CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Aviation, ground and logistics elements worked in concert here March 2-6 to complete the first of several exercises planned for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which deploys later this year.
The exercise established the foundation of a cohesive war-fighting unit of 2,200 Marines and sailors, said Col. Gregg Olson, 11th MEU commanding officer.
“We have experienced leaders who know what it takes to prepare for war,” he said.
In addition to executing surface and helicopter-borne raids, the unit conducted a variety of missions including humanitarian assistance, personnel recovery and tactical refueling.
The three major subordinate elements, which officially joined the MEU in January, are Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 11.
“Each element brings specific expertise,” said Lt. Col. James R. Hensien, CLB-11 commanding officer. “There isn’t one unit with expertise in all areas. We have a requirement to teach each other.”
Simulating a forward-deployed environment, as if projected inland, the latest exercise put the planning skills into action by incorporating all players down to the platoon level.
As the MEU hones its capabilities as an air-ground task force and begins training from the sea with Navy counterparts, a progressive training schedule will integrate a more amphibious focus.