CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- On a cold and windy open field of Landing Zone Bluebird, more than 1,500 Marines with 2nd Marine Division conducted a command post exercise Jan. 20-30, 2015. Marines with various units within 2nd Marine Division had different tasks to accomplish, but they all came together to form one ready task force.
Marines with the security force had an important job at the CPX in protecting the compound, but it goes much deeper than that.
“We provide security for the compound, including the division main command operations center,” said Gunnery Sgt. Shannon Farquhar, the CPX guard chief of security forces, 2nd Marine Division and a native of Hartland, Michigan. “Along with providing security for the unit, we will also conduct training for the security Marines, which includes life-saving skills, radio knowledge and brevity code regulations.”
These skills can be helpful for security Marines when forward deployed. Many of these skills are reinforced and built upon with knowledge they already have.
“We learned life-saving skills during classes with the Headquarters Medical Battalion, such as tourniquet training and casualty-evacuation drills,” said Cpl. Matt Rainer, a guard in the quick response force, 2nd Marine Division, and native of Jacksonville, Florida.
“Security forces also went over 9-line drills, salute report and ADDRAC, which is alert, distance, direction, range, activity and command. This helps give a description of targets while engaging during combat situations.”
Part of the job for security forces that guard the compound can be to form a quick response force, which can be used outside of the compound during enemy engagement. Knowing these vital skills can save many lives and conducting training here can instill skills and confidence in Marines.
“This helps immensely during the days we spent out here,” said Farquhar. “The Marines are given opportunities to increase their knowledge in security operations while in a controlled environment.”
Rainer was given an opportunity to train with the QRF in this CPX, and agrees that this helps units within 2nd Marine Division.
“It is a great learning experience. I enjoyed the training and the other Marines did too,” Rainer said. “This CPX is an eye opener for what may come during a deployment overseas.”
Security forces alone cannot complete the alone when forward deployed. It takes all Marines with various units to work together to become the force of readiness.
“This is a great training opportunity,” Farquhar said. “Each unit does their own training separately, and when we combine forces together we make the ready force that is needed to defend.”