26th Marine Expeditionary Unit begins sustainment training on Saudi Arabian islands

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), embarked aboard the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG), began routine sustainment training on Karan and Kurayn islands, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on April 20. The training has been pre-planned and coordinated with Saudi Arabia in order for the BATARG and 26th MEU to conduct mission-essential training, including an amphibious assault and an amphibious raid.

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AAV-7P Assault Amphibious Vehicles assigned to Golf Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/8, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), land on the beach during amphibious raid training on Karan Island, Saudi Arabia, April 20, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Pablo Morrison)

“The sustainment training on Karan and Kurayn islands not only increases the MEU’s readiness but also reassures our regional partners that we stand ready to defend and deter aggression,” said Col. Trevor Hall, commanding officer of the 26th MEU.

This unique training opportunity allows the ARG/MEU to maintain its proficiency as an integrated naval force across the full spectrum of maritime operations. “This important island training provides our Navy-Marine Corps team an integrated ship-to-shore combat capability and further enhances our readiness to carry out any mission as a premier crisis response team in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations,” said Capt. Lance Lesher, commodore of the BATARG. “This training also illustrates our strong defense relationship with Saudi Arabia, and our continued commitment to the security and stability of the region.”

ARG/MEUs operate continuously across the globe and provide the geographic combatant commanders with a forward-deployed, flexible and responsive sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Together, the Navy-Marine Corps team enables the joint force to partner, persist and operate in contested or potentially contested maritime domains. Training such as this improves and sustains the ARG/MEUs core responsibility as a crisis response force.

The BATARG and 26th MEU are operating in the Arabian Gulf to ensure maritime stability and security in the U.S. Central Command region through the employment of strategically mobile forces with the ability to project power in the maritime domain.

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