MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Select officers and staff noncommissioned officers come to the Combat Center’s Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group to learn the ins and outs of operations in an expeditionary environment.
The most recent graduates of MCTOG’s Ground Operators Chief Course and the Tactical Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force Integration Course are the newest set of Marines certified in the those standards of operations.
Maj. Edward Nevgloski, battalion team faculty advisor, MCTOG, helps the officers work through the long-term Marine Corps planning process. In some scenarios, Nevgloski acts as battalion commander with the students acting as his battalion staff, working their way through a plan for operations.
“MCTOG creates a standard for the ground combat element with operations officers and operations chiefs,” said Nevgloski. “It ensures that every operations officer has a baseline of training, whether it's going forward to Afghanistan or training back here for an upcoming (Marine Expeditionary Unit) deployment.”
“When it comes to the Ground Operations Chief Course, what we try to do is introduce the students to a standardized approach to information management and effective command and control,” said Master Sgt. Erick Hodge, GOCC faculty advisor.
“MCTOG gives the Marine Corps standardized training in MAGTF operations, combined arms training and unit readiness planning at the battalion and regiment levels, and synchronizes doctrine and training standards,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant, Combat Development and Integration, was also on hand at the graduation to give the students a few words on what to expect for the future.
“The [command operations center] is the heartbeat of every unit,” Mills said. “We send all you here to this course so that you can make your units better, and I think you’ve done that.”
MCTOG is always trying to improve themselves. The first group of GOCC and TMIC students graduated from the class last year. This most recent iteration is the fourth class to go through since the course has started.
“Overall the course was effective,” said Nevgloski. “It could have been more streamlined to the audience though.”
“The course has a lot of potential and is on the right track,” added Master Sgt. Robert Pine, GOCC student. “The course has a lot of information. It’s getting tweaked right now to speak to the audience it was designed for.”
MCTOG looks for those kinds of comments in the students’ after course critiques to make improvements for the next upcoming class.
“We still have to be lethal,” Mills said. “You have to know and adapt to the changing environment.”