U.S. Navy’s amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) and Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed amphibious integration training (AIT), March 19.
AIT is designed to strengthen the ties between sailors and marines by conducting a diverse set of amphibious missions based on scenarios the MEU may be called to respond to.
“Since the MEU had the opportunity to sail with Green Bay down to Thailand and during exercise Cobra Gold, we got a lot of good work in with the air department and the ship,” said Marine Maj. Alexander Cole, the H1-type aircraft officer in charge of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced). “Coming into AIT, we already had an outstanding working relationship with the ship.”
From March 9-19, Green Bay and the 31st MEU, with amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48), conducted mission-oriented training in the vicinity of Okinawa, Japan, in order to flex the Bonhomme Richard expeditionary strike group’s (ESG) ability to plan for and execute the MEU’s wide range of missions.
During AIT, Green Bay and the 31st MEU conducted various amphibious operations together which required practice and coordination. The “blue-green” team conducted a boat raid with combat rubber raiding craft (CRRC), a mechanized raid with amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs), an air raid with VMM-262 (Reinforced) and supported a non-combatant evacuation, among a number of other missions.
Now that AIT has concluded, Green Bay and the 31st MEU will participate in their certification exercise (CERTEX), further testing the blue-green team’s abilities and integration.