By 1st Lt. Adam L. ChunnDecember 5, 2013
SOUTHWEST ASIA (Dec. 5, 2013) -- Cohesion was the word of the day when joint forces in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility conducted a joint air insertion exercise. Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, also known as "Cold Steel" Soldiers, executed the joint-exercise with Sailors and Marines that increased combat effectiveness across branches.
Navy Desert Hawk aviators conducted a flawless air insertion of the Marine Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team, known as a Marine FAST, into an Army Patriot Air Defense Site in the area of responsibility, or AOR. This opportunity allowed Navy Pilots the unique training opportunity to land on an Army site in rough terrain as compared to a Naval Vessel.
The FAST Platoon manned with over 50 Marines landed on the Patriot site and were immediately received and integrated into the Patriot air defense site's base defense plan under the commander of C Battery, Capt. Dary Antonetty's, Tactical Control.
The Marines are trained to respond to counterterrorism with the use of small unit tactics and close quarters combat. They were transported by Army tactical vehicles to fighting positions across the site. Once they arrived at their fighting position the Marines received an updated threat brief and were informed of key tasks they were responsible for, while working alongside Cold Steel Force Protection counter parts. The FAST team also provided the Patriot site with an additional quick reaction force that could be rapidly maneuvered anywhere on the site as hostilities arise.
Cold Steel Soldiers and Leaders know the importance of a rapid integration of other defense assets into their base defense plan. This training exercise was the first of its kind in the AOR and multiple rehearsals and communications tests were conducted to ensure that the different military forms of communication could be configured to work together. Future exercises are already in the works with the intent to build upon the lessons learned during the exercise, further expanding the joint capability and cooperation needed for this kind of operational environment.
"The intent behind this exercise is to establish a clear 'way ahead' for the establishment of a Joint Emergency Action Plan that will be withstanding of time and unit turnover," said Capt. Antonetty, with regard to future planning.
After the exercise was completed all forces gathered for an after action review in order to identify things that went well and to identify areas of improvement for future operations. Marines, Sailors and Soldiers then gathered together for a meet and greet to share experiences and converse about a job well done.