American Naval Reservists Engage in MAKO Contest 2024

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The MAKO Challenge 2024

Between the 18th and 21st of January, 2024, Reserve Sailors from a wide range of U.S. Fleet Forces gathered together at Norfolk’s Navy Warfare Development Center to take part in an exciting event known as the MAKO Challenge 2024. The primary purpose of this meeting was to dive deep into the Operational Level of War (OLW), with a keen focus on scenarios occurring at the Maritime Operations Center (MOC).

Focusing on War Readiness Preparation

Directed by Rear Adm. Kenneth Blackmon, the schedule of training was centered on familiarization of the Reserve Sailors with MOC watchstanding, operational planning, and briefing procedures. The MAKO Challenge is a unique representation of the commitment the Navy Reserve retains in bettering warfighting readiness. It is designed to equip reservists with the necessary competencies to seamlessly collaborate with active-duty personnel whenever necessity dictates.

Tackling the Learning Curve

Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Daniel Boda emphasized the value of recurring training in reducing the steep learning curve experienced by Reserve Sailors transitioning to active duty. A mentor figure, Boda shared his expertise among his peers during the challenging MAKO event.

Navigating Real-world War Decision Making

In the midst of the proceedings, the Navy’s top leaders shed light on the pivotal roles MOCs play in making real-time war decisions. By providing an enabling platform for junior sailors to learn critical skills in a forgiving environment, the MAKO series is casting a long shadow in the arena of training. High-ranking personalities such as Vice Adm. John Gumbleton graced the event to witness first hand the amalgamation activities. His remarks concerning the unique breadth of experience and knowledge reserve sailors inject into fleet operations were greatly appreciated by all attendees.

  • MAKO Challenge 2024 is organized with a specific aim of in-depth immersion in Operational Level of War (OLW).
  • The program was conducted under the stewardship of Rear Adm. Kenneth Blackmon to promote the skills of MOC watchstanding, operational planning, etc.
  • An emphasis is given on ongoing training to minimize the learning curve for Reserve Sailors.
  • Vice Adm. John Gumbleton was one of the dignitaries present at the training to review the integration activities closely.
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