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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Forum gives Seattle leaders Corps perspective

By Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | March 13, 2013

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The participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum pose with Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese at the Infantry Immersion Trainer on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States. The Forum’s purpose is to educate and inform civilians of the Marine Corps’ operational capability, current programs and future initiatives in preparation for Marine Week, which will be held in Seattle, Wash. this year.

The participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum pose with Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese at the Infantry Immersion Trainer on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States. The Forum’s purpose is to educate and inform civilians of the Marine Corps’ operational capability, current programs and future initiatives in preparation for Marine Week, which will be held in Seattle, Wash. this year. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah J. Wolff-Diaz)


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Capt. Andrew Ubbelohde answers questions from members of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum about the AH-12 aircraft during the a tour of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar March 7. Ubbelohde is an AH-12 pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Miramar.

Capt. Andrew Ubbelohde answers questions from members of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum about the AH-12 aircraft during the a tour of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar March 7. Ubbelohde is an AH-12 pilot with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267, Miramar. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolf-Diaz)


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Sgt. Mark Reconsal corrects Mike Archer during a visit from the Marine Corps Executive Forum at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego March 7. Reconsal, a drill instructor with Support Battalion, Receiving Company, MCRD San Diego and Archer is the Museum of Flight Construction Coordinator in Seattle, Wash. and a member Marine Corps Executive Forum.

Sgt. Mark Reconsal corrects Mike Archer during a visit from the Marine Corps Executive Forum at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego March 7. Reconsal, a drill instructor with Support Battalion, Receiving Company, MCRD San Diego and Archer is the Museum of Flight Construction Coordinator in Seattle, Wash. and a member Marine Corps Executive Forum. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz)


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Sgt. Mark Reconsal, foreground, and Staff Sgt. John Delgado, give the Marine Corps Executive Forum participants an exposition on the receiving period of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego March 7. Reconsal and Delgado are both drill instructors with Support Battalion, Receiving Company.

Sgt. Mark Reconsal, foreground, and Staff Sgt. John Delgado, give the Marine Corps Executive Forum participants an exposition on the receiving period of recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego March 7. Reconsal and Delgado are both drill instructors with Support Battalion, Receiving Company. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz)


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The participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum pose with Marines for a group photo at Edson Range Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. The Marines are field instructors with Weapons Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

The participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum pose with Marines for a group photo at Edson Range Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. The Marines are field instructors with Weapons Field Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah J. Wolff-Diaz)


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Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese speaks to participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum at the Infantry Immersion Trainer on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States. Robert Thielen, the site manager for the training center here, provided a tour of the facility.

Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese speaks to participants of the West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum at the Infantry Immersion Trainer on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton March 7. Coglianese is the base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States. Robert Thielen, the site manager for the training center here, provided a tour of the facility. (Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah J. Wolff-Diaz)


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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --

Fourteen Seattle metropolitan-area leaders and three other civic leaders – most having little or no exposure to the military – visited three Greater San Diego-area Marine Corps installations March 7-8.

The visitors began the inaugural West Coast Marine Corps Executive Forum at the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

The forum established relationships between the Corps and senior business representatives in preparation for the upcoming Seattle Marine Week, said Headquarters Marine Corps spokesperson Capt. Maureen Dooley.

According to Seattle.gov, Marine Week is a celebration of community, country and Corps, and provides the unique experience to directly connect the American public with its Marines.

The forum began with drill instructors yelling “Get off my bus!” and shouting orders to show the visitors what the first days of Marine Corps boot camp is like. The exhibition ended with a tour of the recruit depot, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

“I thought about my kids and what an extreme change (boot camp) would be for them,” said Allan Bradshaw, a civil engineer and forum participant.

The group visited the Confidence Course, where they watched recruits conduct morning physical training exercises and the Marine Corps Water Survival Training facility, where recruits must complete swim qualifications.

“I could only imagine the weight of the uniform and boots in the water,” said Ron Calvin, a forum member who is the managing director of in-flight operations for Alaska Airlines. “Seeing the recruits jump from the high tower was intense.”

After touring the facilities where men learn to be Marines, the forum members were transported to Miramar where they received an exposition on F/A-18, MV-22B Osprey and AH-12 aircraft.

“It was fantastic getting to see that the equipment we have is state-of-the-art,” said Bradshaw. “I was expecting to see older models.”

After seeing some recruit training and Marine Corps aviation assets, the forum members ate meals, ready-to-eat.

“I’d eat MREs every day,” said Bradshaw. “It was better than I thought it would be. I was impressed.”

Field instructors with Weapons Field Training Battalion of MCRD San Diego gave the group a brief on weapons safety and coached them on proper shooting techniques at Edson Range, Camp Pendleton.

“I’m a shooter, so (I would) have been there all day,” said Bradshaw.

After firing M-16A4 service rifles, the forum participants were given a tour of the Infantry Immersion Trainer by site manager Robert Thielen. The IIT is a simulator designed to provide Marine riflemen with a fully interactive environment to practice close-quarters combat and small-unit leadership during a firefight.

Thielen walked the group through the indoor training area, pointing out speakers that produced ambient sounds and fans that wafted scents that resemble those of combat zones to which Marines are presently deployed.

“Wow! That was the highlight for me,” said Bradshaw. “I had no idea we had anything like that. I was very impressed with the technology.”

The first day of the event came to a close with a dinner held at the Camp Pendleton home of Brig. Gen. Vincent A Coglianese, the base commanding general and regional authority for five military installations in the Southwestern United States.

Day two began with a morning colors ceremony at the recruit depot. Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, the commanding general of MCRD San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region, welcomed the forum members during his opening remarks and discussed the executive forum program with them over breakfast at the Bay View Restaurant.

The final event of the program took place on MCRD San Deigo’s parade deck and featured the nation’s newest Marine Corps boot camp graduates.

The forum attendees promptly found their seats and shortly after the graduation ceremony of Company K commenced.

“It was moving,” said Calvin after the graduates rushed to find their families. “The colors and graduation ceremonies really brought the tour together.”

“(The participants) were all very happy and we should see the effects of this during Marine Week and beyond,” said Dooley.

For more information on the Marine Corps Executive Forum visit www.community.marines.mil, and to learn more about Marine Week in Seattle visit Seattle.gov.

Contact Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz at sarah.wolff@usmc.mil



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