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USS Essex begins relief exercise in Okinawa
Date Posted: 2010-09-30
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), embarked aboard the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ESX ARG) is now conducting certification exercises in Okinawa through October 5th..
The Essex Amphibious Readiness Group and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are conducting humanitarian assistance disaster relief and non-evacuation operations exercises over the next week in the vicinity of Camp Courtney, Camp Schwab and other military installations in the area. Residents in the area can expect to see an increase in military activity, in particular, air traffic and amphibious operations.
The exercise will meet the units’ annual training requirements and provide the ESX ARG an opportunity to conduct the training necessary to become proficient and certified in humanitarian assistance disaster relief and non-evacuation operations.
“This exercise will help prepare the MEU for further training in real-world scenarios,” said Col. Andrew MacMannis, 31st MEU commanding officer. “The training will help ensure we are ready as a team when called upon down the road.”
The Essex Amphibious Readiness Group includes the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9), and the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Assigned to the ARG is the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) consisting of more than 2,200 Marines in ground, command, air and combat support elements that allow the ESX ARG to conduct amphibious operations from the sea and project power ashore. The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific area.
Upon completion of this exercise, the Essex ARG will continue its deployment in the Western Pacific as a part of the permanently forward-deployed ESX ARG.