|10-30-2004, 02:21 AM||#1 (permalink)|
USMC Chuter is
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NW US
1st Battalion / 5th Marines
Medium Helicopter Squadron-262 (HMM-262)
MEU Service Support Group-31 (MSSG)
Ground Forces Equipment
16 Light Armored Vehicles (LAV)
8 81mm Mortars
8 Tube-launched, Optically Tracked, Wire-guided missile systems (TOW)
8 Javelin Anti-armor Missile Launchers
15 Assault Amphibian Vehicles (AAV)
6 155mm Howitzers
4 M-1A1 Main Battle Tanks
12 CH-46E Medium Lift Assault Helicopters
4 CH-53E Heavy Lift Assault Transport Helicopters
3 UH-1N Utility Helicopters
4 AH-1W Attack Helicopter
6 AV-8B Harrier Jets
2 KC-130 Refueler/transport Aircraft (On call in CONUS)
2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units
1 LMT 3000 Water Purification Unit
1 Sea Tractor
4 TRAMs (10,000 lb. Capacity Forklifts)
2 Four Thousand lb. Capacity Forklifts
3 D-7 Bulldozers
30 Five-ton Trucks
1 Dump Truck
4 Logistical Vehicle Systems (LVS)
7 Five-hundred gallon Water Containers
63 High-Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV)
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is the Marine Corps' only permanently forward-based MEU. The 31st MEU faces a unique challenge compared to other MEUs. It has 84 days to accomplish a standard 6 month Pre-Deployment Training Cycle. This means the members of the MEU, BLT, ACE, and MSSG staffs have to learn quickly and get it right the first time. Time is not on their side and they must be able to identify and address issues quickly. Though the Marine Corps' other six MEUs re-qualify as SOC every 18 months, the 31st MEU re-qualifies every six months as new Major Subordinate Elements rotate to the MEU. This gives the Marines only 70 to 84 days to complete their qualification.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit was activated on March 1, 1967, as Special Landing Force Alpha, for operations in Vietnam. It made the first of many amphibious deployments from Okinawa to the coast of Vietnam on April 10, 1967. Ten days later, it was committed to Operation Beaver Cafe/Union #1. From May to September, Special Landing Force Alpha was entrusted to ground operations 22 days out of each month.
It was during this period of intense combat that Special Landing Force Alpha earned the Presidential Unit Citation. The unit participated in supporting operations ashore during the following three years, returning to Okinawa periodically for re-outfitting and the rotation of forces.
Special Landing Force Alpha was officially designated as the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) on Nov. 24, 1970. Once more the unit returned to the Gulf of Tonkin. This time, however, the 31st MAU would not be committed to overt land operations as the Vietnam War was winding down. The 31st MAU performed presence missions and conducted a series of special operations through May 1971. From June 1971 until April 1975, the 31st MAU conducted numerous deployments to the waters off Vietnam, the last mission conducted during Operation Frequent Wind on April 29. This operation was the final evacuation of Saigon as North Vietnamese forces entered the city.
The 31st MAU remained the forward-deployed U.S. presence in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia. Combat operations were replaced by regional exercises, which allowed training opportunities in a variety of countries. In 1983, the 31st MAU was recalled from a combined exercise with local forces in Kenya, and positioned in the Mediterranean. Its mission from September to October 1983 was to support U.S. Peacekeeping Forces in Beirut during an intense period of complex political and life-threatening conditions in Lebanon. It was the 31st MAU's last combat operation and the unit was deactivated in May 1985.
The unit was reactivated as the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) on Sept. 9, 1992. Since then, the 31st MEU (SOC) has successfully negotiated seven special operations certifications and continues to participate in deployments with Amphibious Squadron 11 throughout the Western Pacific.
The flexibility of the Belleau Wood ARG was demonstrated with the November 1998 crisis with Iraq. All four ARG ships had just completed Exercise Foal Eagle off the coast of Korea, and were heading to various port visits for some liberty, when each ship received the call on 06 November 1998 to sail immediately to Okinawa to offload Marine Air Ground Task Force 4 personnel, and onload the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
A significant portion of the 31st MEU’s 2000 Marines were engaged in urban warfare training in Guam when their message to return to Okinawa came on 06 November. The rest were still in Okinawa, but approximately a quarter of those were new folks just rotating into the battalion from California. The battalion had just two days to gather all their personnel to get ready to deploy.
The 31st MEU and ships’ company personnel started their initial onloads to the ships on Monday, 09 November, and completed around 2:30 a.m. on the morning of 11 November. In one night alone, they loaded more than 170 pallets of equipment, weapons, and cargo. In addition, a C-5 from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, Ca., originally scheduled to bring maintenance supplies and tools to Okinawa two weeks later, arrived early on 10 November 1998 in order to restock the MEU’s Air Combat Element. This evolution was a part of the normal supply rotation, but the shipment arrived a week early – just in time to load onto the ships before they departed.
Training exercises and a real-world operation kept the Marine Corps' only permanently forward-deployed MEU on its toes in 2000. Starting the year off right, portions of the MEU, including G Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, then the MEU's Battalion Landing Team; portions of the Command Element; and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 265, the MEU's former Air Combat Element; and MEU Service Support Group 31 deployed to East Timor in January 2000 aboard USS Juneau (LPD-10) as Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force East Timor. In East Timor, the Marines and Sailors supported the transition from the Australian-led International Forces in East Timor (INTERFET) to the new United Nations Transitional Administration East Timor (UNTAET).
In July 2000 the MEU welcomed a new Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team 2/4, and a new Air Combat Element, HMM-262, beginning a new training cycle. After conducting successful TRUEX, MEUEX and ARG training, the Marines once again earned their SOC title in October, this time aboard the ARG's new flagship, USS Essex (LHD-2).
On 21 October 2000 the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Special Operations Capable (SOC) aboard USS Essex (LHD-2) arrived off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea (ROK) to participate in Exercise Foal Eagle 2000. This 39th annual regularly scheduled joint-combined exercise conducted between ROK forces and the US forces on the Korean Peninsula. The exercise, conducted at a variety of locations throughout the republic, is designed to test rear area protection operations and major command, control and communication systems and increase interoperability and familiarity of US Operations Plan-tasked units. It provides hands-on field experience for forces of both nations and serves as the foundation for diplomatic efforts to achieve peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue. For Foal Eagle 2000, 31st MEU Marines participated in exercises to include but not limited to combined Nuclear, Biological, Chemical decontamination training; various joint and combined live-fire exercises; a combined amphibious assault; and a field training exercise.
In December 2000 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, rotated to the MEU as its new Ground Combat Element, and HMM-265 comes back aboard as the Air Combat Element. A new training cycle and new, high op tempo year began in January 2001. On 15 January 2001 the Marines and Sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Special Operations Capable (SOC) kicked off the bi-annual Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX) 01-1 at Andersen Air Force Base. Held in Guam, TRUE affords the Marines of the 31st MEU the chance to sharpen their skills in small-scale urban training. Most of the Marines and Sailors participating embarked aboard the USS Essex (LHD-2) and steamed for the coast of the small South Pacific island to support the exercise.
The newest units recently assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) were fully incorporated into the MEU's 18th training cycle to complement its ability to function as a complete Marine Air Ground Task Force.
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-262, reinforced (HMM-262) and Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment (BLT 3/5) will partake in a series of interoperability training exercises, as they have stepped in as the MEU's aviation and ground combat elements, respectively.
In mid-August 2004 the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently located in Okinawa, Japan, received deployment orders to the Central Command area of responsibility to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. For operational reasons, specific dates for troop movements are not releasable. The 2,000-member 31st MEU loaded on the amphibious assault ships USS Essex, USS Juneau and USS Harpers Ferry, which left Okinawa by the end of August.
The 31st MEU is expected to return to Okinawa once it is mission complete. While it is not possible to provide a specific date for the unit's return, typical Marine deployments last from four to seven months. The unit will remain deployed as long as needed to best support Central Command.
The 31st MEU's deployment to the Central Command's area of responsibility is part of the Marine Corps commitment to security and stability all around the world as we fight the Global War on Terrorism.
The U.S. remains fully committed to Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security with Japan, and to ensuring the security and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. U.S. Pacific Command maintains the capability to provide a prudent deterrent posture in the Western Pacific. The U.S. military presence in the Asia-Pacific region demonstrates the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan, as well as security and stability in the region.
|10-30-2004, 11:11 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Re: 31st MEU(SOC)
We had alot of fun the Dec. 2000 deployment, and i found out something interesting about the Navy and a foreign Navy, although the Aussies ships are older, they have WAY WAY better food than we do on our ships, I still feel sorry for the Aussies that switched ships with my platoon. Oh and why the Fuck would anyone find Vegimite good?
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