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Integrating ‘Amphibiosity’: ARG-MEU Team Comes Together During AMSPC
24 Nov 2022

U.S. Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) and Amphibious Squadron 8 (PHIBRON 8) participated in Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) Staff Planning Conference at Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT) in Norfolk, Virginia 14-23 Nov. 2022.

During the opening remarks, Rear. Adm. Tom Williams, commander, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2, emphasized the importance of the Navy and Marine Corps integrating seamlessly together.

“Blue-green integration is really important,” said Williams. “[Amphibious warfare] is the fight to come. The world we’re experiencing now is different from what we’ve seen in the recent past. This is not a theory. This is real life and this is why all of you are here today, to prepare for the fight. To prepare for what may come.”

The ARG/MEU Staff Planning Conference marks a significant milestone in the pre-deployment training continuum for both the 26th MEU and PHIBRON-8 and serves as a building block period of instruction focused on planning MEU Mission Essential Tasks within the maritime environment using the Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2). Moreover, this training is a critical part of the initial phase of the ARG/MEU pre-deployment training prior to transitioning to complex advanced collective training during the intermediate and advanced phases early next year. The nine-day course, designed for Marines and Sailors, who will deploy together as part of the ARG/MEU team, builds working-relationships through academics and training conducted by subject matter experts and break-out sessions focused on crisis response problem-solving, various blue-green integration efforts, and rapidly planning core MEU missions within a realistic maritime scenario.

“The BAT ARG/26th MEU team has developed a solid relationship over the past year executing multiple large scale naval training exercises to include BALTOPS 50, NLSE-21, UNITAS-22, and unit-level amphibious training exercises,” Col. Dennis Sampson stated. “ARG/MEU Staff Planning Conference serves as another opportunity to build and strengthen our relationship prior to transitioning to the advanced collective training events in our pre-deployment training cycle. More so, this course allows the team to refine our standard operating procedures and hone our skills in rapid response planning.”

Participants included leadership, primary staff members, key planners, and subject matter experts in all warfighting functions from across the ARG/MEU. This conference provided an opportunity to achieve initial integration with respective counterparts on both staffs across the warfighting functions, understanding roles and responsibilities within the Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2), and lastly refining and validating standard operating procedures.

"I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to face the challenges associated with the pre-deployment training with this 26th MEU team and our PHIBRON 8 partners. The Marines and Sailors of the 26th MEU will maximize every training event and hone our craft during the upcoming Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Interoperability Exercise, Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercises (MEUEX), and our at-sea periods to ensure we are poised to serve as a forward deployed tri-COCOM crisis response force capable of conducting missions across the full range of military operations,” Sampson emphasized.

By the end of the course, the BAT ARG/26th MEU team sharpened its ability to execute the R2P2 for various missions that the ARG/MEU may be tasked with by the Geographic Combatant Commander, setting a strong baseline for PHIBRON-MEU Integration (PMINT), the next training evolution for the BAT ARG/26th MEU as part of the comprehensive pre-deployment training prior to their deployment to Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility.

The BAT ARG/26th MEU provides “a light, self-reliant, highly mobile naval expeditionary force postured forward in littoral areas within the adversary’s weapons engagement zone,” as envisioned in Force Design 2030. The ARG-MEU is preparing for a scheduled deployment in 2023.

For more information contact the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Communication Strategy and Operations Officer, Capt. Angelica White at angelica.white@usmc.mil.

Angelica White

26th Marine Expeditionary Unit