Marines from across 2nd Marine Division participated in Tent Exercise 1-19 on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Feb. 4-15.
The two-week-long exercise focused on optimizing 2nd Marine Division’s ability to command and control subordinate units, while also ensuring that the headquarters is able to move quickly around the battlespace. The ability to rapidly break down and re-establish a combat operations center in a field environment is essential to the effectiveness and survivability of the command element.
“Conducting training like TENTEX allows us to set up and tear down a forward CoC expediently and efficiently,” said 2nd Lt. Daniel Chiu, a communications officer with Headquarters Battalion, 2nd MarDiv and the range safety officer for TENTEX. “This training allows us to be a more mobile, deadly, and formidable fighting force.”
According to Chiu, this training is essential to the division’s ability to exercise command and control in a contested or degraded environment, where the ability to communicate may be impeded.
“Working in a field environment is beneficial because we get the opportunity to hone our skills without having the comforts of being back in the rear,” said Cpl. Michael Waniewski, a field radio operator with HqBn, 2d MarDiv.
“Repeatedly tearing down and setting up these tents puts us into a mindset that gives us that training in our bones, and muscle memory to where if something were to pop off in the middle of the night, we know what is expected of us.”
Marines with the battalion repeatedly set up and tore down various configurations of two forward CoCs over the course of the training to maintain operational readiness and an expeditionary mindset.
“The Marines here have an understanding of what is needed and required of them and the constraints that we as a Marine Corps are facing,” said Chiu. “I think it’s essential that everybody within our ranks, from the bottom to the top, understands that we have a mission to accomplish under time constraints.”