Tuesday, October 12, 2010

USS ESSEX, off the coast of the Republic of the Philippines —


The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, embarked aboard the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is scheduled to participate in a bilateral exercise with the Republic of the Philippines in and around the island of Luzon Oct. 14 – 22. 

PHIBLEX is conducted to enhance bilateral cooperation with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, to maintain the MEU’s ability to effectively respond to a number of contingency operations in and around the area, and to keep the skill of the individual Marines sharp and ready for use in potential real-world scenarios. 

The 31st MEU’s slogan for the exercise is “always ready, always faithful.”

The 31st MEU will conduct several bilateral training events, including operations from air and sea, at several Philippine military installations.   Local residents should be aware that they may see increased activity in those areas during the exercise.

The 31st MEU will employ AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft and CH-53E Sea Stallion, CH-46E Sea Knight, AH-1W Super Cobra and UH-1N Huey helicopters to execute various air operations.   The MEU will also utilize Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft and Amphibious Assault Vehicles to conduct amphibious operations. 

The 31st MEU is also scheduled to host eleven community relations projects, four medical and dental civil assistance projects, and one engineering civil assistance project throughout the exercise in order to build relationships for the future.

“We want the people of the Philippines to benefit from our presence,” said Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st MEU.  “The training here is valuable and we want to be good neighbors, always ready and always faithful to respond.” 

Marines and Sailors of the MEU, while in the Philippines, will assist a local community by building a two-classroom school.

The 31st MEU, with more than 2,200 Marines assigned, is composed of a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and logistics combat element. These elements are the striking arm of the Essex ARG and enable amphibious operations from the sea and power projection ashore.

"The 31st MEU does not operate without Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 11, and PHIBRON 11 doesn't operate without us," said MacMannis. "This is a great chance for our team to work together and do what we do best."

The Essex ARG is composed of the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Denver (LPD 9) and the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49).  The 31st MEU embarks on the ships for the duration of the deployment and is based out of Okinawa, Japan.

The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific area.  Always ready to respond, the 31st MEU is also prepared to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief when directed.  The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the nation’s force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the deployment of the 31st MEU, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Okinawa-Japan/31st-Marine-Expeditionary-Unit/115253045176016 or visit our webpage at: http://www.marines.mil/unit/31stmeu .

Media queries may be directed to 1st Lt. Caleb Eames, 31st MEU public affairs officer at caleb.eames@usmc.mil.

Posted via email from Aviation Professionals dot Org

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