07/30/2014: KANGAROO FLATS TRAINING AREA, Northern Territory, Australia – Marines with 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, and Soldiers with the Australian Army, participate in the fire team leaders course here.
The Fire Team Leader is a crucial element in a deployed USMC force. It is about fires integration from ground and air elements.
According to Major Cuomo, the head of the Infantry Officer Course (IOC):
A key aspect of USMC operations through which air and ground innovations pass from the standpoint of the GCE is through the FIST (fire support team) leader.
The FIST leader’s job is to employ all of the combined arms assets, whether at sea, in the air, or on the ground, in support of the GCE and its mission.
There is no other school which integrates the FIST’s role into the overall ground scheme of maneuver like this one
He added that with the addition of new systems, such as the Osprey and F-35, along with other new radar and attack systems, the “FIST commander can now think very differently about GCE and MAGTF operations.”
The rotational deployment in Darwin enables Marines to more effectively train, exercise, and operate with partners and builds capacity to respond more rapidly to natural disasters and crises throughout the region.