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22nd MEU, NASSAU Strike Group refine planning skills

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 20055189146
Story by 22nd MEU Public Affairs

NAVAL AMPHIBIOUS BASE LITTLE CREEK, Va. (May 13, 2005) -- Marines and Sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and NASSAU Strike Group completed a week of training here under the tutelage of Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT).

The MEU staff, its major subordinate elements, and a representative group of planners from the NASSAU Strike Group conducted its pre-deployment Expeditionary Strike Group Workshop, during which they received briefs on the Rapid Response Planning Process (R2P2), Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) concept, and noncombatant evacuation operations as they prepare for a deployment later this year. Together the MEU and the Strike Group will deploy later this year as the NASSAU Expeditionary Strike Group and will use the traditional supported-supporting command relationship.

The training kicked off with a visit by 2nd Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Mark P. Fitzgerald and II Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, Lt. Gen. James F. Amos. Each stressed the importance of the MEU and ESG and challenged the Marines and sailors to continue to show the world the relevance of the ESG.

"No other organization in the Naval service has more relevance than the ESG," said Amos. He also pointed out that every MEU since Sept. 11, 2001, has been engaged in either the Global War on Terrorism or operations in Iraq.

Colonel Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., 22nd MEU's commander, praised the staff of EWTGLANT for carefully developing a course that reflects emerging tactics, techniques and procedures, while integrating recommendations from previous course participants.

"They did a magnificent job taking course critiques from the past to heart," said McKenzie. "This course offered us a great opportunity to refine our planning skills."

The first two days of the course focused on the mechanics of planning and the rest of the week offered numerous opportunities for detailed planning scenarios that the ESG might face during their upcoming deployment.

"It (R2P2) was a wake-up call," said Sgt. Robert Sheesley, a weather forecaster with the 22nd MEU. Sheesley, a native of Sitka, Alaska, said the workshop was his first experience with the compressed planning style used by MEUs.

The 22nd MEU consists of its Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn, 2nd Marines, MEU Service Support Group 22, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Reinforced). The MEU is scheduled to deploy later this year as the landing force for the NASSAU Expeditionary Strike Group, which consists of three amphibious landing ships, two destroyers, a cruiser and a fast-attack submarine.


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