Topic:Automated Personnel Tracking Discussion: Tracking personnel accountability and providing timely answers is critical. There are numerous databases and websites being used by various sources and levels of command, but creating and maintaining this is a timely and manpower intensive duplication of effort. It’s also confusing when one system may be updated before another, i.e.: tracking the movement of patients from one echelon of care or hospital site to another. At times patients were double counted when the gaining hospital would pick them up before the previous site deleted them; or neither would account for them, with the losing site deleting before the gaining site picked them up.
Recommendation: A common personnel tracking system with a multitude of capabilities needs to be available down to the lowest levels. These capabilities must include access to all personal data, collective numbers by unit down to the fire team or attachment level, ability to move data as the scheme of maneuver changes from one gaining command to another, automatic generation of PCRs, SIRs, JPERSTATS, and Awards; and inclusion of logic for analysis of impact due to loses, gains and requirements, i.e.: what unit to tap for individual personnel augmentation taskers based on available pool covering the time period required. Absolutely imperative operations and administration begin speaking the same language. A personnel tracker needs to be created that captures physical location (Blue Force Tracker?) and personal admin (SRB, OQR) collectively to assess manpower and accountability issues of each command.
Topic: Administrative Troop to Task/Need for Additional Reserve Support
Discussion: While additional augmentation could have provided more timely preparation of Personal Casualty Reports (PCR/SIRs) and Awards within the Division Administration Center, as well as a 24-hour capability at three major sites (Division Main, Division Administration Center (DAC), and Division Rear at Camp Pendleton), the post-war requirements for garrison type administrative support were not anticipated or planned for. The associated requirements as we maneuvered to an administrative role versus an operational role far exceeded the G-1s ability to provide the type of quality and timely replies required.
Recommendation: Reserve augmentation within the G-1 was critical. Additional reserve augmentation to support short-term post-war requirements is needed. It is imperative that additional “contingency” billets be added to the T/O with a footnote that they would only be required for post-war support.
Topic: Mail Distribution
Discussion: Numerous issues arose in relation to mail. Timely and accurate distribution during, and especially after the hostilities met with many challenges. The ability for the mail to find their requisite units and adapt to the rapid change in attachments while not perfect, was admirable. The ability to keep the flow forward during retrograde needs to be improved.
Recommendation: More training and emphasis at all levels needs to be placed on the mail distribution process, specifically, what additional requirements are levied upon our units for request, transporting and delivering mail. While not perfect, it would be helpful to at least be aware of the mail process and challenges prior to deployment, with communicating that down to the most junior Marine. While they might not be happy, they will at least know what to expect. There also needs to be more emphasis on mail in the Administrative SOP, as well as provide better training and guidance to the Regimental and Separate Battalion Adjutants.
Topic:Division Administration Center (DAC) Discussion: The challenge of integrating reach back support in an operational environment was answered with the establishment of the DAC. While no doctrine or formal SOP yet exists for reach-back administration or consolidation, the concept employed as envisioned by the Commanding General was a success. While not “consolidated” the co-location of efforts amongst the Regimental and Separate Bn Administration Centers, as well as 2d and 4th Marine Division resources may have actually worked better then consolidation itself.
Recommendation: Make this SOP! Incorporate and begin to train in this direction starting with initial MOS schools. Additional integration of Adjutant training or personnel could only add to the success realized. This concept must be immediately integrated with all operational training exercises as well as simultaneously providing real world support.
Topic: Hospital Liaison Support
Discussion: The ability to track Marines/Sailors is impossible without accurate information from each hospital site.
Recommendation: During OEF/OIF, hospital liaisons were put in place by MEF, with augmentation from each MSC. It would have been beneficial if liaisons were identified prior to deployment so that they would have a chance to develop procedures and train before being required to execute. They also need resources to better execute their mission: mainly laptops and cell phones. Ultimately adding liaisons as “c” coded billets to the T/O, or creating reserve IMA billets is ideal.
Topic: Handling In-Theater Casualties as They Return to Duty
Discussion: Most Marines/Sailors released from the hospitals that are fit for duty were returned to the DSA. Unfortunately most of them did not have their 782/MOPP gear (other than trousers), uniforms, and weapon. This makes it difficult to provide them with an appropriate level of protection, as well as protection during the return trip to their unit.
Recommendation: Recommend that the Division maintain a supply of war-gear drawn from the FSSG. Recommend this pool be located at the DSA for those Marines being returned from MEDEVAC.