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II Marine Expiditionary Force Headquarters Group conducts FEX to ensure proficency

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Chelsea Toombs | March 19, 2015

Marines and sailors with II MEF Headquarters Group gathered with various units within II Marine Expeditionary Force to conduct a field exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, March 12-19, 2015.

The purpose of the FEX was to give the Marines an opportunity to test their skill sets and identify areas in need of improvement. Ensuring readiness is essential for the MHG Marines in their task for supporting the MEF.

During their time in the field, the Marines were able to recognize their weaknesses as well as progress in areas they are already proficient in, said Master Sgt. Larry Robles, the operations chief for II MHG and a Phoenix, Arizona, native.

The exercise also gave the Marines the opportunity to maintain and increase their proficiency as Marines outside of their specific Military Occupational Specialty and outside of their typical daily routine.

"It was important for them because it gave them a chance for them to revisit those basic skills that every Marine is supposed to be proficient in, but a lot don't seem to have the time in their normal day job to improve upon," said Capt. Ryan Powers, the training officer for II MHG and a native of Frederick, Maryland.

During the FEX, the Marines participated in classes and practical application on a variety of topics including patrolling, CS gas and Tactical Combat Casualty Care. This training allowed the Marines to gain confidence in areas they are not accustomed to practicing and will be vital for any future deployments.

"We needed to ensure that we would be able to come out and support the MEF from the field. We needed to answer the question 'Can we support all of the enabling battalions while we're out here?'" Powers said. "The overarching idea is that if the MEF or the Marine Expeditionary Brigade deploy, the MHG has to be able to support them. The FEX is an attempt for us to lay down our own footprint on the ground so we can see where around the MEF or the MEB can we fit all of our infrastructure."

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