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Members of the West Coast Marine Executive Forum take a closer look at an F/A-18 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 7. The forum established working relationships between Marines and senior leaders from Seattle in conjunction with Marine Week Seattle, slated for Aug. 5-11.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Michelle Piehl

Marine Corps Executive Forum brings Seattle-based leadership to Southern California Marine bases

14 Mar 2013 | Lance Cpl. Michelle Piehl

The Marine Corps Executive Forum, in conjunction with Marine Week Seattle, visited Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 7.

The visit marked the inaugural West Coast MCEF, explained Capt. Maureen Dooley, the Marine Week Public Affairs Officer with Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, D.C. The forum is a Commandant of the Marine Corps initiative to educate civilian leadership to a greater knowledge of Marine Corps operational capabilities, as well as current and future initiatives.

During the visit to the Miramar air station, executives, government workers and community leaders from the Seattle region began their visit with an interactive brief with the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Maj. Gen. Steven Busby.

“Marines are always ready, always alert,” Busby said to the leaders. “The Navy/Marine Corps team provides options for you and your leaders.”

Busby expanded upon this thought by giving the leaders a brief overview of the Marine Corps tactical capabilities at home and abroad.

The Marine Corps, he explained, is a middle-weight force, enabling Marines to spring into action quickly, all the while maintaining the solid structure to be a force in readiness. This versatile capability of the Marine Corps can be attributed to the powerful Marine Air Ground Task Force structure, he continued. The MAGTF is a scalable task force consisting of a command element, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element, and combat service support element. This unique structure optimizes the Corps for self-sustainment and readiness.

“The Marine Corps provides you and the nation a bridge between heavy combat forces, like that of the Army, and the light environment of special operations,” Busby told the leaders.

While highlighting the uniqueness of the Marine Corps, Busby detailed the war fighter’s readiness.

“Any Marine that you ask, ‘what sets you apart from others,’ first and foremost, they will say they are Marine riflemen first,” said Busby. “We believe in the individual Marine. That is at the heart of who we are. We significantly empower Marines at all levels. We’re fantastic mentors because we push things down to the lowest level and expect them to lead.”

Following the brief with the commanding general and a short presentation on energy conservation efforts aboard the air station, the Seattle leadership traveled to the flight line for a hands-on of an AH-1Z Viper, MV-22B Osprey and F/A-18 Super Hornet.

Although Seattle has a large military presence, most of the leadership had little to no contact with the Marine Corps prior to the event.

“Our city wants to roll out the red carpet for the Marines’ visit in August [for Marine Week Seattle], said Dick Reed, the assistant chief of the Seattle Police Department. “I think it’s really important for the citizens of Seattle and the region to understand the people that wear the uniforms and serve their country.”

Reed was not alone in his enthusiasm for the executive forum, and the upcoming Marine Week Seattle.

“This is a real treat to show who we are,” said Busby of the overall experience. “The [leaders] I’ve talked to are appreciative. That’s the return we are looking for; so they know who we are, what we are and how we do it.”

Following their time aboard the air station, the forum traveled up North and wrapped up the day exploring the ground-side capability of the Marine Corps at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.