ABOARD USS IWO JIMA -- The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in conjunction with the Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group is conducting its Expeditionary Strike Group Exercise, March 27 through April 12, in the coastal waters of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
As the training evolution began, Marines and Sailors worked together as a cohesive team. The Marines had the opportunity to immediately work with the Navy while receiving and disembarking Landing Craft Air Cushions full of MEU gear. For the past two days and hardly for the last time, the LCACs will practice embarking and disembarking in the well deck of the USS Iwo Jima, and by the end of the week the LCAC crews will have loaded all of the 24th MEU’s gear and Marines onboard the Iwo.
The load the MEU is bringing includes vehicles and all of the equipment necessary should they be deployed inland when the ESG is called to respond to a real world requirement. For this exercise, the Marines will be picked up from Camp Lejeune’s, Onslow Beach.
This three week training evolution is bringing the 24th MEU closer to the end of their pre-deployment training program. As each of these training evolutions come to an end, they bring the 24th MEU that much closer to their up-coming deployment.