CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Camp Pendleton hosted members of the surrounding communities to watch as the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted a ship-to-shore exercise as a part of their final pre-deployment certification, June 14, 2017.
The MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force that consists of logistical, ground and aviation elements under a central command.
“What we’re demonstrating is the unique capability of the MEU at a unique location, which is Camp Pendleton,” said Col. John Polidoro, commanding officer of Headquarters & Support Battalion, Camp Pendleton.
The mock amphibious assault begins with AAV-P7’s storming the Camp Pendleton beach with MV-22B Osprey’s flying overhead followed by LAV-25’s on landing craft.
“The reason why this is important is because they’re able to go from the ship, to the shore, to a follow-on objective with all the supporting aircraft and logistical elements uninterrupted,” said Polidoro. “This is the only place we can exercise that, you can’t do it in 29 Palms, you can’t do it in Camp Lejeune without a break.”
Marines and civilians who attended the demonstration on Camp Pendleton’s Red Beach saw first-hand the Marine Corps’ ability to project power as a naval expeditionary force.
“It’s really neat for the people who aren’t in the military to see this and experience it,” said Kevin Witowich, with the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.
As the largest Marine Corps base on the west coast with over 30,000 Marines and sailors stationed here, commanders make it a priority to maintain good relationships with local communities.
“The best part of the demonstration is watching the crowd’s reaction and pulling the veil back, we actually show them what we’re doing,” said Polidoro. “We’ve been good neighbors for 75 years so it’s time that we opened up and brought them onto the base to show them exactly what we’re training for.”