FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. --
FORT HUNTER LIGGETT, Calif. – U.S. Marines and Sailors with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit began a Realistic Urban Training (RUT) Exercise aboard Fort Hunter Liggett, Aug. 31, 2015, as part of the pre-deployment training package for their upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific in early 2016.
The RUTEX provides Marines and Sailors across the spectrum of MEU operations with an opportunity to perform and practice their duties deployed in an urban environment. It is also their final ground-based training requirement prior to deployment, as they move toward operating embarked at sea.
“RUT is an opportunity for MEU staff and supporting elements to work together and conduct operations including all elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force,” said Maj. Michael Holcomb, an operations officer for the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
From the top down, Marines like Holcomb help plan the missions which Battalion Landing Team 2/1 (BLT 2/1), Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron-166 Reinforced (VMM-166 (REIN)) and Combat Logistics Battalion-13 (CLB-13)— the ground combat element, aviation combat element and logistics combat element, respectively— will work together to execute during the two-week exercise.
“Training like RUT enables the MEU to operate its organic assets and units in an environment simulating conditions MEUs are currently operating in,” Holcomb said.
Those conditions include short planning timelines, distributed operations, various climates spanning bone-dry deserts to humid, tropical jungles, and multiple types of missions running at once, like a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) mission alongside a raid package on a high-value target.
“At the end of RUT, the elements that make up the 13th MEU will be integrated and synchronized with staff actions to execute on an accelerated timeline,” Holcomb said. “We’ll be one step closer to being the team we need to be for a successful tour of the [western Pacific].”
In the coming weeks, the Marines and Sailors of the Fighting 13th MEU are sure to be challenged to use all the skills required to remain ready to deploy and succeed in any clime and place.