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Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Sean Browning inputs information into a computer during Direct Air Support Center training inside a transient battle lab at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., March 30, 2015. Browning is an air support operations operator and a native of Scottsburg, Ind.

Photo by Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics

MASS-1 Marines enhance readiness, train in battle lab

8 Apr 2015 | Cpl. Grace L. Waladkewics 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Marines with Marine Air Support Squadron 1 conducted direct air support center operations training inside a transient battle lab at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., March 30.

The temporary lab is being used while construction continues on a permanent building that will house their new upgraded battle lab.

The DASC is an aviation command and control system which allows Marines to direct air assets in support of ground forces during operations. DASC Marines process immediate air support requests, coordinate aircraft support, manage terminal control assets and monitor all aircraft transiting through DASC controlled airspace.

“We are the grease between the A and the G in Marine Air-Ground Task Force,” said Sgt. Brandon Glascock, an air support operations operator with the squadron. “We ensure there is no friction between the air and the ground elements. As the DASC, our main effort is taking care of the Marine on the ground and ensuring that we maintain a clear, constant and expedient flow of information.”

According to Glascock, the battle lab simulates real events and helps prepare the Marines for deployments and contingency operations.

 “Having the battle lab helps us prepare for when we do find ourselves in a real life situation,” said Glascock.  “Although this is only a simulation, within this battle lab space we are not only training, but we are working together as a team, building camaraderie as a team and as a DASC."

According to Capt. Gretchen Day, air support company commander with MASS-1, DASC support relies on speed and tempo. Training in the battle lab repurposes the squadron’s old, unused equipment for temporary use so that the Marines can train without placing stress on the squadrons other commodities.

“Inside the battle lab we can really train on our own as a DASC so that both the officers and enlisted Marines can actually sit in the seats and get the training at the end of the day,” said Day. “It is our opportunity to qualify our Marines in the fleet to increases their readiness and train to the full spectrum that’s required of us.”

It is always good when Marines get to sit on their gear and actually do what they are trained to do, said Day. It keeps them involved and motivated to learn more and become proficient in their jobs.

“Having the lab is nice because we can bring the fight to Marines even in a garrison environment,” said Day. “We know they are getting good training and they are learning what they are supposed to do.”

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing