Dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island arrived in Little Creek after completing its Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit exercise, April 24.
Whidbey Island, along with Amphibious Squadron 6, Marines of the 22nd MEU, amphibious assault ship USS Wasp, and amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio, comprise the Wasp ARG.
ARGMEUEX is the first graded exercise an ARG and embarked MEU undertake in preparation for deployment.
“We received fantastic training“, said Cmdr. Ethan Rule, Whidbey Island commanding officer. “We brought our team from a rudimentary level — integrating with the PHIBRON, the Marines and ourselves and raised the bar significantly. We’ve seen significant improvement across the board from all departments.”
The training completed during ARGMEUEX is designed to test every facet of interoperability between Sailors and Marines. The Whidbey Island blue-green team worked together to carry out flight and amphibious operations, maritime interdiction exercises and damage control drills.
For the embarked Marines, adjusting to life on the ship and working side by side with Sailors proved to be a smooth transition.
“We try to help each other out and build camaraderie,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Elijah Gregory, who is assigned to the 22nd MEU.
Whidbey Island will participate in Composite Unit Training Exercise this summer, the final assessment before a scheduled deployment.
Image: US Navy