MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit wrapped up a weeks-long training event July
30, 2014, with a long-range raid into Moyock, North Carolina, successfully
putting an end to Realistic Urban Training, the unit’s first major
pre-deployment training exercise.
The purpose of RUT was to insert 24th
MEU forces into unfamiliar places outside the normal training areas within Camp
Lejeune, thereby creating realistic scenarios where neither operators on the
ground nor planners back at the Command Operations Center had previous
experience with the objective’s landscape.
“It’s very rare that you get
to insert onto an objective that is over a hundred miles away at an offsite
location, integrating multiple military occupational specialties from different
branches, with complete aviation support while at night,” said 1st Lt. Brett A.
Hermanson, an infantry officer and commander of the Security Platoon with the
24th MEU’s Maritime Raid Force, while speaking about the final raid July 30.
“Not to mention the friction of doing it against a (simulated) actively-armed
enemy, embedded within a population, and then having to re-task forces to secure
additional buildings or segments of the town while conducting actual tactical
evacuations. It’s all pretty impressive.”
For the 24th MEU, RUT began
July 12 when a contingent of Marines and Sailors moved to Fort Eustis, Virginia,
to take part in the first half of RUT, based on maritime interdiction
operations. On July 19, Marines returned to Camp Lejeune to conduct the second
half of RUT, which focused on a series of land-based events throughout several
areas in North Carolina and Virginia.
During the land-based portion, the
MEU conducted three raids that provided the opportunity for more experience and
“We showed up two months ago as a part of the security element
force with a lot of guys who just graduated from the School of Infantry and only
had basic infantry knowledge,” said Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee, the platoon sergeant
for the MRF’s Security Platoon. “Here we are a couple months later and I’m
watching them do Visit, Board, Search and Seizure exercises. They’ve grown
exponentially from where they started.”
Another significant aspect of RUT
was that it was the first time all four elements of the 24th MEU came together
and conducted missions as a full Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
a Waukon, Iowa, native, explained how the Marines had to learn the importance of
understanding his or her individual role in each mission and how each specific
action can have a massive ripple effect, disproportionate to their individual
“Understanding this role is essential to establishing trust among
all the elements of the MEU,” he said.
“I am extremely comfortable with
the possibility of going on a real world mission with this Aviation Combat
Element and Combat Logistics Element. They have already proven they are very
capable of supporting us in over half a dozen full mission profile
The MEU’s organic aircraft, from Marine Medium Tiltrotor
Squadron 365 (Reinforced), consisting of MV-22B Ospreys, CH-53E Super Stallions,
AH-1Y Cobras and UH-1Y Hueys, provided all of the assault support and simulated
close-air support during RUT. The MEU’s LCE, Combat Logistics Battalion 24,
supported RUT missions as well, even providing overall command and control of
one mission. This is a role the CLB, and its commander Lt. Col. Matthew
Dumenigo, might perform if the 24th MEU should have to separate during their
upcoming deployment and take on concurrent missions.
The 24th MEU will
take the lessons they identified during RUT into their second “work-up”
exercise, called Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration, or
PMINT, which begins Aug. 6, 2014. PMINT will be the first time the entire MEU
embarks with their Navy counterparts aboard the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious