ABOARD USS IWO JIMA --
Rear Admiral Kendall Card, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group 3, toured multiple training areas Oct. 21 which the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit has been using together with Southwest Asian military forces.
Card, along with Col. Mark J. Desens, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit commanding officer, took a rare opportunity to visit the Marine “green” side of his ESG. The sailors of the Iwo Jima Strike Group make up the second half of the ESG.
During his tour, Card visited Marines from the 26th MEU’s Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 2/6, during their training in a variety of different scenarios including Military Operations in Urban Terrain; a pistol-range reaction course and multiple weapons ranges where Marines demonstrated the operation of different types of machine guns and rocket launchers.
While transiting between different training areas, Card, a naval aviator by trade, took the opportunity to fly a Marine CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter, as well as conduct a few touch-and-go landings.
The MEU’s command staff sat down to a lunch of Meals Ready to Eat with Card, where the MEU and BLT sergeants major informed him of the best combinations of various field meals.
Marines also gave Card an opportunity to wear a standard issue 50lb Modular Tactical Vest so he could get a feel for a fraction of the combat load Marines carry.