Photo Information

A Marine with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's maritime raid force searches the oil platform Hogan for threats during an exercise July 10. The MRF, along with a section of the unit's aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), and command element, are taking part in a large-scale exercise with ocean and urban-based scenarios.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter

Raid force trains to seize offshore oil platform

10 Jul 2011 | Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and sailors trained to recapture an enemy-occupied gas and oil platform five miles off the coast of Carpinteria July 10 during the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit's large-scale exercise with ocean and urban-based scenarios.

The maritime raid force, supported by Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), the aviation combat element for the unit, and sailors from USS New Orleans, rehearsed several days before executing the raid.

"This is the type of multi-faceted, complex training that will prepare our Marines for a successful deployment," said Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Compton, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the MRF. "We can always get better, but the actions of the individual Marines and sailors on the platform were decisive and thorough."

Compton, 30, is from Cleburne, Texas.

The raid force -- transported by CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters and Navy rigid-hull inflatable boats -- used fast-roping and ladder-climbing techniques to infiltrate the platform.

"Between our Navy brothers and sisters transporting us via boats and our aviation combat element's aerial isolation of the target site, the fight was over before it began," said Compton.

"This realistic training will prepare the MEU to be America's forward-deployed, forward-engaged force," said Col. Michael R. Hudson, the unit's commanding officer.

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