OKINAWA, Japan (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay (LPD 20) departed Okinawa after disembarking the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) April 7.
During a three-month underway, Green Bay and the 31st MEU participated in exercises and training meant to increase combat readiness and enhance partnerships with allies in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Those exercises included amphibious integration training (AIT) and certification exercise (CERTEX).
The purpose of AIT and CERTEX was to provide a comprehensive, complex training environment that combined the Navy and Marine Corps maritime and sea-to-shore capabilities.
"It was an extremely intensive environment and one of the challenges conducting operations was planning and communicating all the mission essential elements to the MEU," said Marine Maj. Alexander Cole, the H1-type aircraft officer-in-charge of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced). "Thankfully, all the training and standard operating procedures we have in place helped to seamlessly integrate the MEU with the Green Bay crew."
Both of the training events are designed to strengthen ties between Sailors and Marines by conducting a diverse set of amphibious missions based on scenarios that the MEU may be called to respond to.
"Embarking, training, and operating with the 31st MEU continued to remain our number one priority," said Navy Capt. Nathan Moyer, Green Bay's commanding officer. "I firmly believe that our seamless integration resulted in more effective training while building a stronger blue-green team."
After the completion of CERTEX, Green Bay also conducted a series of drills and maneuvers with the Japanese destroyer JDS Sazanami (DD 113) over a two-day period to improve interoperability and coordination in order to operate jointly under the tenets of the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Throughout the patrol, the 31st MEU and Green Bay crew operated together as a highly successful blue-green team.
"The Marines we had [aboard] were incredibly proficient in their ability to work together as a team," said Moyer. "Based on that proficiency, they seamlessly integrated with the Green Bay crew in order to perform a successful, collaborative patrol."
Green Bay, part of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, is on patrol operating in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to enhance warfighting readiness and posture forward as a ready-response force for any type of contingency.
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