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U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael L. Brooks, base commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, a native of South Boston, Virginia, speaks with visiting journalists on MCBQ, Virginia, Aug. 31, 2023. Journalists from local media outlets toured Quantico's firing ranges to better understand how Marine Corps Base Quantico supports training for its tenant and adjacent commands. Journalists also had the opportunity to speak to Col. Michael L. Brooks, base commander, MCBQ, about the many ways the base partners with the surrounding counties. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Brandes)

Photo by Lance Cpl. David Brandes

Col. Brooks welcomes visiting journalists for media roundtable discussion

20 Oct 2023 | Lance Cpl. David Brandes Marine Corps Base Quantico

MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Base Commander U.S. Marine Corps Col. Michael L. Brooks met with local civilian media outlets on August 31 to host a tour through several of MCBQ’s ranges and conduct a roundtable discussion on its relationship to the surrounding Prince William, Stafford, and Fauquier counties.

The tour included a behind-the-scenes look into the innerworkings of Quantico’s Range Control, which oversees training across 43 live-fire ranges. Jim Cook, deputy director for Range Control, explained how the arrangement and supervision of the various ranges ensures maximum safety. For example, in case of a potential mishap, weapons with longer ranges always shoot towards the interior of the base, thus ensuring that no projectiles could ever go beyond its borders.

According to Col. Brooks, one of the most common concerns he hears from Quantico’s neighboring communities is about the disruptive noise from training here. He sees good communication with the local communities not just as an essential element to addressing their concerns, but also one of his biggest challenges.

“Ensuring there’s proper communication that’s going back and forth, and I have a large team of folks in different branches that help me with that communication. That is the hardest because everybody’s busy,” Brooks explains. “We’re busy on the base, our local leaders are busy doing what they have to do throughout their communities, and sometimes we can kind of go past each other. My team helps me stay engaged, not just with our local leaders, but with our school districts for example.”

The roundtable discussion at The Clubs at Quantico afforded the journalists an opportunity to talk more in depth with the commander about Marine Corps Base Quantico and its impact on the community. Throughout the discussion, several key topics were brought up, including the base’s unique position in having a civilian town within it, it’s economic impact on the area, and personnel shortages it’s currently facing.

“Engineers, planners, H-VAC techs, early childhood instructors…you name it,” Col. Brooks said listing off the many elements of the base’s workforce that are currently lacking personnel.

Even with these personnel shortfalls, the colonel sees his team doing their best to meet the mission every day. “I’m most proud of the team that makes up Marine Corps Base Quantico. They’re working extremely hard despite our personnel shortages that we’re experiencing across all lines of effort, and they’re doing it because they want to do it, not because they’re having to be told. That makes me really proud to see, what we’re able to accomplish with what we have.”

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