Photo Information

Marines with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit provide security during a noncombatant evacuation exercise here Oct. 8. The unit embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Sept. 28 and is participating in its final exercise before deploying in November.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Claudia M. Palacios

Mock evacuation preps unit for deployment

8 Oct 2011 | Sgt. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted noncombatant-evacuation training here Oct. 8 during the unit’s final exercise before deploying in November.

The unit employed its ground, aviation and logistics elements to evacuate 32 role players from Point Mugu, Calif.; Laughlin, Nev.; and Camp Pendleton.

Combat Logistics Battalion 11 used its noncombatant tracking system to process role-players, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) provided helicopters and Battalion Landing Team 3/1 provided security.

The tracking system provides a way of electronically identifying and tracking people when a region is evacuated.

“With so many countries in turmoil around the globe, ambassadors know they have the option to ask the military for assistance,” said Lt. Col. Andy Bergen, the commanding officer of CLB-11. “This exercise was especially good training because we were afforded the opportunity to work with state department personnel, who are intricately involved in evacuation operations overseas.”

The training prepared the Marines to protect and safely evacuate civilians from areas of unrest, according to Sgt. Bradley K. McMurray, the assistant site commander.

“It’s highly likely that we could be asked to evacuate noncombatants while deployed,” Bergen said, who hails from Encinitas, Calif. “This training offers Marines a chance to further prepare for that situation.”

The unit embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Sept. 28 before deploying to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.

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