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Lima Company splashes off ship, raids island

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A rifle company with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit raided simulated enemy installations here Sept. 12 during the unit’s second at-sea exercise since becoming a complete Marine air-ground task force in May.

Company L moved from the sea – launched in amphibious assault vehicles from USS New Orleans – neutralized mock-enemy forces, gathered intelligence and captured an enemy role player before returning to the vessel.

In six hours from receiving its mission, the company planned, prepared and rehearsed before launching the first wave of vehicles.

Company L gunnery sergeant Gunnery Sgt. Patrick E. Fay said it was the first raid that used a realistic format: “The actions on the objective went well – from the beginning of the planning process to the actual execution.”

The detainee offered additional training.

“Until now we had never validated that process,” said Fay. “It was the first time we detained an individual, brought him back to the ship, processed him and handed him over to the Navy.”

Company L is one of three rifle companies with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground-combat element for the unit, which is scheduled to deploy this fall.

A platoon of tracked vehicles from 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif., reinforces the Pendleton-based 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines. The platoon provides the go-to means of maneuver for Company L.

Article by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter, 11th MEU