Photo Information

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit wait by their rifles to receive instruction before a night hike here Jan. 31. The hike is one of many training events the 11th MEU command element has planned in preparation for their upcoming deployment.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Gene Allen Ainsworth III

Pacific Pride tackles night hike

31 Jan 2011 | Cpl. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

One hundred fifteen Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s command element completed their second night hike here Jan. 31.

The unit traveled down moonless gravel roads loaded with packs and weapons, beginning at Edson Range.

During the ten-mile hike, encouraging voices could be heard throughout the formation.

“I think we did a good job,” said Pfc. Corey J. Erickson, 20, a field radio operator with the unit. “The motivation between each other was great, if someone starts to fall out we support them.”

Erickson, from San Clemente, Calif., has completed several hikes with the unit since July 2010.

The team building exercise was a great opportunity to get back to the basics and become a better trained Marine, according to Master Sgt. Ruben Urquidez, the unit's headquarters commandant.

“I’m extremely proud of the Marines for the way they conducted themselves on the hike,” Urquidez said. “They were able to work through the mental challenge and exceed the expectations of the MEU commander and MEU sergeant major.”

As the unit's training plan unfolds the physical and mental training will become more difficult and complex to prepare the MEU for a succesful deployment.

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