U.S. NAVAL BASE GUAM --
Company C, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted its first mock airfield seizure as the MEU’s Helicopter Company, Sept. 19.
According to 1st Lt. Jeremiah Adams, Company C Executive Officer, the airfield seizure mission is what defines the helicopter company.
“The airfield seizure is what we are expected to be able to do,” he said. “Seizing an airfield is one of the first things that must happen when U.S. forces make entry into a theater.”
An airfield enables a unit to transport manpower, weaponry and sustainment to conduct prolonged operations and bring the full spectrum of U.S. military power ashore.
The mission was to seize the abandoned Apra Airfield on Guam in order to establish a temporary logistics hub to allow the flow of follow-on forces. The company had to conduct a heliborne operation, establish a defense, conduct a linkup with the Combined Anti Armor and Light Armor Reconnaissance Teams, and conduct a relief in place with Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 7. A relief in place refers to a situation when control of an area is transferred from one unit to the other.
The 31st MEU is currently conducting CERTEX as a part of its deployment in 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.