Expeditionary Strike Group 2 completed a major landmark in operationalizing its staff when its commander, Rear Adm. Robert Katz, declared the Echelon IV Maritime Command Element “fully operationally capable” following the recent completion of the Baltic Operations Exercise 2021.
Achieving FOC status means ESG2 staff are now able to provide a Command Element to lead a myriad of operations to include amphibious warfare as well as the traditional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
“ESG-2 realizing its full operational capability as a Maritime Command Element afloat or ashore was the culmination of a two-year training effort,” said Katz. “Participating in both live and synthetic exercises, ESG2 proved it can project USMC, joint, and coalition power to the shore.”
The road to ESG2 achieving the FOC milestone is especially impressive considering much of the coordination, planning, and execution took place while strict COVID-19 protocols demanded the staff innovate with new technologies and overcome a then unknown virtual work culture.
As part of their FOC criteria, in February strike group staff participated in USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) Carrier Strike Group’s Composite Unit Training Exercise. Staff from ESG2 and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade planned and executed a synthetic Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations in support of the exercise, a first for the East Coast.
The final dress rehearsal was BALTOPS, the diverse, multi-domain two-week exercise in 6th Fleet, which concluded June 18. Much of the staff, including Katz, embarked aboard Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20) during the exercise that brought together 16 NATO and two partner nations with more than 40 ships, 60 aircraft, and over 4,000 personnel. This diverse operational portfolio will help enhance naval integration and distributed maritime operations for the future.
“ESG2 and all assigned forces must be ready to answer a variety of missions,” said Katz. “My watchwords are Initiate, Communicate and Educate. We must be working with these in mind in order to strengthen and build highly effective teams.”
For more information, contact ESG2 public affairs at email@example.com.
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