CAMP LEMONNIER, DJIBOUTI --
Marines with Echo Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), trained ashore near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, October 6 to 12.
The six-day evolution included squad and platoon live fire attacks, night live fire training, motorized assault training, and demolitions training.
This was the first time the Marines have trained ashore since training in Romania in July. Marines have been embarked aboard the multipurpose amphibious ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) since July.
“Getting off the ship, whether in Djibouti, Spain, or Romania, gives the Marines an opportunity to do things that they can’t do, due to the limited space on ship,” said Cpl. Clay C. Johnson, a squad leader with Echo Company and Bruceton Mills, W. Va., native.
While training in Spain in June and Romania in July, the company focused on bilateral training. This was the first exercise focused on unilateral training.
“It was a nice change of pace,” said Staff Sgt. Michael J. Domino, a platoon sergeant with Echo Company. “It gave us the chance to push beyond those basic skills that we concentrate on with bilateral training. It let us get into those platoon level tasks.”
The recent training in Djibouti offered the Marines a variety of live-fire ranges, culminating in platoon-level, live fire attacks.
“It was instrumental to the development of the junior Marines who haven’t had a lot of live-fire training since joining the unit,” said Domino.
The company has been forward deployed for more than six months and will continue to train and stay prepared for their current mission.
“The Marines performed exceptionally, as expected,” said Capt. Brandon J. Gorman, the commanding officer of Echo Company and Charlotte, N. C. native. “We forced them into tough, realistic, long duration live-fire evolutions and they performed as America’s 911 shock troops should; as professionals. They know their jobs, and they understand that if the MEU is called into a highly kinetic environment, this company is going to be called to spearhead the assault.”
The 22nd MEU is currently deployed as part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) as the U.S. Central Command theatre reserve force, also providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.