Ogden Marines arrive to conduct training in Horn of Africa

4 Nov 2003 | SSgt. April D. Tuggle

Marines and Sailors of Battalion Landing Team 1/1, the ground combat element of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), arrived in Djibouti Monday to conduct training in the region.

The Marines, embarked on the USS Ogden for Western Pacific Deployment 03-2, will participate in several training ranges that include live fire and movement courses, live-fire obstacle breeching courses, and crew-served weapons courses in the upcoming weeks, according to Capt. Robert B. Farrell, assistant operations officer, BLT 1/1.

"The training gives the squads a chance to hone their immediate action skills, and that's something we can't do much of on ship," said Cpl. Jason Bohrer, Headquarters Platoon, Alpha Company, BLT 1/1.

In Iraq in the last few weeks Alpha Company proved its effectiveness during Operation Sweeney.  This time allows the Marines to keep up their skills during the time between operations, said Bohrer.

Marines and Sailors also have an opportunity to conduct missions to assist in the anti-terrorism efforts of the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, headquartered at Camp Lemonier, where the Marines are currently located.

"I hope to be able to include you in upcoming opportunities," said Brigadier General Mastin N. Robeson, commander, CJTF-HOA, during a formation held to welcome the Marines to the region.

CJTF-HOA is the responsible for missions to identify, locate and hold accountable transnational terrorists and all those who harbor them in the seven-country region that includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Yemen.

Following training, units ashore will return to the USS Ogden to complete the deployment, currently scheduled to return to Camp Pendleton, Calif., in April 2004.

13th Marine Expeditionary Unit