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Annual Exercise ensures force readiness

Date Posted: 2004-04-15

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa, Japan — Long lines, identification card checks and random car searches were part of the force protection exercise that ended here on April 1.

The purpose of the exercise was to train individual camps and see what their capabilities are under threatening conditions. “Command and control,” said Sean L. Brock, force protection officer, base disaster operation center, (BDOC), Camp Foster.

“The exercise came by direction of a DoD order from the Pentagon which said we must perform a force protection exercise twice a year,” Brock said.

The G-3 office was the driving force for putting this whole exercise together. This was the first time that the Security Augmentation Force has been called upon, and this is the first full scale force protection exercise performed on island, Brock said.

Sixty Marines, from all over the island came together to make up the SAF. The Marines were taught how to properly search vehicles, what to do if there is a bomb found during a vehicle check, and how to detain the suspect driving the vehicle.

The SAF was then sent to different bases to man their posts and apply the skills they recently learned.

Brock said the Marines were faced with different situations to ensure they knew proper procedures in reporting an incident.

“If there is a problem at one of the gates, the sergeant of the guard contacts the BDOC that in return reports all information to the BCOC (base cluster operation center) in Building one,” said Brock.

Since this is the first time an exercise this large has been performed, it took good communication and teamwork to make it a success, Brock said.

“People at all levels are learning. We pulled out all the lessons learned for future standard operating procedures to be written in case of future incidents,” said Brock.

According to Brock, the training proved to be a success for all who participated in the exercise.

“The exercise was a valuable training tool,” Brock said. “This will make it easier to communicate in case of a real situation.”

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