Wednesday, December 30, 2015

JTF-Bravo wraps up 2015 with CARVANA mission

by Capt. Christopher Mesnard
Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

12/29/2015 - SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras -- Members from Joint Task Force-Bravo completed a two-day troop movement of Honduran soldiers Dec. 17, 2015, in the Gracias a Dios Department (state) of Honduras, as a part of a greater endeavor to assist the Central American nation's efforts to combat the trafficking of illicit materials through the region.

The troop-movement mission is part of a greater Honduran operation, named CARAVANA, and this iteration was the final one this calendar year, continuing to develop and build on the effects of the operation from the initial vision and request for support from the Honduran president in October 2014.

Originally, the request for aid to move troops came from the Honduran President's office to Gen. John F. Kelly, U.S. Southern Command commander.

"Our President has recognized the importance of supporting our Central American partners, making the region one of his top foreign policy priorities," Kelly stated in his March 12, 2015 Posture Statement to Congress. "We are now seeing real progress being made by the three 'Northern Triangle' countries. While there are many good examples, the situation is especially encouraging in Honduras, where the government is working hard to combat the drug trade, re-establish governance in remote areas, and take meaningful action to protect human rights."

Since its initiation, Operation CARAVANA has facilitated the movement of nearly 5,000 troops and over 210,000 pounds of cargo between remote locations in the eastern part of Honduras, giving the country the ability to quickly focus and adjust their forces against the ever changing tactics traffickers use in the region.

As Operation CARAVANA continues to evolve in its execution, JTF-Bravo continues to work in support of the Honduran Forces to ensure we facilitate efforts to gain significant effects against the trafficking organizations working within Honduras.

"The execution of this operation on a consistent basis has not only achieved the right effects within Gracias a Dios, but also effects throughout the region - impacting the overall trafficking network," said Col. Robert Harman, JTF-Bravo commander. "In addition, it has increased our interaction with the Honduran Staff in developing detailed and integrated plans, and also integrated command and control throughout the Honduran 30 day rotations of Operation CARAVANA. This operation is not only impacting the environment but providing the time and space for further development of our partnered forces."

Face of Defense: Marine Employee’s Path Leads Him Back to Birthplace

By Monique Randolph, Marine Corps Systems Command DoD News, Defense Media Activity

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va., December 30, 2015 — On the day before the U.S. Marines Corps celebrated its 240th birthday, one Marine Corps Systems Command civilian employee -- and former active-duty Marine -- celebrated his own birthday in a very special place.

Kevin Scott was born on the second floor of Naval Hospital Quantico, located on historic Hospital Point and now headquarters to the Marine Corps acquisition workforce. Today, you’ll find him working two floors below that birthing room as the head of manpower, personnel and training for Program Manager Combat Support Systems supporting program teams in the development and evaluation of acquisition training products against service standards. Scott never imagined his career path would take him full-circle to where he was born.

“I find it neat to say that I was born in this building and now I work here,” Scott said.

Idolizing Dad

When Scott was born, he said, his father was a first lieutenant in the Marines and a combat engineer on base.

“Growing up, I remember going to the emergency room and the pediatrics all the time to get bones fixed,” he said.

The former hospital was built in 1939 and commissioned as a Naval Hospital on July 1, 1941. During World War II, the hospital expanded with an inpatient capacity swelling to over 600 beds. Today, the old emergency room is the Riverside Café.

As he got older, Scott said he followed his father’s example, receiving a commission as a Marine Corps infantry officer in 1980.

“I can honestly say that my father was my idol growing up,” he said. “Not a sports legend or sports guy or anything. My father was my idol. I always wanted to do better than he did.”

Transitioning to Civilian Life

While serving thirteen years in the Corps, Scott, his wife Lisa, a former Navy nurse, and their two children saw the country, living in such places as Hawaii and Maine. After years away, he said he completed his service in 1993 and returned to Northern Virginia to be closer to family. Scott said he eventually rejoined his Quantico family as well, taking a position writing training standards at Marine Corps Training and Education Command.

In 2004, he accepted a position at MCSC and has served the past 11 years as a Marine Corps civilian employee in the very building where he was born.

Scott said he seldom thinks about the fact that he now works in the same building listed on his birth certificate, but his lifetime in the Marine Corps -- both as a child and adult -- left a lasting impression.

Nova Scott, his mother, said she is proud of the man her son has become.

“When we were raising our children we wanted to instill in them to be truthful and respectful,” she said. “But it had to be a learning experience. I think we did a good job.”
As the Marine Corps' only systems command, MCSC oversees the development, acquisition and lifecycle logistics of Marine Corps ground weapon and information technology system programs.