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"This is important to our military families! Our service members need training and budget cuts are affecting their safety with reduced training hours and less proficiency."  Read more below


Brig Gen John Broadmeadow, See Below
It was a refreshing topic, helping other military partners with new capabilities and expanding our skills as well. No hot topics from DC but a great military exercise with allies from Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Peru and several other small contingencies of observers participating. It even had an interesting name, Dawn Blitz, which almost sounds like a specialty drink from a bar somewhere near the water with a view of the sunrise.


 The DoD Blogger Roundtable met with Brig. Gen. John Broadmeadow to discuss the training objectives of Dawn Blitz and to hear directly from the commander of forces what the Marines and sailors and allies would be gaining from this exercise. It was not specifically scenario driven but intended to enhance our interoperability of our amphibious forces with challenges like communication systems, basic military skills; developing allies’ blue/green team processes, command and control, situational awareness and rudimentary amphibious capabilities.

General Broadmeadow said the biggest challenge that the allies have to overcome is the joint command and control while putting forces on shore and staying on top of what was happening (situational awareness (SA) in military talk). He concluded with a follow on statement that amphibious command and control would be the biggest “takeaway” lesson learned from Dawn Blitz.

Japan brought a small and big deck amphibious ship to Dawn Blitz off the US west coast to practice amphibious capabilities. The US MV-22, tilt rotor Ospreys, are practicing deck operations with the Japanese vessels which is a first time event. Making a bit of history is always fun while at the same time creating new strengths and mission reach for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and other amphibious missions.

But I can't help but go back to those topics from DC.  We are getting tired of hearing about the budget but it will be critical in the near future and even long term future of our nation. The long reach of budget cuts did impact Dawn Blitz as the rudimentary skill sets of some sailors and marines were not tested. This is important to our military families! Our service members need training and budget cuts are affecting their safety with reduced training hours and less proficiency. The number of units and participants had to be significantly reduced to save $$$.

Sometimes it takes a rubber meets the road type of discussion to understand what the impact of decisions in DC does to our troops > all the services (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and US Coast Guard). So the military community is learning to focus on forward presence units, quick response forces, etc. But how do we develop and maintain those forces in a reduced budget time frame is the challenge all face? I believe that we are seeing a repeat of the mid to late 1970s when I was a young pilot and saw reduced flying hours and events. The first Red Flag scenario exercises in Nevada were killers with multiple aircraft accidents frequently caused by reduced pilot skills. Dawn Blitz type of exercises which address basic skill sets are one of the ways the military community can help to keep our troops safe.

Thank you General Broadmeadow for taking the time to talk about Dawn Blittz with the Roundtable. If you would like to hear an audio of the Blogger Roundtable please go to DoDLive!
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Col K's C-141 Fini Flight McChord AFB
Col K is a retired Air Force pilot who served with the best of the military community from the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force. He flew combat rescue and special operations helicopters, fixed wing trainers and airlift and retired while flying the C-17 as the Vice Wing Commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB. He enjoys writing about military issues and is a frequent contributor to the the DoD Blogger Roundtable at DoDLive. A member of a proud military family that created MilitaryAvenue.com to support the troops and their families, he enjoys the continued military ties from blogging.

Photo Credit: Brig. Gen John J. Broadmeadow, Commanding General, 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, and commanding general, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force - See more at: http://www.dodlive.mil/index.php/2013/06/bloggers-roundtable-exercise-dawn-blitz-2013/#sthash.8gVaGDD4.dpuf

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