By Capt. Roger Hollenbeck
REAM NAVAL BASE, Cambodia - Marines and Sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit came ashore here Dec. 11 from amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans (LPD 18) and dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) to begin a cooperative exercise with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces focusing on medical subject-matter-expert exchanges, mass-casualty response, community outreach, jungle familiarization and platoon and company movements.
“We welcome the opportunity to work alongside the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and share with them all that this amphibious force has to offer,” said Lt. Col. Michael P. Wylie, 11th MEU’s executive officer and officer in charge of the exercise for the Marines. “We will use these venues to enhance our professional relationships across the board, from mass-casualty response to jungle familiarization.”
During the exercise Marines, sailors and Cambodian forces will participate in a blood drive and community outreach projects in local schools, jungle familiarization, maritime interdiction subject-matter-expert exchanges and platoon and company sized movements.
“Exposing a generation of Marines accustomed to life in the desert to the challenges of the jungle and tying in with local medical professionals to make a difference in the community will stay with these warriors for the rest of their lives,” said Wylie.
New Orleans and Pearl Harbor, both of which departed their San Diego homeport Nov. 14, are part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group.
The MEU's major subordinate elements are Battalion Landing Team 3/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 11.