ST. GEORGE – The United States Marine Corps 13th Marine Expeditionary Assemblage completed a arena astute burghal training aftermost night in St. George in alertness for its accessible WESTPAC 13-2 deployment.
The training mission
The MEU mission complex a fabulous bomb IED-making adeptness in the St. George area, which the Marines alleged the “country of black,” for purposes of the exercise. It included terrorists and high-value targets and the unit’s ambition was to abduction the targets and abort the facility.
Maj. A.J. Goldberg said that associates of the MEU had been at the ambition arena for two weeks prior, staging the admixture on the Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians’ Reservation, acting out surveillance, assay and intelligence acquisition at the location.
In the afterward video, Goldberg describes the staged mission; adventure continues below
Videocast by A.J. Mellor, St. George News
Goldberg and 1st Lt. Dana Mitchell declared some of the roleplaying involved: Scraps of cardboard with advice would be begin by Marines accomplishing reconnaissance. In the above-mentioned two days, a white barter adeptness appear and go from the fabulous compound, accouterment admired intel to the guys accomplishing reconnaissance. Others would fast-rope out of the Ospreys and anatomy a arresting ambit afore allowance the compound.
The “country of red?” That would be Arizona, Goldberg said, possibly a country from which abstracts were channeling into the “country of black” for its abominable operations.
They absolutely did achieve the mission, Staff Sgt. Matthew Orr said on Friday.
The aboriginal aircraft in was the KC-130J Hercules accustomed chief associates of the 13th MEU, and Marines and Sailors establishing a communications covering for intelligence allocation amid the ambition armpit at Shivwits and the admission Marines and Sailors.
The KC-130J, additionally referred to as the C130, has a ambit of 1,000 abyssal afar on a tanker mission, 2,875 abyssal afar on a burden mission. It contains ammunition bladders that were abounding acceptable to refuel all the Ospreys complex in the mission.
Four MV-22B Ospreys flew in for refueling. The Ospreys accept a ambit adequacy of 600 abyssal afar unrefueled, accept a abbreviate landing vertical variant, and the adeptness to backpack 20,000 pounds of centralized burden / 15,000 pounds of alien cargo.
“The Osprey has revolutionized our apple of influence,” Maj. Glenn Stuart said. Apple of access involves the ambit the MEU units are able to awning from a command launch.
Following the Ospreys came the CH-53E Super Stallion, the “heavy lift” of the Marine Corps. The CH53 has the adequacy to lift itself, Glenn said; in added words, it can absolutely lift accession CH53, or it can lift two humvees as accession of abounding examples.
Why St. George?
The St. George arena as a training ground, although evocative of mission breadth like Afghanistan, best chiefly afforded the 13th MEUs alien breadth that appropriate them to biking 340 abyssal afar abroad from their barrage at El Centro, Calif., to convenance a high-entry arrest on a fabulous admixture and leave with an cold of a 1.5 hour turnaround in the St. George region.
“It’s a new area, it gives us an befalling to alternation alfresco of our abundance zone,” Maj. Chris Taylor said. The arena accustomed for a local, land-based mission, that the assemblage could go into, assassinate and acknowledgment to California in about four hours.
Military use of the St. George Airport
Military use of the St. George Municipal Airport involves no assets or amount to the airport or the Burghal of St. George, and such use is common, although not on such a arresting calibration as this training exercise.
“We’re absolutely an emergency landing acreage for Nellis Air Force Base,” Airport Operations Supervisor Brad Kitchen said, as able-bodied as indexed for Aircraft Accomplishment Firefighters. He said that a lot of aggressive training goes on in the skies over St. George – back you see circles in the skies, they are usually apocalyptic of aggressive training activity on up there.
The airport is accordingly adjourned by the burghal and the federal government, abounding on the ancillary of the federal government decidedly as to maintenance. Its operations are self-sustaining, Kitchen said.
“We accept to let anybody use the airport,” he said, “we accept to accumulate it accessible for any user who wants to use it.” And, “we are accomplishing things out at the airport that we could never accept done at the old airport because of the admeasurement of it, we could never accept landed a C130 at the old airport.”
Training at Shivwits Reservation
The aggressive does a lot of training at the Shivwits Reservation. They alarm it an MOA or aggressive operations airspace, Kitchen said, which is an airspace the aggressive is able to alternation in – it is all-encompassing to the military.
“One acumen (the 13th MEU) chose St. George is because we’re so aing to the MOA,” Kitchen said. “It doesn’t amount us annihilation to let them use it, they appear in and they run the operation, the alone affair they use is the aerodrome and access area, they appear in and accumulate aggregate apple-pie and leave it the way it was back they go.”
Benefit to St. George
In accession to the absolute accessible relations aspect of such training in St. George, Kitchen said he thinks it’s a account to accept the MEU alternation here, giving them acquaintance with our adeptness which would be a absolute affair in the accident they should anytime be bare in acknowledgment to a accustomed adversity or a agitator advance in or a to this area.
Likewise, the mission accustomed bounded blaze accomplishment cadre to accretion acquaintance with the military’s assets.
“Our blaze accomplishment cadre met with them and saw the KC130 and abstruse area the ammunition shut-off systems, the adeptness systems, the hydraulic systems are,” Kitchen said, “so if annihilation did action actuality – our aboriginal job is to save lives, we’re a aboriginal acknowledgment assemblage that goes in – aboriginal affair we do is get bodies out of the aircraft and alpha shutting bottomward systems to accumulate bodies safe – so if annihilation happened one day we are now accustomed with the aircraft.”
Who are the MEUs?
The MEUs booty pride in actuality America’s force for readiness, for accelerated accident response, Mitchell said.
“The Marines are America’s 911 force,” Maj. Chris Taylor said.
Of the seven MEU units – three based on anniversary of the West and East Coasts and one based in Japan – the 13th MEU is stationed at Camp Pendleton in California and is currently advancing for deployment in the abatement of 2013 to the Western Pacific.
The MEUs accept a different synergy of action elements: aviation, acumen and ground. They excel in acumen and appropriate missions, confined in combat, altruistic needs such as adversity abatement and admiral operations in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State.
What is different about the MEUs is that they are accomplished to do anything, Capt. E.T. “Ted” Vickers said, as against to training with a added specific – and in that faculty bound – training focus that comes with units which are mission-specific; for example, training accurately to activity into Afghanistan.
“We can do anything,” Vickers said.
Their appropriate capabilities are many. One is their adeptness to absolve baptize acceptable to serve bags and thousands, Mitchell said, as they did in the after-effects of the Haiti earthquake; or ambidextrous with radiological issues as they did in Operation Tonodachi with Japan’s nuclear plant, Stuart said. And extractions, as they did in Liberia.
“What makes us best accordant is that we’re Navy based,” Glenn said.
The MEU teams up with the Navy’s Amphibian Ready Group, which squadrons, alleged PHIBRONs, anniversary accommodate three ships: an amphibian advance ship, an amphibian carriage dock, and a berth landing ship.
The MEU supports the PHIBRON with its GCE Battalion Landing Team, ACE Composite Squadron and LCE Action Acumen Battalion – in added words, ground, aerodynamics and logistics.
Some of the MEU action missions have been Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Desert, Operation United Shield in Somalia in 1995.
MEU altruistic aid missions accept included Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.
And abstraction missions in allocation with the State Department accept included aborticide of the Lebanon Embassy, accretion at the Albanian Admiral and Operation Safe Departure in Eritrea.
Click on photo to enlarge it, again use your left-right arrow keys to aeon through the gallery.
Marines landing at SGU for arena astute burghal training
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