CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan (Jan. 19, 2017) -- CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan – Marines with 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit completed the first step of a comprehensive pre-deployment cycle at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan Jan. 19, in preparation for an upcoming patrol of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
The Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise is the first in a series of training exercises to prepare the Marines and the Sailors of the 31st MEU for the upcoming patrol of the Pacific. The air, ground and logistics combat elements of the MEU conducted 10 days of scenario-based training to simulate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious assaults, security operations, non-combatant evacuation operations and limited contingency operations.
“MEUEX provides a critical opportunity to bring the Marine Air-Ground Task Force together to rehearse mission essential tasks and work on the rapid-response planning process,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, Commander of the 31st MEU. “The training doesn’t stop here. As soon as these Marines embark for a patrol, they will continue to train for the full range of military operations.”
During patrols of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the 31st MEU engages with partner nations to sustain theater security and continue integrated bilateral training, furthering cohesion between militaries.
“Maintaining a forward presence matters,” Wallace said. “Remaining flexible enough to provide assistance to our friends and allies, and staying ready to respond to any type of contingency, makes it possible for us to continue the lasting partnerships we have made through engagements and training.”
MEUEX brings together the individual MEU elements, training them to effectively respond to specific crisis situations. Every year, each element of the MEU rotates out, bringing in new units to maintain the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The new units work together for the first time during this exercise; each event helps them build strong working relationships and improves interoperability during deployments.
“This exercise gave the battalion a chance to work alongside aviation and logistics units, and allowed us to efficiently plan and execute operations,” said 1st Sgt. Arthur Wood, company first sergeant for Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines. “Many of our junior Marines have not deployed before, and this rotation with the 31st MEU provides them with essential training alongside air and logistics elements they would work with in real-world scenarios.”