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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
EWS students tour LOGCOM, MCA

By Art Powell | | April 8, 2010

The current Expeditionary Warfare School class from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., visited Marine Corps Logistics Command March 17 to learn how LOGCOM supports the warfighter.

They received briefings, including one from Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general, LOGCOM, before taking a tour of Maintenance Center Albany and then traveling to Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., to learn more about logistics operations there.

“EWS, in my opinion, takes captains at various points in their career and expands upon the Marine Corps planning process in developing the true capability of a Marine Air Ground Task Force,” said Capt. John Soto, a logistics officer who is now an EWS student with follow-on orders to 1st Bn., 8th Marines at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.

“Part of our training is to go on the road to see what is modern in the Marine Corps in relation to our military occupational specialty because a lot of things are new,” Soto said.

According to the Web site www.mcuf.org/mcu, the Expeditionary Warfare School, established at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., as the Amphibious Warfare School in 1921, is a nine-month course providing career-level professional military education, with emphasis on combined arms operations, warfighting skills, tactical decision-making and Marine Air Ground Task Forces in amphibious operations.

It prepares Marine captains to function as commanders and staff officers at appropriate levels within the operating forces and supporting establishments.

In addition, it provides career-level professional military education to selected officers from the Marine Corps Reserve.

“I knew very little about LOGCOM before I came here,” Soto said. “Even though I’m a logistics officer, my experience is at the tactical level and EWS is preparing captains to function at the operational level. Many things we’re learning about logistics are very new.”

The group’s tour of MCA was, for many of them, the first time they had seen a maintenance facility of that magnitude.

“We’re sponges, looking to learn as much as we can as quickly as we can because this is a new experience for most of us,” said EWS student Capt. Eric Rodriguez, a supply officer bound for Supply Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., upon completion of the school. “Moving up from the company level means I’ll need to think about supporting other units, not just mine.”

Rodriguez explained that EWS was, “a great chance to network and meet individuals who have experiences to share and also learn more about the Marine Corps and what will be expected of us as higher level staff officers.”

The overall focus of EWS is the development of the students’ communication skills and leadership abilities.

Occupational field expansion courses in ground combat, aviation and combat service support supplement the core curriculum to more fully prepare graduates for their anticipated billets, according to www.mcuf.org/mcu.