KIN BLUE TRAINING AREA, OKINAWA, Japan --
Under the cover of darkness Marines of Company F, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, stealthily made their way ashore in inflatable rubber craft during a mock small-boat amphibious raid, Sept. 12.
The only sounds that could be heard on the beach were the quiet droning of the boat engines, barely audible over the sound of the waves breaking on the shoreline.
As the Marines hit the shore they immediately pulled their boats onto the beach and began setting up security to protect the next wave of Marines already inbound.
When the last of the Marines were ashore, Company F began to silently move towards their objective under the aid of night vision goggles and night vision targeting systems.
Within minutes, the first contact with the enemy was made. The Marines reacted immediately and began returning fire and advancing on the enemy machinegun positions, quickly overcoming the opposition as they pushed toward their objective.
“We were tasked by 31st MEU to conduct a small-boat amphibious raid on Kin Blue to clear any enemy insurgents out of this area,” said Capt. John Dalby, company commander of Company F, BLT 2/7, 31st MEU. “The enemy has been using this area to stage military supplies.”
Upon eliminating or securing all enemy combatants, the Marines swept the area looking for the supplies. Any supplies that were found were destroyed to ensure they did not make it back into the hands of the insurgents.
To further deny the enemy the opportunity to reestablish itself in the area, the Marines turned Kin Blue over to the local national police, played by Marines of Company G, BLT 2/7, 31st MEU.
“Overall the Marines did really well,” said Dalby. “We gained the element of surprise, moved in quickly and cleared the objective very swiftly and violently to accomplish the mission.”
Although the Marines took the exercise seriously, they were still able to enjoy themselves while they conducted it.
“I had a lot of fun,” said Lance Cpl. Clifton Haston, a machine gunner with Company F, BLT 2/7, 31st MEU. “This is what we do, and I hope we do something like this again soon.”
The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.