Photo Information

Marines, with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, observe a live fire exercise during Exercise Iron Fist here Feb. 27. Marines, with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and soldiers, with the Japanese Western Army Infantry Regiment, are participating in the bilateral training designed to enhance the services interoperability.

Photo by Cpl. Elyssa Quesada

Supremacy of air, land, sea

27 Feb 2011 | Cpl. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and sailors took part in a five-day supporting-arms live-fire exercise during Exercise Iron Fist here Feb. 27.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and several Southern California based units are participating in Exercise Iron Fist, a bilateral training exercise designed to build on existing amphibious capabilities and enhance the interoperability between the U.S. and Japanese militaries.

The live-fire exercise involved a variety of weapons and techniques to increase operational proficiency.

Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, or Anglico, called in live ammunition strikes to a designated range on the island and artillery emplaced by Battery K, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, on a nearby hill took aim at the impact area and unloaded an assortment of munitions.

USS Howard provided naval surface fire support off the coast and aircraft with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 and Marine Attack Squadron 214 secured the skies to make the exercise a true combined-arms live-fire evolution.

“I enjoy my job a lot,” said Sgt. Jason D. Noel, 23, a radio operator with 1st Anglico. “I’ve been able to use different radios and be a forward observer for the unit.”

Noel relayed numerous fire missions from his team leader to the artillery battery.

Noel said working together in the field builds camaraderie and enables each Marine to excel at his specific job.

The Navy and Marine Corps team expended ordnance ranging from rockets and bombs to 7.62 mm, .50 caliber and 20 mm machine-gun rounds.

“I think it’s been a valuable experience for all,” said Capt. Devaunt Z. LeClaire, 34, a platoon commander with Anglico. “This training for my Marines has been outstanding.”


Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

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.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

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.

Read Biography

Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr 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.

Read Biography