NEW ORLEANS --
This year, 14th Marine Regiment deployed small teams of Marines as a part of Force Artillery Headquarters detachment in support of multiple bilateral and joint training exercises.
According to Maj. Kyle Lynch, a fire support coordinator with 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, FAHQ is unique to 14th Marines, requiring them to augment a Marine Expeditionary Force to help control and coordinate countersurface-to-surface long-range fires. It supplies the supported MEF commander with a means to command and control both Marine and Army tube and rocket artillery.
“This year, the FAHQ has been involved in a couple of different [international] exercises to directly support various elements, one being the III [Marine Expeditionary Force] in [South] Korea,” said Lynch.
“These overseas training evolutions where we are embedded with active component counterparts or elements that are involved in real-world operations are incredibly important to help build the skillset and provide exciting opportunities to serve." Maj. Kyle Lynch, a fire support coordinator with 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division
As the Marine Corps continues to focus its efforts on Force Design 2030 and the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility, coordination of long-range fires is essential for success in potential future conflicts. The total force continues to refine the stand-in forces concept, and FAHQ is one way the Reserve Component is contributing to that effort.
FAHQ also supported the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, Naval Forces Africa, and Marine Forces Europe and Africa during African Lion, a multilateral, joint exercise in various countries in Africa. Based in Naples, Italy, FAHQ Marines were embedded in the maritime operations center and supported complex coordination of fires from afar.
Deployments for annual training outside of the continental United States in support of large training exercises, such as Freedom Shield and African Lion, are key for FAHQ and its Marines to maintain proficiency and expand their skillset.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin
A U.S. Marine Corps High Mobility Artillery Rocket System assigned to HIMARS Detachment, Battalion Landing Team 1/4, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, fires a rocket during a theater amphibious combat rehearsal in Tabuk, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, March 8. TACR integrates U.S. Navy and Marine Corps assets to practice and rehearse a range of critical combat-related capabilities available to U.S. Central Command, both afloat and ashore, to promote stability and security in the region. The 15th MEU is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.
“The FAHQ provides a center where fire supporters can come and hone their craft for extended periods of time and develop continuity in those billets,” Lynch said.
He explained that FAHQ provides depth to the service by having a pool of capable fire supporters with a specific focus on long-range fires.
International exercises expose Marines with FAHQ to real-world processes and gives them experience beyond the tactical level. Training events involve coordination with multiple units and services, and often with multiple countries, to carry out long-range artillery fire, which will be key in potential future conflicts.
“These overseas training evolutions where we are embedded with active component counterparts or elements that are involved in real-world operations are incredibly important to help build the skillset and provide exciting opportunities to serve,” said Lynch. “The ability of Reserve Marines to stay in that skillset for years is of value to the service, whereas the active component rotates quite often. Marines in the FAHQ can hone their skills for five-plus years at a time and really focus on their primary MOS on the next level.”