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December 24, 2021

US Marine Corps completes MEU Exercise in Okinawa

More than 2,275 Marines and sailors participated in the training exercise.

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) of the US Marine Corps (USMC) and some subordinate units have completed a training exercise in Okinawa.

The other units that were involved were Battalion Landing Team (BLT), 1st Battalion, 5th Marines (1/5), Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 31.

During the two-week long MEU Exercise (MEUEX), more than 2,275 Marines and sailors honed their skills for conducting crisis response missions.

It included practising tactics, techniques and procedures for such missions.

31st MEU sergeant major Joshua Smith said: “The MEU conducts MEUEX after compositing as a MAGTF [Marine Air-Ground Task Force].

“It’s where we amass our forces, perfect our skills across the warfighting functions, mutually improve tactical skills and project our combat power. It’s truly motivating to see our Marines and sailors operating as a lethal force.”

BLT 1/5’s Operations Officer major Keegan R. Kinkade said: “As a response force, rehearsals sharpen our efficiency.

“This exercise enhanced interoperability amongst all elements of the MEU, deepening the mutual understanding of each other’s capabilities, equipment, and tactical employment.”

The 31st MEU conducts MEUEX in order to maintain its readiness and enhance MAGTF interoperability.

It also enables the personnel to refine their skillset to support different naval concepts including Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and Distributed Maritime Operations.

31st MEU commanding officer Colonel Michael Nakonieczny said: “MEUEX provides us the opportunity to sustain and re-validate our readiness to deploy at a moment’s notice to crises and contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific.

“Whether we find ourselves responding to a humanitarian disaster, non-combatant evacuation, or other crises, the 31st MEU is equipped to integrate and operate across the competition continuums and in all domains.”

Earlier this year, USMC received a new, explosive rocket launcher that provides additional protection in urban environments.

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