Before any Marine Expeditionary Unit prepares to set sail on the high seas, various training requirements must be accomplished to ensure complete integration of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
Part of the Realistic Urban Training requirements, which provides opportunities to train in various closequarter combat situations, took place at Naval Air Station El Centro, Calif., with AV-8Bs Harriers from Yumaâ€™s Marine Attack Squadron 311 providing close air support.
The Tomcats will serve as part of the aviation combat element for an upcoming deployment with the 15th MEU this fall.
â€œItâ€™s a chance to integrate standard operating procedures on how to insert, support and extract the Maritime Raid Force,â€ said Capt. David Selmo, VMA-311 pilot training officer.
The MEUâ€™s ground combat element is from Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, based in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
With a compliment of special operations and reconnaissance Marines at their disposal, Maritime Raid Force serves as the high speed, low drag boots on the ground, requiring equally skilled pilots to support them in a hostile environment.
The MEU will travel the Pacific Ocean, taking part in various joint-force exercises during their deployment.