CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, UNITED STATES
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Marines with Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted an aviation-borne raid aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 8.
The raid was the company’s first ship-to-shore exercise while underway with the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group.
“We haven’t dealt with moving from ship to shore that often,” said Cpl. Justin M. Wilson, a Fox Company squad leader and Stanford, Ky., native. “Actually getting out there and doing it is very valuable.”
Sections of MV-22B Ospreys and CH-53E Super Stallions with Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced) carried Fox Company Marines and sailors from the USS Bataan, across the Atlantic Ocean, to their objective, a compound housing 10 to 15 insurgents with weapons and improvised explosive device making materials.
Although this is an exercise, the insurgents and mission objectives offer a more detailed background than traditionally used during other training evolutions.
“I don’t think we’ve ever done anything like this with Fox Company before,” said Cpl. Joshua A. Matson, a Fox Co. squad leader and Libby, Mont., native.
The Marines effectively moved through the town to reach their objective. After fighting off the insurgents and seizing the compound, they searched the area and gathered invaluable information.
The collected facts will influence upcoming missions within the training scenario, and 22nd MEU’s actions during each exercise will affect other MEUs who will go through the same training scenarios.
“For the Marines, this scenario adds the most realism,” said Capt. Justin M. Bellman, Fox Company commanding officer and Newark, Del., native. “It starts off every morning, we get updates on the scenario, and it makes us feel like we’re off the coast of another country.”
After collecting information on the objective, the Marines and sailors vacated their location and boarded the MV-22Bs and CH-53Es and returned to the ship.
“It was good combat training,” said 1st Sgt. Jeffery V. Dagenhart, the company’s first sergeant and Edinburgh, Germany, native.
The Marines will continue to shape the training scenario as they train off the coast of the U.S. Their deployment began nearly three months early and they are ready for any mission which comes their way.
“This training is invaluable,” said Bellman. “One thing this validates is that Fox Company is an extremely proficient company. It’s the Marines who get the job done and they execute according to orders all the time.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and will continue to train and improve the MEU’s ability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to a hostile environment or crisis.
||CAMP LEJEUNE, NC, US
This work, BLT 2/2 Conducts Ship-to-Shore Aviation-Borne Raid, by Sgt John Raufmann, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.