There are seven MEU's in the Marine Corps, three on each coast of the United States and one in Okinawa, Japan. The East Coast MEUs maintain a near-constant presence in the Mediterranean region. Each MEU follows a similar work-up/deployment cycle.
Interim / Build-Up Period:
Upon completion of a deployment, the Marine Expeditionary Unit remains in a stand-by status for approximately one month, prepared to respond to events around the world. Following this period, the MEU "stands down," releasing its MSEs and retaining only its Command Element. The stand-down period provides the Command Element a chance to rotate select personnel and begin planning for the addition of newly assigned MSEs and the next round of work-up training. When the MSEs are received, the stand-down ends and the six-months of intense pre-deployment training begins.
Training during the six-month work-up period is often referred to as "crawl, walk, run." The Marines and Sailors progress through curriculum and exercises that teach individual, small unit, and unit tactics while integrating the separate MEU elements into a cohesive, flexible and powerful force. The work-up period includes training in the following areas: Amphibious Operations, Mechanized and Helicopter-borne Raids, Noncombatant Evacuation Operations, Humanitarian Assistance, and Urban Operations. Exercises conducted during the work-up period include: ESG - MEU Integration Training (ESGINT), Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), and the MEU Certification Exercise (CERTEX).
Deployment: Following the work-up, the MEU deploys for six months to U.S. European deployed, self-sustaining force that the combatant commanders can direct to accomplish a variety of special operations and conventional missions their areas of responsibility. The missions may include: * Conventional Operations (Amphibious Assaults and Raids) * Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) * Humanitarian Assistance /Disaster Relief (HA/DR) * Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) * Security Operations * Peace Enforcement * Reconnaissance and Surveillance * Airfield/Port Seizure.