September 29th, 2007 06:27 EST
22D MEU SOC Trains in Kuwait
In my last update, I told you about all that had happened since we had crossed through the Suez Canal, including our offload of personnel and equipment into Camp Buehring, Kuwait to conduct sustainment training. Since then, we have been extremely busy, conducting a wide array of quality training evolutions.
We quickly settled into our new home away from home and hit the ground running. Each element of the 22d MEU(SOC) has already conducted a tremendous amount of training in preparation for potential future missions. The ACE has been flying every day and conducting day and night live fire training runs on desert ranges near Camp Buehring. They also have been heavily involved in extensive maintenance support activities designed to keep our aircraft in peak operating condition. This is no small task in the midst of the desert, where conditions such as heavy winds, high heat and blowing dust and sand increase the challenges for the wrench-wielding aviation maintenance Leathernecks of the ACE.
Battalion Landing Team 3/8 Marines and Sailors hit the deck running as well. Whether it`s the men of Bravo Battery training in urban combat skills, Tank Platoon firing rounds downrange, or one of the rifle companies storming through the 360 degree live-fire shoot houses, the BLT can be found taking advantage of the exceptional training facilities. However, that`s not all. As if they didn`t have enough to do, the BLT engineers took the initiative to leave the camp a little better than they found it by constructing an observation tower and other structures to improve the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training course aboard the isolated camp.
Combat Logistics Battalion-22 has been providing exceptional support for the entire MEU, as well as hitting many of the training ranges themselves. With Marines spread across Camp Buehring, the logistic warriors of CLB-22 have found themselves in high demand. Whether it`s sorting the pallets of mail that we receive regularly, ensuring the proper operation and maintenance of generators that provide critical power to our units, or ensuring our Marines receive appropriate medical and dental care, the CLB has really gone the extra mile to support us all. This type of service support helps to keep moral high and minimizes interruptions to the steady flow of training. Additional activities for CLB-22 have included the conduct of critical training events like medical support training, live-fire convoy training, and humvee rollover egress training.
Not to be outdone, the Marines and Sailors of the MEU Command Element have been performing in an exemplary manner. Our embarkation Marines planned and supervised a flawless offload, and our communications Marines rapidly established phone and internet services so there was no break in the flow of information as we transitioned ashore. Every section in the Command Element has been working hard to take advantage of the great training opportunities here. Most notably, Marines and Sailors from across the Command Element conducted a three-day Personal Security Detachment (PSD) course, which taught the fundamentals needed to safely transport and protect high value individuals traveling through a combat zone.
One of the highlights for your Marines and Sailors while aboard Camp Buehring was a visit by Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Magnus, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, Lt. Gen. James F. Amos, and martial arts legend, Chuck Norris. A few of your loved ones were able to attend a private dinner with the trio of VIPs. Gen. Magnus personally thanked each Marine present for their service. Lt. Gen. Amos also thanked the Marines for their service, and encouraged them to continue their contributions to the Corps. Chuck Norris, an Honorary Marine, reminded Marines and Sailors that he was on his own mission to ensure military members never have to face a cold welcome home like some faced after the Viet Nam conflict. During his visit, he not only shook every hand at the private dinner, but he thanked and shook hands with hundreds of military members who waited outside.
I too am continually impressed by your Marines and Sailors that serve in my command. It`s an honor to lead them. I`ve particularly enjoyed visiting with them at the various training ranges over the past two weeks.
Please remember, this web remains your best source of information on 22d MEU(SOC) activities. It will be updated regularly with stories and photographs of your Marines and Sailors.
You can also access our 24-hour hotline by calling 1-877-817-7322 (toll-free) or 910-451-8780 (Jacksonville, N.C. area) and pressing the number "4` at the prompt.
All official and factual information regarding the 22d MEU(SOC)`s movements, activities, and operations will come directly from me via this web site (www.usmc.mil/22ndmeu/ ), the MEU hotline, or the Key Volunteer Network. Other sources of information may be incorrect.
As always, we appreciate the sacrifice you make for us on a daily basis. I extend my warmest regards to you and yours. Semper Fidelis, and God bless all of you.
Douglas M. Stilwell
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