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22nd MEU, IDF complete Noble Shirley 16

21 Jul 2016 | Sgt. Ryan Young 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

About 350 Marines and Sailors from 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and about 150 soldiers from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) trained together July 17-21 for exercise Noble Shirley 16, a bi-lateral training exercise held annually in Israel.

“Noble Shirley 16 is a U.S. and Israeli exercise designed to strengthen and sustain partnerships between two countries,” said Maj. Chris Niedziocha, executive officer for Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd MEU.

The 22nd MEU service members offloaded July 17 from the amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD-17) and were transported inland to a training area in western Israel. Training began the next day with a simulated integrated assault on a massive urban complex.

“We’re doing a lot of urban combat training,” said Niedziocha. “The Marine and IDF companies cleared a large portion of the urban training area together.”

The Marines worked closely with their IDF counterparts; training included live-fire, military operations in urban terrain, and tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel.

The Marines and IDF shared tactics, techniques and procedures with each other during the training, furthering the integration between the militaries.

“Modern warfare is coalition warfare; any opportunity for them to see our techniques is good,” said Niedziocha. “Our techniques are NATO’s techniques: so if they can work with us, they can work with anyone.”

The exercise concluded with a warrior’s night served with traditional Israeli food.

The 22nd MEU, deployed with the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group, is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.