This DoD photo by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter, dated July 10, shows a Marine with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit maritime raid force searching an oil platform during the exercise.

Marines Training to Recapture Offshore Oil Platforms

The "raiders" used fast-roping and ladder-climbing techniques and arrived on helicopters and inflatable boats.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit maritime raid force conducted a large-scale training exercise July 10 in California that included having Marines practice recapturing an enemy-occupied offshore oil and gas platform, according to an article posted by the Department of Defense. The maritime raid force included Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) and sailors from the USS New Orleans. They "rehearsed several days before executing the raid," the article states.

Written by Lance Cpl. Ryan Carpenter of the 11th MEU, the article says the oil platform recapture was part of the unit's large-scale exercise with ocean and urban-based scenarios. The "raiders" were supported by Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced), the aviation combat element for the unit, and sailors from USS New Orleans, and rehearsed several days before executing the raid, Carpenter wrote.

"This is the type of multi-faceted, complex training that will prepare our Marines for a successful deployment," Gunnery Sgt. Jonathan Compton, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the force, said in the article. "We can always get better, but the actions of the individual Marines and sailors on the platform were decisive and thorough."

The force arrived on Sea Knight helicopters and Navy rigid-hull inflatable boats and used fast-roping and ladder-climbing techniques, Carpenter wrote. He quoted Col. Michael R. Hudson, the unit's commanding officer, as saying, "This realistic training will prepare the MEU to be America's forward-deployed, forward-engaged force."

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