USS Bataan hosts junior marine officers during WARFEX

A War Familiarization Exercise (WARFEX) had the U.S. Navy’s multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan host 250 Marine junior officers from The Basic School (TBS), February 5-7.

The role of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship in hosting TBS and purpose of the exercise was to familiarize the junior officers with the capabilities and limitations of multipurpose amphibious assault ships and orient them to what life will be like as part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) on board Bataan.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Alan Gaddis, the combat cargo officer aboard Bataan, said: “Part of Combat Cargo’s responsibility to Bataan is coordinating the embarkation of landing forces, or any outside forces for that matter, and as such, we are honored to be able to host the future leaders of Marine Corps from The Basic School.

“For nearly all of these young officers, this is their first time aboard a ship, and giving them a positive first experience will help shape the way they view integration of the blue-green team, especially as the Marine Corps gets back to its amphibious roots and adheres to the commandant’s planning guidance.”

Captain Chris Flood, executive officer of class Fox Company 06-15 of TBS, said: “This is the culminating exercise for the students of The Basic School. A backbone of the Marine Corps is being on a ship, and after six months of field exercises and classroom instruction here students will go through amphibious planning and coordination among staffs to reinforce what they have learned at TBS.”

The second lieutenants started the visit by splitting up into two groups. Half of the junior officers toured the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and the remaining half toured the Bataan. Afterwards, both groups spent the night in troop berthings aboard the Bataan.

Flood said that the remaining time the students spend on the Bataan will be planning and organizing for the field exercises that will close out WARFEX back on their base located in Quantico.

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