NEWS | Dec. 27, 2017

Marines with the 31st MEU completes Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise

By Cpl. Andrew Neumann 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed the first step of a comprehensive pre-deployment cycle in preparation for an upcoming patrol of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Dec. 14, 2017.

Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise (MEUEX) is the first in a series of training exercises to prepare the Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU for their upcoming deployment. The air, ground and logistics combat elements of the MEU conducted 10 days of scenario-based training to simulate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, amphibious raids, security operations and non-combatant evacuation operations.

“MEUEX provides a critical opportunity to bring the Marine Air-Ground Task Force together to rehearse mission essential tasks and work on the rapid-response planning process,” said Lt. Col. Siu Cheng, the 31st MEU operations officer. “The training doesn’t stop here. As soon as we embark for a patrol we continue to train for the full range of military operations.”

During patrols of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the 31st MEU engages with partner nations to maintain stability in the region and continue integrated bilateral training, furthering cohesion between militaries.

“Maintaining a forward presence matters,” Cheng said. “Integrating with our Navy partners and remaining flexible enough to provide assistance to our friends and allies while staying ready to respond to any type of contingency is what we do.”

MEUEX brings together the individual MEU elements, training them to effectively respond to specific crisis situations. Every year, the MEU brings in new units to maintain the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. These units build strong working relationships and improve interoperability during MEUEX.

“MEUEX gives us the opportunity to assess our skills and let us know how ready we are,” said Lt. Col. Siebrand Niewenhous IV, the commanding officer of CLB-31. “We not only supported the logistical requirements of each element of the 31st MEU, but also conducted challenging, realistic and meaningful training successfully.”