Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit keeps an expeditionary footing even between deployments by remaining qualified and ready to be called upon at a moment’s notice.
MEUs serve as the primary instrument in America’s 911 force in readiness. At the 22nd MEU, every day is spent training and preparing, not only for its slated 2014 deployment, but for any contingency that may crop up prior to that deployment.
The unit’s training is continuous, with Marines completing their annual swim, rifle, pistol, and gas mask qualifications, and others scheduled for various career and specialty courses.
“Right now, the MEU is focused on maintaining its readiness through keeping up annual requirements,” said Gunnery Sgt. Demetrick Jordan, 22nd MEU training chief and native of Gainesville, Fla. “This will enable us to focus on pre-deployment training and operations.”
Even different attachments such as hazardous response, explosive ordnance disposal and reconnaissance units are being sent to courses they will need for possible deployments ahead of the scheduled MEU rotation.
“Our motor transport Marines are also busy with licensing right now,” said Gunnery Sgt. Trever Nelson, 22nd MEU logistics chief.
According to Nelson, Marines in the unit’s motor pool have coordinated with division to forecast licensing requirements and have been certified to train and license other personnel for buses and a number of tactical vehicles, including light strike vehicles and internally transported vehicles.
“They’re working with our battalion landing team, combat logistics battalion, and air combat element for tactical vehicle licensing,” added Nelson, a native of Fort Valley, Ga. “Right now, they’ve licensed more than 130 Marines with the MEU.
Marines around the unit are also busy maintaining equipment, conducting weekly preventative maintenance on all MEU vehicles and updating deployment gear lists. These preparations will ensure the MEU has everything it will need for the 2014 deployment, and testing equipment that otherwise wouldn’t be used until the deployment.
“If we’re going to take this equipment out there, we need to test it first and make sure it’s reliable,” Cpl. Stephen Morrow, 22nd MEU network engineer and native of Livermore, Calif., said about his Marines configuring a mobile network server. “We want to build our network now so we know it will work later.”
In this fashion, every section of the 22nd MEU continues to prepare for the scheduled deployment, as well as any emergencies that may call the unit to action even sooner.