Living up to what they’ve always known, the US Marine Corps recently conducted a simultaneous training exercise to sharpen its personnel and keep them combat-ready in the ever-changing warfighting environment.

Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) tested out its newly established advanced base operations mapped on the “Hub, Spoke, and Node” model during Exercise Summer Fury 2022 held last week at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

This annual military exercise was part of its reevaluation of combat tactics as well as redefining command and control capabilities for future conflicts.

MAG-16 CH-53E Super Stallion
A CH-53E Super Stallion from MAG-16 flying over Camp Roberts under austere conditions on August 1. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

Following the model mentioned earlier, the exercise was divided into three sections, starting with the “Hub” assigned to Marine Air Control Group 38 (MACG-38), which then established a fully operational Tactical Air Command Center (TACC). The MACG-38, in collaboration with 3rd MAW leaders, supervised the command and control of aviation assets and demonstrated its “flexibility and versatility” capabilities as they worked through real-world scenarios.

A man running, behind is a MACG-38 AH-1Z Viper in dust clouds
An AH-1Z Viper from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 369, MACG-38, lands at Camp Roberts after an air assault on August 1. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

The recently realigned Marine Wing Support Squadrons (MWSS-373), which took over the TACC’s site command, also played an essential role in this decentralized fight simulation. The MWSS-373 also showcased how a combined aviation ground support and aviation command and control system would provide the battle troops with the required information by using a common operational picture and responsive, real-time tracking and logistics requirements.

According to MWSS-373 assistant operations officer, 2Lt. Diane Garcia, the training exercise has provided the squadron with the “unique opportunity to integrate into the TACC.”

“Our integration with MACG-38 demonstrates the full potential of the Aviation Command and Control Ground Support System. The training we executed here honed our ability to enable the Wing to fight and win as we continue to execute the intent of Force Design 2030,” she explained.

Moving on to the second section of the model, “Spoke,” this was performed by the Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39), who simultaneously executed their part at Camp Roberts in Bradley, California. Their simulation training includes 14 aircraft: three AH-1Z Vipers, three UH-1Y Venoms, four MV-22B Ospreys, and four CH-53E Super Stallions supplemented by MAG-16. Moreover, a company of infantry Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment has provided the MAG-39 security assistance for all its operations.

Two US Marines at the Summer Fury 22
Two US Marines brave the heat at Naval Air Station in Lemoore, California, during the yearly Summer Fury exercise taken on August 2. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

MAG-39 leaders will standby for instructions from the “Hub” team in order to accomplish their missions at various “Nodes” throughout the battlespace. During the week-long training exercise, both teams had effectively and efficiently dispatched aircraft throughout the four designated areas of operations, including Paso Robles Municipal Airport, Naval Air Station Lemoore, NAS Point Mugu, and the Strategic Expeditionary Landing Field aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

Operations conducted at the various nodes include missions such as air-delivered, ground refueling, forward arming and refueling, and close air support. The training then ended in an air assault with participation from MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Super Stallions, AH-1Z Vipers, and UH-1Y Venoms with the company of infantry Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment as its backup.

MAG-39 UH-1Y Venom
A UH-1Y Venom manned with MAG-39 conducts debriefing at Fort Irwin taken on the evening of August 2. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

“Third MAW’s warfighting skills were sharpened this week during the Summer Fury Exercise. Command and control, flight operations, and expeditionary airfield operations fused with virtual training refined the MAW’s preparedness to provide lethal effects in all domains,” said Brig. Gen. Robert B. Brodie, 3rd MAW assistant wing commander.

He continued: “Ultimately, this exercise proved the Wing’s readiness to support I Marine Expeditionary Force from competition to conflict. Any clime, any time!”

The Exercise Summer Fury 22 was part of Marines’ Force Design 2030 via realistic wargaming and dynamic training. It aims to enhance Marine-Air-Ground Task Force integration and increase aviation operations. As well as keep its personnel on their toes and ready for deployment even at short notice.

Marines discussing flight operations during Summer Fury 22
A Marine crew discusses flight operations at Camp Roberts taken on August 3. (Image source: US Marine Corps/DVIDS)

Meanwhile, the 2nd MAW also tested the video game-based training prototype dedicated to its Direct Air Support Center (DASC). Through this, the unit hopes to advance Marines’ skills under the Marines of Marine Air Support Squadron 1 (MASS-1) “with only a desktop computer.” Using the Gaming Environment for Air Readiness (GEAR) program would allow Marines to train virtually without spending much, just like the 3rd MAW did during their simultaneous training exercise.