Photo Information

A CH-46E Sea Knight lands on USS Makin Island here Sept. 1. The helicopter belongs to Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), the aviation combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The unit embarked Makin Island and the amphibious transport dock New Orleans in San Diego to begin its second seagoing exercise since becoming a complete Marine air-ground task force in May.::r::::n::

Photo by Sgt. Elyssa Quesada

MEU sea-based training continues

1 Sep 2011 | Sgt. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit began a 16-day at-sea exercise here Sept. 1 with the Navy's Amphibious Squadron Five aboard amphibious ships.While embarked aboard USS Makin Island and USS New Orleans, Marines and sailors with the unit will conduct ship-to-shore training.

During the training period, the unit will conduct various land-based training, helicopter-borne raids, personnel recovery, humanitarian aid and noncombatant evacuations to prepare the MEU for its Western Pacific deployment.

Preparing a dynamic organization like this is a challenge; each piece of the puzzle compliments each other during the six-month workup cycle prior to the certification exercise, said Lt. Col. Thomas Prentice, MEU operations officer.

The exercise is the second time the unit has gone to sea since assuming operational control of Battalion Landing Team 3/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 11.

“This exercise is an opportunity for the unit to execute our amphibious mission essential tasks such as raids,” Prentice said.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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