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II Marine Expeditionary Force


II Marine Expeditionary Force

Operational Excellence. Readiness. Standards. Dignity and Respect.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
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Special Operations Training Group trains Marine Expeditionary Units and plays in key role in preparing and certifying them for deployment.  Their courses range from specialized demolitions and close-quarters battle to vehicle assault and assault climbing. Collectively, these courses piece parts of the force together. Each specialized course trains a specified number of Marines, assuring units have Marines trained for specialties they may need.

The finale to the workups is an exercise with the entire MEU. The comprising units come together after being trained as individual units and put all the pieces together. SOTG evaluates how well they perform and interact in a full-scale exercise. Upon completion of these workups, the MEU becomes certified ready to deploy.

The MAGTF Integrated Systems Training Center provides timely and relevant training in both the art and science of command and control to commanders, staffs, and individual Marines, in order to enable them to act more decisively and effectively than the enemy.

Classes range from 2 to 5 days.  The command and control training provided at MISTC East addresses mandatory pre-deployment training requirements.

There are 4 categories of training offered at the MISTC.

1. Operator Courses
Entry level classes designed to expose Marines for the first time to the command and control system he/she will operate.

2. Advanced Courses
Designed for Marines who have already completed the operator level course and desire a more in depth exposure to their command and control system.

3. System Administrator
Designed for Marines who will be responsible for maintainig their command and control system.

4. Leaders Courses
Designed for the unit's SNCOs and Officers who will be operating in their unit's Command Operations Center

Simulations and Simulators

- Simulations:

Virtual Battle Space (VBS)

VBS1 is a small unit tactical decision simulation that allows a unit of up to platoon strength to simulate tactical operations in a 3D virtual environment. VBS1 provides each Marine with a first-person view of the battlefield from both a mounted and dismounted perspective. VBS1 includes realistic modeling of visual appearance for terrain, troops, vehicles, weapons, and manmade structures. It permits employment of individual, crew served, and vehicular weapon systems with supporting air and surface fires. VBS1 can be used as a rehearsal and visualization tool for live field training.

VBS1 Lite
A specially licensed version of VBS1 is available to Marines for personal use. VBS1 Lite is a single player version of VBS1 that may be used to design and save multiplayer scenarios that may be saved to a thumb drive and then take to the Battle Sim Center for use as a multiplayer unit training scenario. VBS1 Lite permits Platoon Commanders, Squad Leaders, and Fireteam Leaders to design training scenarios to meet specific training objectives for their unit's needs. Assistance in developing scenarios is available from Battle Sim Center Staff. Copies of the installation program on CD are available at the Battle Simulation Center.

First-Person Rifleman's ViewFirst-Person Rifleman's View 

 Third-Person View
Third Person View

 Weapon Sight ViewWeapon sight view

 Binocular ViewBinocular View


VBS2 is the next generation of tactical decision simulation for the USMC. VBS2 will be fielded in the third quarter of FY-2007 and features higher visual resolution, fully articulated human movements, interaction with inanimate objects (pick up, load, move, dig, etc), and HLA compliance for the ability to network VBS2 virtual training with constructive simulations such as JSAF, JCATS, or MTWS used for staff command post exercises.

 VBS2 Beach


MAGTF Tactical Warfare Simulation

The MAGTF Tactical Warfare Simulation (MTWS) is a simulation system that provides exercise control services and tactical combat simulation to support the preparation and conduct of tactical exercises. The system supports field exercises involving actual combat units, command post exercises involving only command staffs and exercises using a combination of combat units and command staffs. MTWS supports multisided, free play simulation to permit the creation of a wide variety of tactical situations to challenge the command staffs in the decision-making process. The MTWS simulation capabilities offer the full range of MAGTF combat, combat support and combat service support applications, including amphibious operations. Some of the capabilities simulated in MTWS are:

Ground target detection by visual, sound, sensor and ground radar means

Air target detection by visual, IR, SLAR and photographic means

Target destruction by ground engagement, and supporting arms (air, fire support, Naval gunfire, cruise missile, etc.)

Intelligence play from ground and air reconnaissance sources

Logistic play, to include resupply, repair and medevac

MTWS provides the functionality required for controllers and operators to interact during the actual simulation of an exercise. The system provides the controller and higher staffs the capabilities to initialize, control and replay exercises. It provides the capability to create and modify an exercise data base. Thus, the user is able to interact with the MTWS system in a meaningful manner to create realistic tactical scenarios.

The CAN is a series of PC-based first person perspective fire support training simulations. Elements of it can be used in a stand alone mode, but the benefits are fully realized when used in a distributed networked model for training fire support teams (FiSTs). The CAN and its component parts are designed to allow Marines of all skill levels to develop and practice their combined arms and fire support skills on a variety of targets (both stationary and mobile). It can provide doctrinal feedback on calls made, and help novices correct errors. User settings can be easily adjusted to create more challenging missions so that students remain challenged as their skill level increases. The CAN is made up of stations for training the Forward Observer, the 81mm fire support coordinator, the Forward Air controller, and the Fire Support Team Leader. The CAN is part of the Deployed Virtual Training Environment (DVTE) suite of simulations.

Training Applications include:
Individual and FiST Supporting Arms Training
9 Line procedures (5 Line used to simulate AC130 training)
Familiarization with the different fire support equipment
Company Level Fire Support Teams (FiST)
Great for refresher training for those Marines who are rusty on their call for fire skills or for supporting team building and effectiveness of the FiST

FOPCSIM is the forward observer component of the Deployable Virtual Training Environment (DVTE) Combined Arms Network (CAN) that provides a training tool for integration of artillery and close air support with maneuver forces. It is a procedural trainer for artillery and mortar Call for Fire that provides scoring and feedback based on the standards of performance prescribed in the Training and Readiness Manuals for observed fire.

FOPCSIM uses a 3D visual representation of real world terrain (including MCAGCC, Tikrit Iraq, etc.) and an intuitive user interface to provide a training environment for doctrinal CFF procedures. 

Tactical Language & Culture Trainer (TLCT)
The Battle Simulation Center hosts desktop computer based training using the Tactical Language simulation trainers for Levantine Arabic and Pashto languages. These training applications run on individual desktop computers and offer Marines the opportunity to learn both the language and cultural customs of Iraq and southern Afghanistan in a self paced interactive environment. Tactical Language products are licensed via TECOM for use by Marines.

To download a copy of the software you must register at the www.tacticallanguage.com website and provide a military e-mail address (ending in .mil) to access the installation program. A broadband connection is also required as the installation program is 640MB.

Tactical Iraqi Language and Culture Trainer (TILCT)

Tactical Iraqi Language and Culture Trainer differs from commercially available language training software in that it focuses in the vocabulary and circumstances of interactions between Marines and Iraqi citizens in the context of the operational environment. Lessons cover the language and conversational skills necessary for a variety of situations from basic introductions and explaining the mission and duties of a guest, to conducting a cordon and search.

TILCT introduces new material in a Skill Builder format that includes hearing the spoken word by a native speaker, phonetic pronunciation, and the use of a microphone to practice speaking with immediate feedback on performance from speech-recognizer software.

The ROC series of trainers are designed to instruct Marines to recognize various battlefield hazards (IEDs, Suicide Bombers, and enemy vehicles). They are not the typical "page turner" computer based training. They offer videos and require user interaction in every exercise. The trainers have a pre and a post test so that students and staff can track their progress and account for the numbers of Marines who attend the training. Modules are short (~15 Minutes). Some are longer, some shorter.
The Combined Arms Planning Tool (CAPT) is currently a stand alone tool that can be used to enter and test all elements of your fire support plan. Doctrinal rules have been incorporated into the program, so that once the fire support plan is entered, CAPT runs a "rules based" test on the plan to identify potential trouble areas. Example: You moved a unit into a new sector before it had been cleared, or perhaps you had air traversing through your artillery arcs. There are efforts underway to integrate the data produced by CAPT to stimulate the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS).

Note: Due to the small file size, CAPT files (XML) can be sent easily through tactical networks. Companies can work their fire support plan, email the file up to the Battalion. The Battalion can input all companies' fire support plans and overlay its combined arms. If the Battalion discovers errors or coordination problems, the file can be easily sent back down to the company for resolution. This process could be repeated between the regiment and the battalion.

Camp Lejeune units often deploy to other military installations in order to conduct training in different environments.
Some of these military installations include:
Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California


Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California
Bridgeport, California 

Camp Dawson, West Virginia (Army National Guard)
Camp Dawson, West Virginia
Fort Pickett, Virginia (Army National Guard)
Fort Pickett, Virginia
Fort A.P. Hill (Army)
Fort A.P. Hill (Army)
Fort Bragg (Army)
Fort Bragg (Army)
Block III
This level is for logistics combat element and aviation support squadrons.

Block IV
This level is for maneuver battalions and flying squadrons.

Enhanced Mojave Viper

Mojave Viper is a 30-day service-level training exercise in 29 Palms, California.  The exercise consists of conventional air and ground combined-arms training and stability and support operations training. It prepares Marine battalions for war.


Enhanced Mojave Viper 


Early on in the exercise, Marines and Sailors attend classes on a multitude of subjects to include desert survival, high-risk capture procedures, and how to identify and avoid improvised explosive devices.

The battalion the experiences an onslaught of realistic training, such as live-fire movement/maneuver at the reinforced platoon and company sized level.

Finally, the battalion runs through combat scenarios in an artificial desert town housing more than 300 role players. The battalion gets the benefit of training in an urban environment against an opposing force whose methods are based on current enemy tactics, techniques and procedures.

Enhanced Mojave Viper 

Annual Training
Annual / Pre-deployment / Additional Training

Pre-deployment Training
PTP Took Kit


A will governs the distribution of a person's property upon his or her death.  A will is one of the most important documents a person can have because it specifically designates what happens to their property, and most importantly, dependent children, in the event of their death.
If someone dies without a valid will, their property is distributed and child custody is determined according to state law, and perhaps not in the manner most desired or favorable to interested parties, including the deceased.

For unmarried persons or those without dependent children, property is usually distributed to the designated next of kin even without the benefit of a will.

Anyone who desires a will should contact their local Legal Assistance Office. 

Legal Assistance Offices can be contacted at:
Legal Assistance Office: 910-451-7085
Legal Assistance Information Line: 910-451-1903


After completing the necessary skill builder lessons Marines can practice what they have learned in a 3D interactive game engine environment wherein they meet virtual citizens, establish a friendly rapport, and converse with them to meet their mission objectives. The virtual citizens are well developed artificial intelligence entities that can carry on conversations with the student by recognizing what is being said and making appropriate replies.
 Photo Language
 Photo Language
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives a person the authority to act as the agent of the person giving the POA in legal and financial matters.
There are two types of POAs:

1.  Special POAs grant the agent only those powers specified in the document for one or a specified series of transactions.

2.  General POAs grant the agent very broad powers.

A POA should only be given to a mature, trustworthy, and reliable person (preferably a close family member) and only for a limited duration with a specified date of expiration.

Although an individual has been granted a General POA, there may be instances where a Special POA is necessary to conduct specific transactions (i.e., to sell, purchase, or rent realty).  Individuals should consult their financial institutions to see what type of POA is necessary to for their agent to conduct transactions on their behalf.

Anyone who desires a POA should contact their local Legal Assistance Office.  The person to whom POA is given must retain the original to transactions to be valid.  Legal Assistance Offices can be contacted at: 
Legal Assistance Office: 910-451-7085
Legal Assistance Information Line: 910-451-1903

One of the biggest problems Marines, Sailors, and their families run into are pay-related.  Understanding the military pay system is key to avoiding such problems.  You can visit the DoD's Military Compensation web site for help in understanding the military pay system and seeing current pay rates.
In addition to their Basic Pay, Marines and Sailors receive certain entitlements and benefits they do not normally receive, and other entitlements may change because of their deployed status.  An overview of these entitlements and fluctuations are below:

1.  Family Separation Allowance (FSA):  FSA is payable to members with dependents who deploy outside the permanent duty station for 30 consecutive days or longer.  The amount payable is $100 per month.  Members who are legally separated and do not have custody of the children are not entitled to FSA.

2.  Commuted Rations/Basic Allowance for Subsistence (COMRATS/BAS):  COMRATS for enlisted Marines are deducted at the rate of $6 per day (around $180 per month) for all periods of deployment or field duty.  This is because they have meals provided to them.  Officer's BAS are likewise deducted for field exercises, but while deployed aboard ship, they will not lose their BAS because they are required to pay the Wardroom (officer mess hall) for all meals.

3.  Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH):  Under normal conditions, BAH will not be affected by deployments or field duty except where a member is receiving BAH Own Right (single members living out in town) and no longer incurs housing expenses during the deployment.

4.  Hostile Fire Pay/Imminent Danger Pay (HFP/IDP):  HFP/IDP areas are designed by the DoD.  These areas change periodically, so an area designated as HFP/IDP inclusive last month may not be a month later.  The amount payable is $150 per month, and if a service member is in the designated area for at least one day, they are credited for the entire month.

5.  Combat Zone Tax Exclusion (CZTE):  CZTE is an entitlement authorized for certain geographical areas designated by the DoD.  It simply means that the member does not pay Federal Tax for that month (the member still pays Social Security, Medicare, and State Taxes if applicable).  Like HFP/IDP, CZTE benefits are made by month so long as a member is in a designated area for at least one day.

6.  Flight Deck Duty Pay:  Members assigned to work on the flight deck (by written orders) will receive Flight Deck Duty pay.  This type of pay is considered a 'hazardous duty' pay and cannot be combined with any other 'hazardous duty' pay (such as Flying Duty for Non-Crewmembers).

7.  Career Sea Pay (CSP):  CSP is extended to all Marines and Sailors for every day they are deployed on ship.  The amounts vary depending on rank and total sea time.  All members regardless of rank will accumulate Career Sea time and Career Sea Pay. 

One of the biggest difficulties families have are the double use of funds.  For example, a Marine writes a check or withdraws money from the family checking account while deployed and are unable to let their spouse now right away.  The spouse then uses these funds which have already been accounted for.  Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence, and can force the family to incur significant late or penalty fees.

There are several ways to avoid this problem.  One is to open two checking accounts.  That way, one account will be for exclusive use by the deployed Marine or Sailor and the other for use by the family.

Also, there is the Split Pay option.  Split Pay is where a set amount is diverted to an account on ship where the Marine has direct access to it and avoids tapping into funds their family has already set aside or obligated.

All Marines are afforded the opportunity to place their personal effects, to include personally owned vehicles, in government sponsored storage prior to deployment or extended TAD. 

These procedures also apply when the specific tour length for contingency operations or emergency deployment is unknown by the individual's parent command, or when the individual's command has prescribed.

Commercial storage of personal effects for members of a unit deploying for a specific tour in excess of 90 days, or for tour of unknown length for contingency operations or emergency deployment is authorized. 

Personnel eligible for storage of personal effects / household goods include:
 Personnel residing in bachelor quarters.   

Single personnel authorized to reside off base (receiving BAQ in their own right) provide they forfeit their BAQ while in a deployed status. 

Geographical bachelors that reside off base (normally SNCO's and officers with dependents who have not set up family residence in the Camp Lejeune area and have not collected dependent's travel pay). 

Single parents (with legal custody of dependents) that must relocate dependents with relatives.

For more information visit the Camp Lejeune TMO site and click on "unit movement".

Financial counseling is available through base or station Family Services Centers.
In order to qualify for additional temporary forwarding time greater than 12 months, you must wait a minimum of 45 days before submitting an additional Change of Address order.

If the 45 day period does not work, you will need to submit a permanent Change of Address back to your original address when you return. (The 45 day gap is necessary in order to reduce the expenses associated with handling forwardable mail)

If you are not sure when you will return, please indicate your best estimate. If this date should change, please contact the local Post Office (for your old address) of the new date to stop forwarding the mail.

Another option is to use Premium Forwarding Service (PFS):
Premium Forwarding Service gives residential customers the option of having all of their mail reshipped on a predictable basis to a temporary address while they are away from home.  For a one-time enrollment fee and a nominal weekly reshipment fee, virtually all of the customer's mail will be packaged weekly and sent by Priority Mail® service to the temporary address.  Some items, such as Registered Mail® and Express Mail® are reshipped immediately upon receipt at the Post Office.  PFS can be used for a minimum of two (2) weeks or up to a maximum of one (1) year.  It provides customers an additional option to the current piece-by-piece temporary forwarding and Hold Mail services.
Some features of PFS include:

Most mail is forwarded once a week via Priority Mail®; some mail is reshipped separately, but immediately upon arrival at the primary address.

Your mail will be forwarded to you on a weekly basis if you are away for a minimum of two (2) weeks or up to one (1) year.

Your permanent address does not change and your temporary address is not provided to mailers.