USS OAK HILL, Mediterranean Sea -- Marines with Amphibious Assault Platoon, Company E, Battalion Landing Team 2/6, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, practiced amphibious embarking and debarking drills during routine training in the Mediterranean Sea, Oct. 28.
The sustainment drills allowed the unit to increase its proficiency in amphibious maneuvering by practicing launch and recovery procedures from aboard the USS Oak Hill (LSD-51).
According to 1st Lt. Ryan Spangler, the platoon commander with Amphibious Assault Platoon, the AAVs are versatile and can be employed across a large spectrum of operations.
“In the realms of versatility, the amphibious assault vehicle is one of the components that make a MEU an expeditionary unit,” said Spangler. “AAVs have the ability to go from ship-to-shore and can be used in amphibious assaults, humanitarian assistance operations, or noncombatant evacuations. There is no other vehicle within the MEU that can do this."
Spangler said the goal of the training was two-fold—to ensure the equipment was functioning correctly and to instill confidence in the crewmembers of the AAVs.
Spangler said practical application drills like this are important because they allow crewmembers the opportunity to “knock off the rust” and eliminate the complacency that can come with being on ship.
The Marines are currently deployed with the 26th MEU supporting operations in the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet.