NORFOLK, Va. -- Marines and sailors with 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit began their second-to-last pre-deployment exercise, boarding the ships of Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group for Composite Training Unit Exercise, July 4-10.
The MEU will bring together the lessons learned and skills developed through intensive pre-deployment training in the last four months for COMPTUEX.
The goal of COMPTUEX is to integrate, train and finalize communication and mission procedures with their Navy counterparts. MEU Marines will conduct missions within a complex training scenario from the Navy’s amphibious ships comprising the Kearsarge ARG.
The Marines will work side-by-side with the sailors of Amphibious Squadron 4 and its three ships to ensure the MEU/ARG team can project power from Naval vessels and conduct the full range of military operations from combat to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
During COMPTUEX, Marines and sailors will also continue to strengthen U.S. alliances by participating in Operation Auriga, a simultaneous bilateral carrier-integration and amphibious training exercise with British naval and Marine forces. Auriga is designed to increase the proficiency and interoperability of both U.S. and United Kingdom forces during coalition and amphibious operations.
In preceding months, 26th MEU Marines conducted training and exercises to meet a wide variety of missions. Some of these missions include Maritime Interception Operations, humanitarian assistance, mass casualty exercises, live ordnance strikes, long range aviation raids, amphibious landings from the ships’ well decks, and Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel.
After COMPTUEX, 26th MEU will conclude its pre-deployment training with a Certification Exercise in August to affirm its deployment readiness.
The Camp Lejeune-based MEU, which is comprised of Battalion Landing Team 3/8, Combat Logistics Battalion 26, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Rein), is scheduled for deployment aboard USS Kearsarge, USS Ponce, and USS Carter Hall in the fall.