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Monday, September 24, 2007

Marines deploy for 'Noble Midas'

Sept. 24, 2007
Story ID#: 2007924171857

By Lance Cpl. Meghan J. McNabb, 2nd Marine Logistics Group

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2007) -- The last group of more than 50 Marines deployed Sept. 22 to Croatia in support of Operation Noble Midas.

The purpose of the operation is to exercise Maritime Preposition Force operations and to certify the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Response Force.

“It’s through exercises like this that we practice and support the actual preparation, offloading, tracking and back loading of equipment so that we can be proficient in a real operation,” said Lt. Col. Terry Harwood, operations officer for Noble Midas.

Harwood also said that there is training every year on MPF missions. Last year’s training took place by planning a mission on paper. The last actual off-load mission was in 2002 with Operation Dynamic Mix in Roda, Spain.

“MPF operations are one way to insert forces into the fight,” Harwood said. “There’s a large amount of practice that goes into ensuring that equipment arrives safely and works properly. It’s not enough to plan a mission on paper, you have to practice.”

According to Harwood, MPF operations are a great way to increase the speed in which the forces can get into the fight.

“We can float forces into theater quickly,” Harwood explained. “It’s easy to fly people and equipment, but it also takes time if the plane can’t take as much equipment as a ship.”

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