CAMP ATTEBURY, Ind. (Sept. 25, 2009) --
The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit launched its next phase of pre-deployment training called Realistic Urban Training here today. During this exercise the 24th MEU’s support elements work together for the first time as an encompassed unit, and will complete training Oct. 7.
Local communities near Camp Atterbury and northern Kentucky will host and provide a variety of venues where the members of the 24th MEU will apply their skills sets in structured and municipal areas, helping simulate real-world operations.
The goal of the exercise is to expose the Marines to realistic scenarios in an actual urban community that cannot be replicated on [Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.], said Col. Pete Petronzio, commanding officer, 24th MEU.
Special Operations Training Group, a training unit belonging to II Marine Expeditionary Force, coordinated with local and state officials to provide the safest and most lifelike platform to develop and challenge the Marines in a unique way.
“RUT provides the 24th MEU that ability to get use to operating within an unfamiliar environment, because the next time the MEU has to do this can very well be in combat in a foreign country,” said Maj. Eric J. Piper, air officer, SOTG, II MEF.
The 24th MEU continues progression toward executing a wide-range of scenarios as the world’s 9-1-1 crisis response force, this step being to building on all the courses each element has taken prior to RUT and putting it together towards one mission under a unified command.
During RUT, the MEU remains persistent in perfecting its’ skills and tactics in various combat and non-combat applications to include company-scale raids, humanitarian assistance missions and medical casualty evacuations.
The success of future missions of the MEU relies on what the Marines accomplish now during their training, Petronzio said.
As a way to thank the local communities for allowing the Marines access to their towns and streets, the Marines plan to showcase their equipment including the MV-22 Osprey, tactical vehicles, and weaponry Oct. 3 at Columbus, Ind. Fairground and Frankfort, Ky. Airfield, during RUT.
The 24th MEU serves as a quick-based reaction force ready to respond to any contingency or crisis within the its area operations, and consists of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron-162 (Reinforced), Combat Logistics Battalion-24 and 24th MEU Command Element. The upcoming deployment will mark the first time the 24th MEU deploys with the MV-22 Osprey and the first time BLT 1/9 deploys with a MEU since its reactivation in 2007.