Marine Unit to Practice Disaster Preparedness

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2011 — Fleet Week-San Fran­cis­co is more than just a chance for lib­er­ty in a world-class city, it’s also an oppor­tu­ni­ty for Marines to prac­tice their dis­as­ter-response capa­bil­i­ties, said Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, the com­man­der of the 1st Marine Expe­di­tionary Brigade.

Spiese’s Camp Pendle­ton, Calif.,-based unit will prac­tice pro­vid­ing dis­as­ter response and human­i­tar­i­an aid as part of Fleet Week activ­i­ties Oct. 6 to 11. 

In Sep­tem­ber, the brigade will board the ships of the Expe­di­tionary Strike Group 3 to take part in Exer­cise Dawn Blitz. “It will be a large­ly amphibi­ous and con­ven­tion­al war sce­nario, where we’ll be work­ing land­ing plans and pro­ject­ing pow­er ashore,” Spiese said in a recent interview. 

“We will tran­si­tion from that into San Fran­cis­co Fleet Week,” he said. “The 1st MEB’s flag will sail north and we will be the head­quar­ters run­ning all the Marines who are par­tic­i­pat­ing in Fleet Week.” 

The city has been using Fleet Week to exer­cise mil­i­tary sup­port to civ­il author­i­ty in the event of a nation­al disaster. 

San Fran­cis­co is on a penin­su­la right along the San Andreas Fault. The entire area is earth­quake country. 

“I think a sig­nif­i­cant earth­quake in San Fran­cis­co could be cat­a­stroph­ic,” Spiese said. “The road net­works could become eas­i­ly prob­lem­at­ic as well as sig­nif­i­cant infra­struc­ture prob­lems. The abil­i­ty to pull peo­ple out is going to be difficult.” 

Get­ting help down­town will be a prob­lem — a prob­lem the Marines could help with using their amphibi­ous capa­bil­i­ties. “We’re unique in that we can bring capa­bil­i­ties in to the dis­as­ter to help bring relief, but with­out bring­ing a sig­nif­i­cant foot­print adding to the prob­lems,” Spiese said. 

This year, the Marines are demon­strat­ing a med­ical surge. “We’re going to be mov­ing north our sur­gi­cal com­pa­nies and our shock-trau­ma pla­toons,” the gen­er­al said. “Not only will they be part of the table-top exer­cise, but we will be putting them on dis­play dur­ing Fleet Week at Mis­sion Green near the piers in San Francisco.” 

Fleet Week also will high­light the med­ical capa­bil­i­ties aboard the amphibi­ous ships. The USS Bon­homme Richard will be on display. 

In the past, San Fran­cis­co was laced with active duty bases, which closed as part of the base realign­ment and clo­sure process. Today, local offi­cials don’t real­ly con­sid­er the help active duty forces could bring to a sit­u­a­tion, Spiese said. Active duty forces have been used count­less times in sup­port of nat­ur­al dis­as­ters inside the Unit­ed States. 

The exer­cise allows author­i­ties “to under­stand what they can lever­age and access out of the active duty force — in par­tic­u­lar, the Navy and Marine Corps team in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia,” he said. “In the event of a dis­as­ter, they know quick­ly what they can start look­ing for and plan­ning on, as well as the process by which they gain access to those fed­er­al resources.” 

The Marine Expe­di­tionary Brigade, Spiese said, is pri­mar­i­ly a warfight­ing orga­ni­za­tion. The Fleet Week human­i­tar­i­an aid and dis­as­ter response exer­cise is focused main­ly on com­bat ser­vice sup­port and logistics. 

“It’s going to force us to think through the prob­lem dif­fer­ent­ly,” the gen­er­al said. “It will force us to exer­cise a dif­fer­ent part of the mil­i­tary brain.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →