CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan (September 2, 2010) --
Twelve Marines from the 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company recently joined the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit in preparation for the upcoming deployment to the Asia-Pacific region.
The Marines are attached to the 31st MEU’s operations section and provide critical skills and capabilities that help it remain ready to accomplish its many tasks.
“We help with fire support coordination, target location, and terminal air control,” said Cpl. Erik M. Griswold, firepower control team chief, and one of the recently joined augments. “We come over to the MEU to help out on the deployment and add our skills to the fight to get the job done.”
The ANGLICO Marines receive specialized training in order to do their job effectively.
“We go to advanced forward observer courses to work with aircraft and pilots,” said Griswold. “We practice communication and sequencing so that the ordnance falls at the right time and at the right place.”
These Marines are considered experts in their field, and come to the MEU as it deploys in order to help ensure many different weapons systems can all support the warfighter on the ground quickly, smoothly and without friendly-fire incidents.
“The 5th ANGLICO Marines come to the MEU specifically to help with coordinating the MEU’s aviation and fires with foreign military forces,” said Maj. Don Shove, assistant operations officer, 31st MEU.
The MEU has many different means of delivering rounds on target from different platforms, including rotor and fixed wing aircraft, artillery and mortars.
“The fire support coordination is complex when operating with other branches of the military or with other nation’s military forces,” said Shove. “We are glad to have ANGLICO with us.”
And as their name suggests, ANGLICO Marines can also coordinate naval gunfire, but these days rarely get a chance to exercise that capability, said Griswold.
“We are here because we have training to work with the Army or other services, and even with foreign forces, to make sure all the moving parts work together smoothly,” Griswold explained. “We specialize in joint and coalition operations.”
The 31st MEU is scheduled to participate over the coming months in bilateral training with partner nation militaries of the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, so the ANGLICO Marines’ skills will be in high demand.
“Our emphasis for the fall patrol will be working with the Philippine Air Force and the Korean Marine Corps and Air Force,” Griswold said. “We look forward to both helping with the exercises and at the same time gaining valuable training with other military forces.”