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Marines from Combat Logistics Regiment 25 work together to input operational statuses during the 2nd Marine Logistics Group Staff Exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Nov. 4, 2015. Subordinate commands in 2nd MLG came together during the two-week exercise to establish a basis of standard operating procedures. Throughout the week, the commands progressively built rapport and familiarized themselves through constructive workshops and briefs.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald

Beat to a different drum: 2nd MLG establishes a battle rhythm

9 Nov 2015 | 2nd Marine Logistics Group

Marine leadership throughout 2nd Marine Logistics Group conducted a simulated exercise, known as the 2nd MLG Staff Exercise, in preparation for the II Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise in late spring of 2016. The Staff Ex. was a two-week exercise that took place at the II MEF Simulation Center at Camp Lejeune, and ended on Nov. 5.


“The ultimate purpose of this is to refine our tactical standard operating procedures and build out how our boards and bureaus, cells and centers and working groups, function on a daily basis as part of our battle rhythm,” said Maj. Ryan Shea, a future operations officer with the G3, 2nd MLG.

2nd MLG Headquarters and Service Company, along with major subordinate commands within the group, set up command control centers to facilitate the work being accomplished throughout the exercise.

According to Col. Gary Keim, the assistant chief of staff with the G4, this allows the subordinate commands to integrate with the higher command to better build rapport.

2nd MLG is responsible for executing the six functions of logistics which are transportation, supply, basic engineering, health service support, and services.

Throughout each day, representatives from each command participated in a working group focused on a general function of logistics, according to Shea. When facing problems such as low supplies or a downed vehicle, subordinated commands had the opportunity to address the issue and adjust the SOP if necessary.

“Planning like this and operating on this level should be muscle-memory,” said Shea. “It should be something that is standard and coded well enough to where any Marine can look at the SOP and be able to operate off of it.”

At the end of the day, the Marines gathered and reviewed the information passed during the workshops.

“We’re adapting the exercise on a daily basis to what we want to accomplish that day,” said Shea.

While one of the goals of the exercise is to refine the MLG’s procedures so each subordinate command can more quickly make decisions and execute the plan, 2nd MLG has not forgotten the crucial role of the individual Marine.


“In the end it’s all a human endeavor,” said Shea. “Your process can be great. It’s the individual Marines that are behind it that are all interacting with each other. We’re building a better team, building rapport with each other and an understanding of what each individual is required to do to help the decision making process.”

Most of the personnel executing the exercise likely will not be the same ones participating in the MEF exercise or even a future deployment, according to Keim.

“What we hope that we’re achieving is not just the refinement of the SOP, but that each individual Marine is taking away this knowledge and method of executing tasks and subsequently employing it in their next unit,” said Keim. “We’re not just improving ourselves, but also the institution.”

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