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Raid force conducts training raid

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CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Service members with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s maritime raid force engaged a simulated hostile town while aircraft provided overhead security here Oct. 9 during a live-fire exercise.

The raid force, supported by CH-46E Sea Knights and AV-8B Harriers with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), launched from USS New Orleans and USS Makin Island and traveled approximately 20 miles inland.

Marines set up positions to block reinforcements from entering the town while an assault force attacked and captured a simulated terrorist leader.

“The exercise went smooth,” said Cpl. Benjamin Stout, a squad leader with the raid force. “We were able to have multiple rehearsals and the Marines were fully prepared.”

One of the targets the Marines were able to shoot during the exercise was a full-sized remote controlled vehicle, a first for the raid force, said Stout.

Capt. Adam Perlin, the executive officer for the raid force, said that the cooperation between the air combat element and the raid force helps prepare the Marines for their deployment.

“We were presented with complex problems and scenarios that mirror missions the MEU may be asked conduct,” said Perlin.

The unit embarked USS New Orleans, USS Makin Island and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Sept. 28 and is participating in its final exercise before deploying in November.

Article by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter, 11th MEU