Marines exercise force during port security training

15 Jun 2007 | Sgt. Eric McLeroy 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines from 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors assigned to the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group practiced heightened security measures here Jan. 24-26 in preparation for their upcoming six-month deployment to the Pacific and Arabian Gulf Regions. The exercise, designed to enhance the force protection posture of ships docked at foreign ports, demonstrated the MEU?s ability to thwart terrorist attacks by preventing their access to the ship, according to Capt. Kevin Prindiville, force protection officer, Command Element, 11th MEU. Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2/1 along with military police and Explosive Ordnance Disposal detachments detachment from MEU Service Support Group 11 worked together with the crews of USS Boxer, USS Cleveland and USS Harpers Ferry to provide security for the ARG while in port. The Marines conducted vehicle and personnel searches at pier entrances, manned machinegun positions on and around the ships, and provided roving patrols along the piers adjacent to the ships. ?If a boat comes toward the ship and poses a threat, we?ll engage it,? Kersey, Colo. native, Cpl. Josh Kissler said as he manned a gun position atop the USS Boxer?s flightdeck. ?I did port security in United Arab Emirates during my last deployment. We did it the same way.? Terrorist attacks against U.S. military personnel around the world were propelled into the national spotlight after the recent suicide bombing of the USS Cole. Although Marines continuously practice force protection, training events like this one are important for everyone involved, according to Capt. Vincent Lumalcuri, commanding officer, G Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/1, 11th MEU. ?We must always be vigilant,? Lumalcuri said. ?The USS Cole attack is a reminder of the seriousness of this training. Vigilance and coordination with all the agencies involved are the challenges.? Naval Criminal Investigative Service and military working dog teams from the Naval Station were called upon to assist the security force. All agencies during were key in maintaining security, according to Prindiville. Before the ARG ships arrive at a foreign port, liaison with the host nation is made to determine which security measures must be implemented based upon the threat condition, according to Prindiville. ?Security assessments of each port let us know what the host nation has available and what we need to provide,? he said. ?If the local police force is inadequate, we can coordinate with our (higher headquarters) to provide the assets needed.? During the exercise, local military agencies, like NCIS, represented host nation support. Their combined efforts helped in preventing mock truck bomb attacks, unauthorized ship access and small boat attacks. ?Everything went well,? Lumalcuri said. ?The Marines did what was expected of them. Nothing got to the ship.?

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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