Amphibious Warfare Community Gathers for Advisory Group Conference 
By Lt. j.g. Theresa James and Lt. j.g. Wesley Holzapfel, Expeditionary Strike Group 2 Public Affairs  
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Leadership and representatives of the amphibious warfare community will participate in the annual Amphibious Warfare Operational Advisory Group (OAG) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek June 26-28 to provide top naval leadership with fleet input into the development of the amphibious force.

The advisory group is chartered to provide fleet input into the Navy requirements process using an organized methodology. It will also capitalize on the attendance of senior leaders to identify amphibious community issues in order to propose solutions to senior naval leaders for consumption and action.

Expeditionary Strike Group 2 will host the 2012 Amphibious Warfare OAG.

"The Amphibious Warfare OAG is an invaluable opportunity for our community," said Rear Adm. Ann C. Phillips, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2. "It is the only exclusively Navy amphibious forum which meets annually to consider the community's forward progress, and is convened to make significant and timely recommendations to 4-star level leadership in order to sustain the growth of the force."

By leveraging use of communication technology, such as video teleconferencing (VTC) and conference calling, members from Expeditionary Strike Groups 2, 3, 5, and 7; the Office of Chief of Naval Operations; and representatives from the Marine Corps will be in attendance.

"It is critical that the amphibious fleet be properly represented by those who take part in the day to day operations of the Surface Navy; this guarantees that the needs of our Sailors and Marines are met," said Phillips.

Fleet feedback will culminate through a series of working groups, which are built upon the foundation of weeks of prior planning, coordination and information exchange. The working group forums will allow the fusion of varied geographic and operational perspectives of individual commands, to blend into a consolidated and prioritized list of overall amphibious force requirements. Recommendations are intended to continue the sustainment, and encourage the evolution of amphibious operations in today's environment. Current amphibious operations range across a number of mission areas from theatre security to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

"Basically we will submit a list of top priority programs we want funded," said Lt. Col. Wesley Bane, plans officer, Expeditionary Strike Group 2. "We submit our list to be combined with prioritized lists from all other communities. This information allows the Operational Advisory Group to build increased support and awareness for the amphibious fleet, providing tangible feedback to naval leadership."

Planned conference topics will cover a range of subjects to include readiness, maintenance, and training. In addition, current and future programs will be discussed and evaluated based on necessity and importance to the amphibious fleet. The information gathered and discussed will aid in creating the next budget cycle.

This in turn will sustain the rapid and robust, deployable, crisis response capabilities of the mobile, scalable, and self-sustaining amphibious force.
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