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3d Marine Division


3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
Combat Operations Center kicks off ITX 2-15

By Lance Cpl. William Hester | III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | January 24, 2015


Marines assigned to 4th Marine Regiment based in Okinawa, Japan, set up the combat operations center for Integrated Training Exercise 2-15 Jan. 16-17 at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

“What Twentynine Palms provides for the Marine Corps is a chance to employ the complete Marine Air-Ground Task Force,” said Master Gunnery. Sgt. Adam C. Walker, the operations chief for 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It has enough land mass to (enable Marines) to work across a large environment, but also, it’s an austere environment.”

According to the Marines website, the MAGTF consists of four elements: an aviation combat element, a ground combat element, a logistics combat element and a command element.

The designated command element for Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 4 for ITX 2-15 is 4th Marines, according to Walker, a Hendersonville, North Carolina, native.

“The combat operations center is where the command element does command and control for all of the forces,” said Walker. Training in Twentynine Palms is unique because it allows Marines from Japan to get training in different environments. Different COCs need to be set up in different environments, according to Staff Sgt. Absalon A. Cabrera, the operations assistant for Headquarters Company, 4th Marines.

“A COC is driven on mission,” said Cabrera, a Los Angeles, California, native. “You never know where you are going to end up.”

The COC set up for ITX 2-15 is comprised of tents and camouflage netting, but some COCs, in different environments, might be indoors or mobile, according to Walker.

The diversity in training allows Marines to go anywhere, according to Cabrera.

“(ITX) gives us the opportunity to come out of the chute strong and to be able to employ every aspect of the SPMAGTF to its fullest ability,” said Walker. “We want to develop our Marines and our working relationships with the rest of the MAGTF.”