MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, I Marine Expeditionary Force Commanding General, visited the Combat Center, Feb. 5, 2015 to observe I MEF units participating in Integrated Training Exercise 2-15.
The Combat Center’s former commanding general and his wife, Donna, landed at the Expeditionary Landing Field where he was greeted by his successor Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta, Craparotta’s wife, and leaders of Marine Wing Support Squadron 374.
While aboard the Combat Center, Berger spoke with Marines from I MEF units to include 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, MWSS-374, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, Marine Aircraft Group 11, Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462, Marine Attack Squadron 214 and Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1. The purpose of his visit was to take a tour of several I MEF units and receive input from their respective Marines.
“If you listen to Marine commanders, sergeants and lance corporals, they will tell you what needs to change, and that’s what I’m here for,” Berger said. “They give me great ideas about equipment, training and organization so that myself and other senior leaders can improve what needs to be changed and give them the right resources to train and be better prepared.”
Donna Berger met with department heads from Marine Corps Community Services, visited the Naval Hospital for program updates, and got an opportunity to meet with the program manager for the Lifestyle Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills program.
Lt. Gen. Berger heard in the Marine’s own words about the jobs they perform and how they think it benefits training.
“Now that he’s the commanding general of I MEF, I think it’s a morale booster for the Marines to see he’s interested in what they do. They’re able to explain what they do and why they do it,” said Sgt. Maj. Chasen E. Getty, sergeant major, MWSS-374. “I think it brings it full circle for the Marines.”
Being able to return to the Combat Center in his new capacity gave Berger an opportunity to be able to find out how they’re doing and what he needs to do to help the Marines be successful in training.
“This is the greatest place to train that the Marine Corps has to offer,” Berger said. “It’s really great to be back for a visit.”