OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines with Expeditionary Operations Training Group set up and instructed a Realistic Urban Training Exercise for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Maritime Raid Force Jan. 10 on Camp Courtney.
The Marines with the 31st MEU and the raid force performed a night raid on an objective using a helicopter insertion, an explosive entry, and simulated rifle rounds to secure a building.
This is the first of three situational training events which make up the exercise. All of the events are arranged by the training group for the 31st MEU twice a year.
EOTG works year round customizing the training to hone the raid force’s specialized skills, according to Capt. Charles A. Jedlicka, the assistant operations officer with EOTG, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF.
“Our overall mission is to train the 31st MEU so that they are ready to respond to any contingency or crisis in the United States Pacific Command’s area of responsibility,” said Jedlicka, from Fairfax, Virginia. “That’s our main mission and we do that in a number of ways.”
The group holds training events for the 31st MEU year-round, making them an instrumental asset to the unit’s readiness and mission success, according to Jedlicka.
“It allows the MEU to employ their own staff for planning without having to take personnel to develop a scenario or to run it,” said Jedlicka. “They could run their own training, but it detracts from the value of that training. By having someone else outside set it all up, they can take all of their assets and focus on accomplishing the mission they’re given as opposed to trying to run their own training.”
Planning these specialized training exercises is a lengthy process for EOTG, said Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Manson, a dynamic assault instructor with the group.
“We’ve been planning this for about a year,” said Manson, from New Orleans, Louisiana. “We’ve liaised with probably 95 percent of personnel from every shop in the MEU and other various commands to coordinate this training. This is a collaborative effort.”
At the end of the evening, the raid force boarded the helicopters for extraction and completed their mission successfully, according to Jedlicka.
“I think it was very successful,” said Jedlicka. “The MRF got a lot out of just the planning process working with the MEU staff. They were able to execute their plan successfully. Also, a number of debrief points came out that we will use to help the MRF continue to improve as they finish up RUTEX.”