Combat Logistics Regiment 25 and Navy Beach Group Two conducted a month-long Maritime Prepositioning Force Exercise-14 (MPFEX 14) during the month of August at Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island in Jacksonville, Fla.
The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Expeditionary Strike Group Two led the exercise, which feeds into BOLD ALLIGATOR 2014, a large-scale amphibious exercise scheduled for later this year that will serve as a capstone event for the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Force 21 concept. Marines have not performed this crisis response exercise in 15 years, and the Navy has not performed this type of training in 12 years, said Cmdr. Michael O’Driscoll, the off-load control officer with Assault Craft Unit Two, Naval Beach Group Two.
The U.S. Naval Ship Seay aided both sailors and Marines with this training, by providing them with the means to hold more than 300 pieces of equipment on the open water. It also provided the needed cranes to move the items from the ship to the Integrated Navy Lighterage System (lighterage craft) used to transport the cargo from ship to shore.
For about a week, sailors, Amphibious Construction Battalion Two, transported equipment from the USNS Seay to MCSF Blount Island on the INLS.
After the off-shore, off-loading was completed, Marines with CLR-25, drove the remainder of the gear off the ship to the shore from the USNS Seay, while it was anchored in port at MCSF Blount Island.
The 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, a reserve unit stationed in Tampa, Fla., also participated in the training by conducting a “splash,” or entered the water with an amphibious assault vehicle in the open water, of eight amphibious assault vehicles. The training allowed Marines to rehearse their skills at navigating the open waters to safely transport people and gear from ship-to-shore; a vital part of their profession.