MARINES HOLD HISTORIC GATHERING
|Acting the role of the "bad guy," this marine is preparing to fire a RPG at the Riverine boats full of US Marines(off camera) during the show for the Commandants of 35 countries at Camp Lejeune.|
|They arrived in five buses camouflage-clad Marine leaders from 30 nations at Camp Lejeune Tuesday to make history.But, by the end of the day, most probably wanted to beat the heat after watching a demonstration of the riverine capabilities under the sweltering sun at Courthouse Bay.
As dignitaries sipped from water bottles at the Assault Amphibian Battalion complex, 2nd Marine Division commander Major General John Sattler talked about the exercise. Despite the heat, Sattler had an attentive crowd. His presentation came on the last of two days scheduled at Camp Lejeune forthe 1st Inaugural World Wide Commandants Conference that organizers say they hope will be an annual event. oday they shift to Parris Island, S.C., before heading to Quantico, Va. on Thursday.Commandant General James Jones put the week in perspective.This is an historic first representing 32 of the 37 Marine Corps worldwide, Jones said.
There has never been a gathering likethis. Marine leaders are meeting for a week to interact and discuss common issues of importance to their military service andpersonnel. Monday and Tuesday they observed a capabilities exercise at Lejeune. They watched as Marines worked the river into enemy territory to rescue trapped U.S. scientists. It was an impressive display but one Sattler told the group is common for Marines.
This was not a specially-trained squad, Sattler said. They could have been any one of the 243 infantry squads within thedivision. The presentation was part of a Capabilities Exercise typically performed every three to six months to allow spectators thechance to see what the U.S. Marine Corps can do.Jones praised the Corps headquarters for expeditionary warfare on the East Coast at Camp Lejeune. Organizers stressed that the 30-plus naval infantry leaders would build on their four primary similarities. We are typically smaller than the other services and the most under funded, Jones said. We seem to do the most with the least number of assets and we have an elite tradition of pride in what we do. Jones said there were many lessons and new ideas Tuesday for members of the world s elite services to study. Fighting, hesaid, is changing for Marines." The difference is that in the 20th century we would assault, seize and hold a position,"Jones said." In the 21st century expeditionary sea-based warfare envelopes the enemy by going where they aren't. "
SPECIAL to WWW.HISTORICALMILITARIA.COM 18 July 2002