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NEWS | Feb. 3, 2022

Iron Dragon | Combat Logistics Regiment 37 Rehearses Distributed Command and Control

By 1st Lt. Jonathan Coronel 3rd Marine Logistics Group

CAMP KINSER, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment 37 (CLR-37) rehearsed distributed command and control and Maritime Prepositioning Force Operations throughout Okinawa during exercise Iron Dragon 22-1, January 23-28, 2022.

For CLR-37, the exercise focused on providing low-signature command and control from a mobile command post overseeing the entire operation, according to Maj. Pete Thermos, CLR-37 operations officer.

“As part of the Stand-in Force, the CLR-37 Jump Command Post is a low-signature, mobile platform that gives the commander options to rapidly deploy by air, ground, or surface connector. For Iron Dragon 22-1, we deployed this capability by LCU-2000 to ‘stress test’ command and control while enabling the Marines and Sailors to work with U.S Army 10th Support Group and execute a full mission profile mass casualty training event with assault support aircraft from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466,” said Thermos.

At Naha Military Port, elements from both CLR-37 and 3rd Landing Support Battalion conducted port operations and command and control, with 3rd LSB acting as the Landing Force Support Party and simulating the offload, staging and throughput of Maritime Prepositioning Force equipment sets via ground vehicle convoys and a Landing Craft Utility 2000 surface vessel.

The exercise included a mass casualty training event in the Central Training Area, putting CLR-37’s ability to rapidly treat multiple critical patients at once to the test, according to the 3rd MLG Surgeon, Capt. Andrew Lin.

“Our CLR-37 medical team trained for three weeks in preparation for this drill. Oftentimes people forget that medical cannot do their jobs in a vacuum, and both internal unit and external coordination is key,” explained Lin. “It was amazing to see the coordination between air, comms’, operations, and all the Marines who stepped up to show off their Tactical Combat Casualty Care and stretcher-bearer skills. Learning to load a [High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle] and a CH-53 are all experiences that are critical to having a well-run medical team,” said Lin.

Throughout the training, CLR-37’s mobile command post exercised command and control over distributed forces, a key tenet of expeditionary advanced base operations.

“Rehearsing distributed operations with training like this on Okinawa is key to keeping our forces sharp in our core logistics competencies,” said Col. Doug Burke, commanding officer of CLR-37. “This was a whole-team effort between our regiment and both 3rd LSB and HMH-466. It was a good demonstration of our ability to execute distributed command and control while providing critical logistics throughput in an expeditionary environment,” said Burke.

3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward-deployed combat unit that serves as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.

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