THE REPUBLIC OF PALAU – Marines and Sailors assigned to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) conducted flight operations aboard Palau International Airport in the Republic of Palau on August 7.

While at the airport, the 13th MEU conducted the sustainment training in expeditionary refueling point operations to ensure that the United States maintains the capacity to provide for Palau’s security and defense, and exercise its ability to self-support aircraft logistical requirements using organic assets while in a forward deployed environment.

The U.S. places significant importance in maintaining amphibious readiness within the Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and MEU in the event there is a need for an immediate response to a crisis.

Rehearsals at sea and on land enable the ARG/MEU to be a flexible, adaptable and persistent force ready to respond to crises and deter threats.

This exercise gave the 13th MEU the opportunity to evaluate an aspect of its core competency and proficiency, enhance aviation and amphibious readiness, and test the capability of the ARG/MEU to conduct air delivered Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions in the region. In addition, the MEU’s ability to manage operations ashore allows the Navy and Marine Corps team the ability to move rapidly and operate in unfamiliar environments.

The 13th MEU and Essex ARG are deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility to enhance regional partnerships and serve as a ready-response capability for any type of contingency. (PR)