MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed its Realistic Urban Training (RUT) exercise Sept. 13, 2013.
The MEU conducted training at Fort Eustis and Fort Pickett, Va., with individual training events at off-base sites around Charlottesville, Dinwiddie and Natural Bridge, Va.
“The support we received from the fire departments, police, business owners, and especially the residents, has been phenomenal. On behalf of the Marines and Sailors of the 22nd MEU, I’d like to personally thank the citizens of Charlottesville, Dinwiddie and Natural Bridge, Va., for helping us train for our deployment,” said Col. William R. Dunn, 22nd MEU commanding officer. “We are now more prepared to respond to crises abroad thanks to this training opportunity.”
The sites provided excellent training venues that simulated an urban operating environment while minimizing the impact of the training on the daily activities of businesses or other public facilities.
The types of aircraft that participated in the training included the MV-22 Osprey, UH-1Y Huey, CH-53E Super Stallion and AH-1W Super Cobra.
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.
The Marines kicked off their pre-deployment training program in July and will conduct a series of land-based exercises and numerous at-sea periods with their Navy counterparts. RUT was the 22nd MEU’s first major exercise in the six-month training program.
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.
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 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.