02SEPT2013: America’s SWAT team in VA this week to practice knocking on doors


The exercises are being conducted in Dinwiddie, Natural Bridge and Charlottesville, VA

““We’re sort of America’s 911 force,” Capt. Coles said. “We can be out [at sea], get a call and respond to it.””

McKenzie: “Soon, we’ll be hearing the sound of freedom”  ??

 

(TheDailyProgress) – America’s SWAT team will be in town this week to practice knocking on doors.

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Force, known in military parlance as an MEU, will visit Charlottesville on Thursday to give Marines a little training in strange surroundings. They’ll be practicing their best door-to-door techniques for use when and wherever they’re needed.

The exercises are being conducted in Dinwiddie, Natural Bridge and here.

“It provides a different training environment than we could provide on a military base, where the surroundings are familiar,” said Capt. Stewart Coles, of the 22nd MEU. “It allows us to simulate operating in unfamiliar terrain and countries, which is what the unit will do if called upon.”

The MEU includes a battalion landing team, a Marine regiment, a helicopter squadron and a combat logistics battalion. It’s the landing force for a U.S. Navy amphibious group consisting of the USS Bataan, USS Mesa Verde and USS Gunston Hall.

Basically, that means the Marines have everyone they need to plan a mission, get to the mission, do the mission and get home. Next year, the Marines will board ship and go where the action is.

“We’re sort of America’s 911 force,” Capt. Coles said. “We can be out [at sea], get a call and respond to it.”

The 22nd MEU is good at it. It’s the most decorated of the seven MEU units, according to the Department of Defense. Members have served in Lebanon, Grenada, Liberia, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’ve fought, rescued, evacuated, waded through floods to feed a populace and dug through debris to free quake victims.

In Charlottesville, the troops will get a call, plan the logistics, deploy, react and return to either Fort Eustis or Fort Pickett, where they will be temporarily assigned.

“People may see some role players and probably hear military helicopters, but where the exercises will be conducted will be out of the way,” Capt. Coles said. “This is an important exercise for us and we appreciate being in town.”

Read Original: http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/mckenzie-soon-we-ll-be-hearing-the-sound-of-freedom/article_c6288242-1354-11e3-9cfb-0019bb30f31a.html

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