Photo Information

September 19, 2010, a U.S Marine with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), monitors the landing of a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) during a boat raid on the coast of Guam in support of exercise Valiant Shield, which is part of a certification exercise conducted by the 31st MEU.

Photo by Cpl Christian O. Acevedo

Battalion landing team conducts boat raid in support of certification exercise

23 Sep 2010 | Cpl. Michael A. Bianco

More than 10 Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft filled with Marines from Company B, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, blasted through the waves off the shores of Guam during a mock boat raid in support of CERTEX, Sept. 19.

The mission; to seize a port facility in order to allow the introduction of follow on MEU forces ashore.

“The boat company can raid, destroy, or seize objectives that are in a region where helicopters or AAVs can give up the element of surprise with audible compromise,” said Capt. Roberto Rodriguez, Company B commander. “The Marines and sailors of Company B are specially trained and equipped to conduct amphibious boat raids, but our application using the CRRC allows us to conduct a range of military operations,” said Rodriguez.

According to Rodriguez, CRRC allow the MEU to introduce a force ashore stealthily; at a time and location that keeps the enemy off balance.

“CRRC can be useful during humanitarian aid and disaster recovery operations where floods or tsunamis do not allow mechanized assets to be used,” he said. “A CRRC would be a useful platform for a disaster response team to conduct an assessment because it would have the security with Marines, but could also get into flooded areas or up rivers and streams when roads may be damaged by earthquakes or flooding.”

The training is designed to replicate real-world scenarios to prepare the troops for challenges they may face as a part of a Maritime Contingency Force. The desert-based unit has recently conducted several boats raids to become more familiar with its new role.

The 31st MEU is currently conducting CERTEX as a part of its deployment to the Asia-Pacific Theater and is preparing for exercises where it will train alongside foreign military forces from Japan, the Republic of the Philippines and the Republic of Korea.