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A U.S. Navy landing craft, air cushion is marshaled into the USS Arlington carrying tactical vehicles during Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission rehearsals at Naval Base Norfolk, Virginia, July 21, 2021. Marines and Sailors with the II Marine Expeditionary Force Maritime DSCA Task Force, commanded by Combat Logistics Battalion 22, and Sailors aboard the USS Arlington conducted a destructive weather mission rehearsal loading exercise to prepare and rehearse for a future DSCA mission during the 2021 hurricane season.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins

Blue-Green Destructive Weather Rehearsal

27 Jul 2021 | Courtesy Story II Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marines and sailors with the 2nd Marine Logistics Group and Expeditionary Strike Group 2 took part in a rehearsal for the upcoming hurricane season which fulfilled Defense Support of Civil Authorities requirements at Naval Base Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, from July 19 to 23.

The exercise certified the rapid embarkation of Marines and sailors with the II MEF Maritime DSCA Task Force aboard the Norfolk-based USS Arlington, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, to validate deployment requirements in preparation for future destructive weather events along the East Coast.

The USS Arlington, assigned to ESG 2, provided naval assets, such as multiple landing craft, air cushions, which enabled the II MEF Maritime DSCA Task Force to exercise logistical procedures essential for a DSCA Mission. The integration leveraged collective capabilities, expanding employment options and increasing mutual interdependence.

"This week's DSCA LOADEX showcased a task force ready to respond when called upon." Rear Adm. Robert Katz, ESG 2 Commander

"This is largely due to good planning, hard work, and the seamless synchronization our Marines and sailors displayed. I honestly could not be more proud of our Blue-Green team," said Rear Adm. Robert Katz, ESG 2 Commander.

During the exercise, Marines and sailors loaded vehicles and equipment onto an LCAC and delivered them to the USS Arlington, and unloaded crisis response gear onto the ship. They then reversed the process, taking everything back to shore.

The II MEF Maritime DSCA Task Force, commanded by Combat Logistics Battalion 22, is designed to respond to a destructive weather crisis within 96 hours in support of civilian authorities and is comprised of elements from throughout the Marine Corps Installations East region.

“Mission rehearsals, and other exercises similar to what is happening this week in Norfolk, help fine-tune our readiness,” said Lt. Col. Luke A. Sauber, commanding officer of CLB-22, “… and ultimately enable our ability to provide rapid aid to afflicted populations.”

This exercise provided Marines and sailors with realistic training, which taught personnel how to effectively respond to potential crises and the chaos caused by destructive weather along the eastern coast of the United States.


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