BLOUNT ISLAND COMMAND, Fla. -- Approximately 350 Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, 65 service members with CLR-45, and roughly 400 sailors from multiple commands are participating in one of the largest Marine Prepositioning Force Exercises that has ever been held aboard Marine Corps Support Facility-Blount Island in Jacksonville Fla., Aug. 10—Sept. 9.
This is the third iteration of the MPFEX, which affords service members an opportunity to learn all of the procedures involved in unpacking and preparing a ship full of equipment to re-supply ground forces.
“Every ship in the prepositioning program comes to Marine Corps Support Facility-Blount Island every three years to conduct maintenance on equipment and the ship,” said Phil Coulson, the prepositioning officer with II Marine Expeditionary Force. “By asking the ship to come to MCSF-BI earlier than scheduled, we can conduct a full-ship offload without having to cover fuel costs [thus] saving the American tax payer thousands, if not millions of dollars, and getting more training than almost any other prepositioning exercise in the world.”
MPFEX exercises of the past have been mainly the “blue-green” team between the Marine Corps and Navy, and that relationship is still strong during this repetition, but MPFEX 2015 will also see service members traveling to Ft. Stewart, Ga., with some of the offloaded cargo for joint training with the Army.
“Getting the equipment off the ship and preparing it for operations is one thing, but to actually use that equipment for training is a step beyond what we’ve done in the past,” Coulson said.
The training being conducted here at Marine Corps Support Facility-Blount Island and the training at Ft. Stewart will ensure mission essential tasks are being met, and standards of readiness are being maintained.
“The Marine Corps is all about creating decision space for our nation’s leaders, and to be ready when the nation calls,” said Col. Kevin J. Stewart, the commanding officer of CLR-25. “Marine prepositioning is a strategic asset for our nation and this [exercise] will ensure that we’re ready when called upon to execute.”