22nd MEU to conduct urban training exercise in central, western Virginia
20 Aug 2013

The Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will conduct urban training near the towns of Charlottesville, Dinwiddie and Natural Bridge, Va., in the coming days to help them prepare for their upcoming deployment early next year.

The Realistic Urban Training exercise, or RUT, which will take place from Aug. 23 to Sept.

13, 2013, allows the Marines to train in completely new areas that are unique from the standard training facilities they normally use on military bases. The Marines will operate primarily out of Fort Eustis and Fort Pickett, Va., with individual training events planned off base in select locations around Charlottesville, Dinwiddie and Natural Bridge.

The Marines will notify residents in the immediate area of the training sites by conducting house-to-house canvassing to ensure residents are notified prior to each event.

Much of the training will center on what the Marines call situational training exercises. The MEU will be issued a series of mock orders designed to replicate the types of missions it’s likely to face during its deployment, then plan the missions in detail and execute them in pre-designated locations that have already been coordinated with community officials and law enforcement.

Residents of Charlottesville, Dinwiddie, Natural Bridge and surrounding communities may see Marines and role players periodically throughout the exercise and are likely to notice more military aircraft and ground vehicles than usual operating in the area.

Residents in the Dinwiddie area will have a chance to interact with Marines at a community outreach event scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Dinwiddie County Airport, where the Marines are planning a static display of aircraft and equipment that will be open to the public. Further details will be released for this event.

Since 1985, the three Camp Lejeune-based MEUs have used numerous cities throughout the United States to simulate the kinds of hotspots to which MEUs are often called in a crisis as realistically as possible.

The Marines kicked off their predeployment training program in July and will conduct a series of land-based exercises and numerous at-sea periods with their Navy counterparts. RUT is the 22nd MEU’s first major exercise in the program, which is slated to end in December.

The 22nd MEU is composed of its command element; Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced); and Combat Logistics Battalion 22.

The MEU is slated to be the landing force for the Norfolk-based Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), which consists of the amphibious assault ships USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44).

The MEU and Bataan ARG are scheduled to deploy in early 2014 to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility to serve as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations.

If residents have concerns about the training or questions about the noise of the aircraft the following number is provided as an information “hotline”: 910-467-8693.

Information about the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit –

A MEU is considered America’s 911 Force - always forward deployed, ready to respond to a variety of crises from full-scale combat to humanitarian assistance. A MEU consists of a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element, and combat logistics element. The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit is made up of the following units: Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced) based out of New River Air Station,  N.C., with AV-8B Harrier attachments from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.;  Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., which includes various attachments of tanks, reconnaissance, assault amphibious vehicles and other support units; and Combat Logistics Battalion 22 based out of Camp Lejeune. They will deploy on ships of Amphibious Squadron 6 (PHIBRON 6): the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44). There are three MEUs on the East Coast (22nd, 24th and 26th) and three on the West Coast (11th, 13th and 15th), with a seventh based out of Okinawa (31st MEU). The 26th MEU is currently deployed from Camp Lejeune.

The 22nd MEU last deployed from March 2011 to February 2012 to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. During this deployment, the MEU supported operations in Libya and participated in numerous training exercises and theater security cooperation events with partner nations throughout Europe, the Middle East and Djibouti, Africa.

Capt. Stewart M. Coles, APR+M

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Public Affairs Office PSC Box 20082 Camp Lejeune, N.C., 28542-0082

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit