Story by 2nd Lt. Maria C. Arnone, 15th MEU Deputy Public Affairs Officer
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines and Sailors with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit complete the first major field exercise of their pre-deployment training period as a composite force aboard Camp Pendleton, Feb. 6-10 in preparation for their upcoming WESTPAC 17-2 deployment.
The Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise set the foundation for the remainder of the pre-deployment training by giving the air, ground, logistics and command elements an opportunity to come together for five days to practice scenario-based missions to conduct raids, sustainment operations and other mission-essential training.
“It worked the way it does for most Southern California MEUs; it was wet, cold and muddy,” said Col. Joseph R Clearfield, 15th MEU commanding officer. “But it was a great turn for us with the whole MEU together. It was a chance to build the team more as we went through our high-profile, most-likely mission sets and executed together as a team.”
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced) practiced gathering aerial reconnaissance with the RQ-21, which will execute its first west coast deployment, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Combined Anti-Armor Team and Light Armored Reconnaissance Platoon conducted multiple day and night raids, the Maritime Raid Force exercised interoperability with their support elements and conducted an assault, and the Combat Logistics Element’s tactical water purification system decontaminated water from the Pacific Ocean in order to keep the entire participating force hydrated.
All of these different iterations were enabled by the Command Element, which effected command and control through the entire exercise by executing the rapid response planning process. Throughout the week, the staff planned missions and exercises based off of simulated scenarios, and incorporated the different assets of each element into their plan while adhering to a strict timeline to simulate short-fuse timelines real-world crises would necessitate.
“MEUEX allowed the 15th MEU to integrate specialties throughout the MAGTF in a complex operating environment,” said 2nd Lt. Lieutenant Payton Roberts, officer in charge of the 15th MEU’s Law Enforcement Detachment. “The unit exercised planning, operating, and command and control for raids conducted by the Maritime Raid Force and BLT while integrating with highly technical and specialized fields such Counterintelligence, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and Law Enforcement detachments.”
The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is comprised of some of the most historic units U.S. history – 1st Battalion, 5th Marines serving as the Ground Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161 (Reinforced) serving as the Aviation Combat Element, and Combat Logistics Battalion 15 serving as the Logistics Combat Element. Together they are the nation’s crisis contingency force, consistently ready to respond to across the range of military operations.
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CAMP PENDLETON, CA, US
This work, 15th MEU Completes First Major Exercise Since Composite, by Cpl Hannah Perkins, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.