Training during the six-month work-up period is often referred to as "crawl, walk, run."
The Marines and Sailors progress through curriculum and exercises that teach individual, small unit, and unit tactics while integrating the separate MEU elements into a cohesive, flexible and powerful force.
The pre-deployment training program includes training in the following areas: Amphibious Operations, Mechanized and Helicopter-borne Raids, Noncombatant Evacuation Operations, Humanitarian Assistance, and Urban Operations. Exercises conducted during the pre-deployment include three iterations of Marine Expeditionary Unit Field Exercise / Realistic Urban Training (MEUEX/RUT), PHIBRON-MEU Integration Training (PMINT), Amphibious Readiness Group-Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise (ARGMEUEX), Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX). The work-up period includes training in the following areas:
Amphibious Operations, Mechanized and Helicopter-borne Raids, Noncombatant Evacuation Operations, Humanitarian Assistance, and Urban Operations.
Phase One: Initial Collective Training Phase
-Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2)
-Individual and small unit skills training
Phase Two: Intermediate Training Phase
-PHIBRON-MEU Integration Exercise
-Company-level skills, command and control
Phase Three: Final Training Phase
-Battalion-level, MEU-combined arms integration
-Composite Training Unit Exercise
Following the work-up, the MEU deploys six to nine months as a self-sustaining force that the fleet commanders can direct to accomplish a variety of conventional missions and support special operations within the Sixth and Fifth Fleet areas of responsibility, U.S. European, U.S. African, and Central Commands' areas of responsibility respectively. The missions may include:
· Amphibious Assault
· Amphibious Raid
· Maritime Interception Operations
· Enabling Operations
· Noncombatant Evacuation Operations
· Foreign Humanitarian Assistance
· Airfield and Port Seizure
· Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel
· Theater Security Cooperation Activities
· Expeditionary Strike
· Embassy Reinforcement
· Aviation Operations from expeditionary shore-based sites
· Integrate and Operate with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational Organizations
Upon completion of a deployment, the Marine Expeditionary Unit remains in a stand-by status for approximately one month, prepared to respond to events around the world. Following, this period, the MEU “decomposites,” releasing its MSEs and retaining only it’s Command Element. The Command Element remains as a command element, planning for future deployments, and standing-by to act as a headquarters element for any Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF), fully scalable, and capable of a variety of missions across the range of military operations. When the MSEs are received, the MEU is fully “composited” again and begins six-months of intense pre-deployment training begins.