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NEWS | July 25, 2014

George Washington Embarks FASTPAC Marines For ADIUTRIX SPEAR

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Cavagnaro USS George Washington Public Affairs

Twenty-two Marines assigned to Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Pacific (FASTPAC) embarked the U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) as part of ADIUTRIX SPEAR 14-2, July 23-25.

George Washington acted as a short-term sea platform for the exercise and provided ship to shore movement for Marines to develop scalable employment concepts from afloat platforms for use during contingency response operations.

"Using platforms such as George Washington gives us a myriad of capabilities," said Marine Capt. Brandon Wheeler, FASTPAC company commander. "The George Washington Carrier Strike Group (GWCSG) is able to support our combined mission through close air support as well as provide strike assets and naval gun fire from every platform if called upon to do so."

The ship provided helicopter assets from the "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 to assess George Washington's capabilities for tactical insertion and logistical resupply for future employment concepts from non-standard Navy platforms.

"Aircraft carriers are not intended for the purpose of housing and transporting Marine units," said Wheeler. "George Washington had to accommodate us quite a bit to ensure we were taken care of and able to carry out our mission."

FAST companies maintain forward-deployed platoons at naval installations around the world in order to quickly respond to crises. They're frequently tasked to provide antiterrorism and weapons training to other security personnel, along with performing limited-duration security missions and augment existing installation security.

"Immediate response is our priority," said Marine Sgt. Gerald Adams, assigned to FASTPAC. "Our mission is to rapidly and expeditiously reinforce and secure national and naval assets."

During the two-day embark, the Marines were given an opportunity to participate in joint training with the ship's embarked explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) unit and given a first-hand look into life aboard an at-sea aircraft carrier.

"It was really fantastic being here," said Adams. "This is my first time aboard an aircraft carrier, and I would really like to thank everyone on board for their hospitality and making us feel welcome."

George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

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