FORT PICKETT, VA, UNITED STATES --
The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit successfully completed their Realistic Urban Training Exercise on January 25th, 2024
RUT is an expeditionary land-based training exercise where over 2,200 Marines and Sailors from the 24th MEU plan and conduct operations they may execute on deployment. The command element; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 1/8; Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 24; and the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (Reinforced) comprise the 24th MEU Marine Air Ground Task Force.
For the past three weeks, 24th MEU Marines and Sailors showcased seamless collaboration as they integrated together to conduct rigorous training in complex, urban environments. The training ranged from conducting offensive raid operations alongside U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, to providing foreign disaster relief as a crisis response force. Throughout RUT, the 24th MEU prepared for and executed a variety of scenarios the unit may encounter during their upcoming deployment.
“Urban warfare has highly complex and unique challenges, and our Marines navigated these challenges with prowess and precision.” Lt. Col. William Kerrigan, commanding officer of the GCE.
“RUT was the first time in our pre-deployment training program that all elements of the MAGTF integrated to execute highly dynamic missions together,” said Lt. Col. Cory Jobst, commanding officer of the ACE. “Our success is largely attributed to the teamwork and relationships built at all levels of the MAGTF.”
Throughout RUT, the 24th MEU executed various scenario-based missions, demanding swift and coordinated responses from all elements of the MAGTF. These missions were largely centered around conflict in the urban battlefield, designed to test the 24th MEU’s ability to plan and execute as a cohesive unit. Mission success requires the precise planning and collaboration between all elements of the MAGTF – the CE, ACE, GCE, and LCE.
“RUT was instrumental in honing our skills in the urban battlefield,” said Lt. Col. William Kerrigan, commanding officer of the GCE. “Urban warfare has highly complex and unique challenges, and our Marines navigated these challenges with prowess and precision.”
The Marines and Sailors of Battalion Landing Team 1/8 integrated with U.S. Army Special Operations Forces, Operational Detachment Alpha 2225 on select training exercises during RUT, further refining the 24th MEU’s familiarization and integration with special operations forces.
Alpha Co., BLT 1/8 Conducts MOUT Raid
Photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Ramsammy
U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, set security during military operations in urban terrain as part of Realistic Urban Training on Fort Barfoot, Virginia, Jan. 18, 2024. RUT provides the 24th MEU the opportunity to operate in unfamiliar environments, integrate the units of the Marine Air Ground Task Force, and train towards being designated as special operations capable.
Completing RUT is a major steppingstone in the 24th MEU’s progression towards being designated as special operations capable, a title earned following the final pre-deployment training program certification exercise. As a MEU(SOC), the 24th MEU provides the Geographic Combatant Commander and Theater Special Operations Commander with a force offering that can respond to crisis or assist with other operations in the theater. In addition to conventional warfare, the 24th MEU provides a versatile expeditionary force that is ready to respond to any contingency or crisis around the globe.
“Our success during RUT proved that the 24th MEU is ready to respond to any crisis,” said Lt. Col. Gabriel Page, commanding officer of the LCE. “We are a deterrence to potential adversaries and simultaneously an assurance to Allies. That’s what makes the 24th MEU the ideal partner in times of crisis.”
With the conclusion of RUT, the 24th MEU begins to prepare for the culminating exercise of their pre-deployment training program, Composite Unit Training Exercise, where they will demonstrate the skills, readiness, and capabilities necessary for a successful deployment.
"Realistic Urban Training showcased the full weight of the MAGTF,” said Col. Todd Mahar, commanding officer, 24th MEU. “The synergy between all elements of the MAGTF solidifies the 24th MEU as a premier crisis response force. We not only took this time to enhance our craft, but we came together, during the early mornings and late evenings, to build cohesion, trust, and esprit de corps.”
Following RUT, Marines and Sailors with the 24th MEU will embark on the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group on U.S. Navy ships for COMPTUEX. COMPTUEX is the final deployment certification event for the Wasp ARG and 24th MEU where they will be evaluated on their execution of Mission Essential Tasks to determine certification before deployment.
The 24th MEU serves as a premier crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations to support Geographic Combatant Commanders’ requirements.