FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. - As #BayonetFocus 18-02 continues, joint operations continue here as 60 U.S. Marines are performing essential tasks for the 7th Infantry Division's unit exercise success.
Marines from the 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, are performing in a variety of roles enabling the 1-2 SBCT, 7th Infantry Division and the 7th Infantry Division to certify the Stryker Brigade's individual and collective task readiness and proficiency in preparation the National Training Center/Fort Irwin Decisive Action Training Exercise 18-06.
"Exercise Bayonet Focus provides 1st ANGLICO a unique opportunity to conduct our primary liaison mission in a large scale division-sized exercise," said Lt. Col. Michael G. Hays, the 1st ANGLICO commander. "It allows us to fully integrate our small teams the division, brigade, battalion, and company levels, and facilitate fire support planning and execution at all echelons of command.
"1st ANGLICO participations helps to enhance the "joint" nature of the exercise, and allows the 7th Inf. Div. the opportunity to integrate Marines into their staff," he continued. "Exercise Bayonet Focus provides us an excellent opportunity to learn the best practices for integration, interoperatibility, and the passing of information."
Sgt. Evan Bunnell with the 1st ANGLICO said it is a rare occurence that they are able to partner with something of this magnitude.
"Being a liaison I've learned quite a few things about the Army's procedures. The Army is vastly larger than the U.S. Marine Corps and it takes getting used to," Bunnell noted.
Throught Bayonet Focus, the partnership between Marines and Soldiers has played a pivotal role in the overall success of the exercise.
"We've been working in the fires section in processing fire missions to help shape the battlefield for 1-2 SBCT," said Sgt. John Vincent Paet, a fire control noncommissioned officer from the 7th Inf. Div. " So they can learn the different steps on how to process and clear fire missions to provide accurate fires for the lower echelons."
"It's good to see how others operate that have similar jobs as you do in a different branch, where you can see the similarities," Paet continued. "This helps build stronger bonds within the different branches of the military, by worrking together in training exercises."
The headquarters platoon of 1st ANGLICO from Camp Pendleton, Calif., have been supporting Task Force Ghost, not only with fires support but also with logistics, fuel, food, and communications during this validation exercise. The Marines support has helped to build and sustain readiness.
"ANGLICO is here for support," said Cpl. Brentley Hoglen, from the Camp Pendleton unit. "On our last convoy we took 1st Stryker brigade supplies such as food, water, and fuel. That is pretty much what we do, support the brigade's units."
Marines are not only building and sustaining their shared understanding of each other's capabilities but also ensure that Task Force Ghost is ready for its NTC rotation and readiness for any mission.
"In any future conflict, the strength of the U.S. Armed Forces is our ability to work together as one large joint team," Hays concluded.