VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Staff Planning Course commenced at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGL) on Nov. 14.
This nine-day course for Sailors and Marines, who will deploy together next year as part of an ARG-MEU team, builds working-relationships through academics and training conducted by subject matter experts and break-out sessions focused on creative problem-solving, shipboard capabilities, amphibious planning, non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO), and various blue-green integration efforts. The course is part of the Navy’s Fleet Response Training Plan and Marine Corps’ Pre-deployment Training Program.
During the opening remarks, Rear. Adm. Tom Williams, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2, emphasized the importance of the Navy and Marine Corps integrating seamlessly together.
“Blue-green integration is really important,” said Williams. “[Amphibious warfare] is the fight to come. The world we’re experiencing now is different from what we’ve seen in the recent past. This is not a theory. This is real life and this is why all of you are here today, to prepare for the fight. To prepare for what may come.”
Rear Adm. Jeffrey “Caesar” Czerewko, commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4, echoed Williams’ remarks and added the significance of relationship development during the course.
“Pre-season starts now,” said Czerewko. “This course and upcoming exercises create a learning and teaching environment … take advantage and train to the threat. Building relationships across the ARG-MEU staffs allows us all to become brilliant at the basics, develop trust, share knowledge, understand the threat, and understand how, as a team, we can collectively defeat a threat. We must take this job seriously and take advantage of resources available.”
Czerewko continued to discuss how the CSG 4 staff provides exercise scenarios to best prepare Sailors and Marines in the concept of “amphibiosity,” meaning the ability to operate on land and at sea.
“The CSG 4 staff provides live, virtual and constructive training to prepare you for the existential threat,” said Czerewko. “My staff has seen it all and we will test your ability even more in the coming months on whether you can respond effectively and competently as a team. Use this time to get to know each other and to become better planners.”
Col. Christopher Browning, commanding officer, EWTGL, highlighted that building a cohesive team is the priority of this course.
“The next nine days will refine standard operating procedures,” said Browning. “By the end of the course, everyone should have greater confidence in briefing preparations and execution, as well as overall planning within an ARG-MEU.”
CSG 4 is a team that consists of experienced Sailors, Marines, government civilians and reservists, who mentor, train and assess U.S. 2nd Fleet combat forces to forward-deploy in support and defense of national interests. CSG 4’s experts shape the readiness of U.S. 2nd Fleet Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG), Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARG) and independent deploying ships through live, at-sea and synthetic training, as well as academic instruction. Along with its subordinate commands, Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL) and Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic (EWTGL), CSG 4 prepares every Atlantic-based CSG, ARG and independent deployer for sustained forward-deployed high-tempo operations.