Guam - The U.S. Marine Corps and Navy have been conducting a training exercise on Guam since Monday. The training exercises will culminate with a simulated raid late tonight (Weds.).
Elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU), the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, The Guam Police Department and the Guam Homeland Security and Office of Civil Defense are all participating in this Realistic Urban Training exercise (RUTEX).
Marine Col. Brandon McGowan explains that the exercise simulates a raid on a building that holds a terrorist cell. On Monday C1-30's flew from Okinawa to Guam and parachuted marines onto Andersen Airforce base. From there the marines drove into the island's capital where they set up reconnaissance on the terrorist cell. Tonight (Weds.) they will complete the actual raid portion of the exercise at an unspecified location.
"We have a requirement within the Marine Corps to provide them with a realistic urban training environment which is very difficult to do in Okinawa because of the status of forces agreement there and operating out in town. So Guam gives us a tremendous training opportunity to get out here and work in an environment as you can see behind you we have marines in the environment right now they're seeing real patterns of life they're dealing with distractions they would not deal with in a training base or on a camp in Okinawa and that's really the point for bringing them down here for this,” said Col. McGowan. This is the second time this exercise has been held on Guam by the 31st MEU. The 31st MEU is often the first to respond to crisis in the Asia-Pacific region.