a MEF-level contingency, we don’t get to really work with motor transport, utilities or S-4 as much as we would like to,” said Brown. “It’s going to really work the skills that haven’t been worked in a long time, because of the nature of the beast that we are normally going to support a higher level echelon.”

TACC’s are made up of coordinators and operators who work together for the exercise to run as smoothly as possible.

“Your coordinators are going to be your staff non-commissioned officers, and your operators are going to be your junior Marines,” said McCallum.

Cpl. Michael Allen, a TACC operator during the exercise, said he was one of many responsible for the coordination and movement of the TACC from one location to the other and believes the exercise is important for the squadron to grow.

“This exercise is important so we do not lose any of our skills, so when something happens in the real world, we don’t forget how to do it,” said Allen. “For our first MOBEX, this is going great. We set up the whole thing in a day and a half, and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Story by Lance Cpl. Victor Arriaga,
2nd Marine Aircraft Wing & Marine Corps, Air Station Cherry Point