22 Jan 2001 | 2ndLt. Daniel J. McSweeney

Although primarily focused on honing valuable operational skills, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit's (24th MEU) recent Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX XXXIX) provided excellent opportunities for Marines and Sailors to develop bonds with the local community.

In addition to participating in a large parade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 24th MEU visited local high schools, gave tours of their command center and volunteered at two local community organizations.

Col. Richard P. Mills, 24th MEU Commanding Officer, also accepted proclamations from the city of Savannah and the town of Hardeeville, S.C., officially proclaiming January 18, 2001 "24th MEU Day."

Thanking area residents and officials for hosting the MEU during TRUEX XXXIX, Col. Mills underscored the importance of the exercise.

"This training may one day help save lives during our deployment to the Mediterranean," he said.

Follow the 24th MEU predeployment on their website at