CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
U.S. Marines and sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU), supported by Combat Logistics Battalion 22 (CLB-22), Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 (VMM-365), and enablers from II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (II MIG) refined warfighting tactics, command and control capabilities, and expeditionary logistics planning during the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Field Exercise (MEU FEX) from distributed locations across eastern North Carolina, Aug 22-26, 2022.
The MEU FEX, serves as the culminating full mission profile training event a part of the 26th MEU’s year-long readiness training continuum. Additionally the MEU FEX, ensures the 26th MEU Command Element is poised to complete the advanced Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) collective training events associated with the MEU pre-deployment training program for their upcoming ARG/MEU deployment to Sixth and Fifth Fleets areas of operations. With a mix of live, virtual and constructive units operating from distributed positions across Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, the 26th MEU successfully demonstrated its ability to transition command and control from ship-to-shore by echeloning command capabilities through the displacement of a Forward Command Element (FCE) followed by a battle handover between the FCE and the main element.
Acting as the “Hub,” the 26th MEU established a Combat Operations Center (COC) aboard Marine Corps Auxiliary Bogue Airfield, Swansboro, North Carolina. With the 26th MEU COC fully operational, the 26th MEU demonstrated its ability to transition C2 from ship-to-shore and exercised its ability to command and control distributed aviation and ground-based operations.
“This culminating training event comes after our operational deployment as Task Force Pickett in support of Operation ALLIES WELCOME and a series of unit-level training exercises designed to ensure the 26th MEU retains its operational capability as a crisis response force prior to transitioning our focus to MEU pre-deployment training program and our upcoming ARG/MEU deployment” said Col. Sampson, commanding officer of the 26th MEU.
CLB-22, commanded by Lt. Col. Luke Sauber, conducted their Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation (MCCRE) concurrently during the 26th MEU FEX. A MCCRE is a series of activities to test a unit’s ability to complete core missions in a tactical setting in preparation for deployment. For CLB-22, who will be compositing with the 26th MEU for an upcoming pre-deployment training period, the MCCRE includes engineering and transportation operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and health services support among other combat logistics functions.
"Our MCCRE was conducted under a scenario that employed the entirety of our battalion in a tactical environment. Further, it facilitated an assessment of our team based on established standards,” said Lt. Col. Luke Sauber, commanding officer of CLB-22. “This ten day exercise was specifically timed within our training schedule to ensure full mission profile readiness prior to our change of operational control to the 26th MEU. We look forward to joining the 26th MEU and further advancing MAGTF readiness,” Sauber concluded.
The MEU FEX allowed the 26th MEU to establish command and control in a distributed environment across eastern North Carolina. Finally, the exercise also allowed the 26th MEU to establish multiple communication nodes throughout the entirety of the MEU FEX.
“The integration of critical enablers from II MIG and the logistics support from CLB-22 was value added and made this a quality “rep” for the 26th MEU Command Element prior to our transition to advanced MAGTF collective training events associated with our pre-deployment program,” Sampson concluded.
The 26th MEU is scheduled to composite as a MAGTF later this year and will undergo an intensive period of advanced training and evaluation in preparation for their upcoming MEU deployment. The elements of the 26th MEU MAGTF will include Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 Reinforced.
The Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU continue to live up to their motto of being “A Certain Force in an Uncertain World” and the 26th MEU remains “Ready, Relevant, and Capable” of aggregating forces and deploying with limited notice as a MAGTF in support of crises, expeditionary operations on land and from the sea, or other emergent rotational requirements.
For more information contact the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, Capt. Angelica White at firstname.lastname@example.org.