NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN – The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), embarked aboard the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship the USS Ashland (LSD-48), successfully completed their first week of exercises, June 17.
Sailors and Marines have been conducting amphibious exercises reinforcing combat readiness and interoperability amongst the two military branches.
“Ashland is underway for amphibious integration training prior to participating in bi-lateral exercises later this summer,” said Cmdr, Daniel P. Duhan, commanding officer of the Ashland, “It is important to conduct this training for both the Sailors and Marines because of the amount of new personnel we have and also because of the complexity of the missions that we support.”
Amphibious operations are a dynamic team sport, requiring a lot of practice and close coordination. Both Marines and Sailors have completed training in launch and recovery of several types of amphibious vehicles: amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs), landing craft air cushions (LCACs) and combat rubber raiding crafts (CRRCs).
“I expect the Navy and Marine Corps team to build on their already world renown relationship,” said Duhan, “We will be ready to operate as a cohesive unit in the upcoming exercises with our partners in the Pacific.”
Ashland is homeported in Sasebo, Japan, and is a part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, comprised of USS Green Bay (LPD 20), USS Preble (DDG 88) and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.