NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA — The designated CBAF unit is made up of an infantry battalion and attached support units which form a rapid crisis response force, available to be sent anywhere in the world on short notice.
“It provides the nation a company and a battalion of Marines who are ready to respond to anything,” said 1st. Lt. David Kerby, executive officer for Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “The mission can include humanitarian aid, disaster relief, or a security crisis, anywhere in the world.”
The mission to Cuba was a test to see how well the unit could respond, and what plans might need refining for any future missions.
“When we first get the call, we need to get all of the Marines with their gear, radios and weapons systems together,” Kerby said. “Once we receive more information we can sit down and come up with a specific action plan for when we arrive in that particular country.”
Once everything was planned, the Marines gathered with all of their gear and flew from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, to Guantanamo Bay, where they conducted training over the course of the next four days.
The training included multiple shooting ranges during day and night time, squad sized tactic drills, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear classes, Kerby added.
“It gives the Marines another opportunity to train in a new environment,” said Kerby. “At the same time, it gives the company-level leadership the chance to refine how we plan training and operations.”
The CBAF is a critical aspect to maintaining readiness and making sure that Marines can provide assistance, or bring the fight at any time, to anywhere in the world.
By Lance Cpl. Jonathan Sosner