MEDITERRANEAN SEA --
MEDITERRANEAN SEA – The Marines and Sailors with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), embarked on the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), will be participating in an integrated Greek Bi-Lateral Exercise with the 32nd Hellenic Marine Brigade, Mediterranean Sea, Dec. 1-3, 2023.
The U.S. – Greece (Hellenic) amphibious interoperability training event is designed to exercise amphibious command and control within a constructive scenario reflective of real-world crisis response operations to include Tactical Recovery of Personnel and Aircraft (TRAP) – similar to an isolated personnel recovery mission, distributed logistics, ship-to-shore maneuver, and crisis response operations.
“The Greek Bi-Lat is a fantastic opportunity for the Marines of the 26th MEU(SOC) to train alongside and learn from our long-standing partner,” said Lt. Col. Scott Helminski, commanding officer of Battalion Landing Team 1/6 and the 26th MEU(SOC) Bravo Command Element Officer in Charge aboard the USS Mesa Verde. “Integrating with the 32nd Hellenic Marine Brigade will not only strengthen the existing relationship and interoperability between the U.S. Marines and Hellenic Armed Forces, but will also showcase the operational flexibility and utility of forward-deployed Marines aboard amphibious ships within the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.”
Since arriving in theater in July 2023, the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and 26th MEU(SOC) have participated in a wide array of exercises, operations, and activities, to include port visits with partners and Allies throughout the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of operations. From the snow-capped mountains in Norway, to the Baltics, Ireland, and Spain, the 26th MEU(SOC) trained alongside various multinational partners demonstrating U.S. commitment to the NATO Alliance and our global partners.
The 26th MEU(SOC) serves as a premier crisis response force for the United States, capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations. The force is postured to enable the introduction of follow-on-forces and designated special operations, in support of theater requirements of the Geographic Combatant Commander. Coupled with the USS Bataan ARG, the 26th MEU(SOC) serves as the premier stand-in force with a full complement of all-domain capabilities to operate persistently within the littorals or weapons engagement zones of any adversary.
Marines and Sailors of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), embarked on the ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, are on a scheduled deployment as the Tri-Geographic Combatant Command crisis response force with elements distributed across the U.S. 5th Fleet and U.S. 6th Fleet areas of operation to increase maritime security and stability, and to defend U.S., Allied, and Partner interests.
Headquartered in Naples, Italy, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) operates U.S. Naval Forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.