Photo by Ryan Ramsammy

US Marine Corps prepares for urban missions

By Dylan Malyasov

The U.S. Marine Corps said in a last release that the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) successfully completed its Realistic Urban Training (RUT) exercise on January 25th, 2024.

According to the press release, this intensive land-based training exercise involved over 2,200 Marines and Sailors from the 24th MEU, focusing on planning and executing operations that they may encounter during their upcoming deployment.

RUT is designed to simulate various scenarios, including offensive raid operations alongside U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and providing foreign disaster relief as a crisis response force. Over the course of three weeks, the 24th MEU demonstrated seamless collaboration while training in complex urban environments.

Urban warfare presents unique and complex challenges, and the Marines of the 24th MEU navigated these challenges with precision and skill, according to Lt. Col. William Kerrigan, commanding officer of the Ground Combat Element (GCE). The exercise marked the first time that all elements of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) integrated to execute dynamic missions together, emphasizing the importance of teamwork at all levels.

Throughout RUT, the 24th MEU executed a series of scenario-based missions, each demanding swift and coordinated responses from all MAGTF elements, including the Command Element (CE), Aviation Combat Element (ACE), GCE, and Logistics Combat Element (LCE). The primary focus of these missions was conflict in the urban battlefield, testing the unit’s ability to plan and execute as a cohesive force.

The Battalion Landing Team 1/8 of the 24th MEU also integrated with U.S. Army Special Operations Forces during select training exercises, enhancing the unit’s familiarity and collaboration with special operations forces.

Completion of RUT represents a significant step toward the 24th MEU’s designation as special operations capable, a title earned following the final pre-deployment training program certification exercise. As a MEU(SOC), the 24th MEU provides a versatile expeditionary force ready to respond to crises and operations worldwide, in addition to conventional warfare.

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