EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- During the second portion of its Expeditionary Strike Group Exercise (ESGEX), the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) put ashore nearly 1,500 Marines and Sailors on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida to hone their combat skills.
Among these forces was the MEU's designated helicopter company, Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines. Charlie Company was among the first Marines to go ashore in northwest Florida when they conducted a nighttime helicopter raid on the base's vast ranges and remained on the cold, wind-swept terrain for several days.
During this time, the company conducted live fire and maneuver training, practiced room clearing techniques, and refined their heliborne operations. None of this training would have been possible without the support of the MEU's aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (Reinforced), whose pilots and crew chiefs have worked closely with Charlie Company for several months.
The 22d MEU is scheduled to deploy early next year aboard the amphibious assault ships WASP, SHREVEPORT, and WHIDBEY ISLAND as part of ESG 2. In addition to BLT 1/6 and HMM-266 (Rein), the 22d MEU consists of its Command Element and MEU Service Support Group 22.
For more information on the mission, organization, and status of the 22d MEU, visit the unit's website at www.22meu.usmc.mil.