FORT GORDON, Ga. -- Residents near Fort Gordon, Ga., and in the Barnwell, S.C., area can expect an increase in military aircraft traffic Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2013.
The Marines and Sailors of the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) will conduct training near Fort Gordon, Ga., and Barnwell, S.C., in support of the Amphibious Ready Group/MEU Exercise (ARG/MEU Ex).
Residents are likely to notice more military aircraft than usual operating in the area. The types of aircraft participating in the training may include the MV-22 Osprey, UH-1Y Huey, CH-53E Super Stallion, AH-1W Super Cobra and AV-8B Harrier.
The Marines kicked off their pre-deployment training program in July and are conducting a series of land-based exercises and numerous at-sea periods with their Navy counterparts. ARG/MEU Ex is the 22nd MEU’s third major exercise in the six-month training program, which is scheduled 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 (CLB) 22.
The MEU is slated to be the landing force for the Norfolk-based Bataan 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 or questions about the noise of the aircraft the following number is provided as a “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 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 (CLB) 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.