CAUP MIDIA, ROMANIA --
Marines with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, trained with Romanian Marines with the 307th Marine Infantry Battalion aboard Capu Midia, Romania, July 30 to August 3, 2011.
The training was known as Summer Storm Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 11, and was meant to increase the interoperability between U.S. and Romanian forces.
Over the course of the five days the Marines conducted military operations in urban terrain training, live-fire ranges, amphibious interoperability training, and an amphibious raid as the culminating event, which utilized all the different skill sets studied throughout the week.
“The training all this week was very intense and quality stuff,” said Romanian Capt. Visan Claudiuv, the company commander of 2nd Company, 307th Marine Infantry Battalion. “For some of my guys it was new stuff and for the others it was good to develop their skills.”
Claudiuv added that this was the best training he has seen all year and that he looks forward to working with more Marines in the future.
The training not only challenged the young Marines, but also the senior staff, whose joint planning made the entire operation possible.
“This type of exercise is across all our corps competencies,” said Maj. Sean Connolly, the executive officer of the BLT, and native of Bay Shore, N.Y. “It’s a huge challenge and the process functions from administration to logistics to operations.”
The Marines capitalized on the experience as they exchanged tactics, techniques and procedures with the Romanians to better each other.
“We don’t have the opportunity to conduct this training that often, so when we do we absolutely are going to capitalize on it,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy M. Ward, a platoon sergeant and Phoenix native with Echo Company. “Conducting bilateral exercises allows us to meet up with our Romanian allies, exchange our tactics, exchange our techniques, exchange our experiences, which makes us all much more proficient.”
Ward added that this was one of the best relationships that he has seen between Marines and foreign military training partner. He also added that the bilateral training not only builds good relations with the military, but with the host country as well.
“The Romanians would like to see this as a yearly exercise,” said Connolly. “They’re very eager to work with us; they’re very competent, so this is a great opportunity for the two countries to get closer together.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group serving as a potent, formidable and deterrent force who continues to train and improve their capability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of an Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); a Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; a Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps’ smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and each is comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to hostile environment or crisis.