September 30, 2008 · Updated 5:43 PM
Chris M. Loveless
Marine Corps Sgt. Chris M. Loveless, a 2000 graduate of Marysville-Pillhuck High School, Marysville, Wash., along with 2, 200 Marines and sailors of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., recently completed the Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) aboard ships of the U.S.S. Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG), off the North Carolina coast.
The COMPTUEX was the final at-sea training period for both the MEU and the ships of the Iwo Jima ESG as they ready for deployment. The COMPTUEX is normally followed by one more at-sea period known as the Certification Exercise, the final test before deployment, however, the last two exercises were combined to accommodate an accelerated deployment schedule.
The MEU’s accelerated training schedule not only allowed the unit to participate in a Realistic Urban Training exercise in Indianapolis, Ind., but also simultaneously assist with flood-relief efforts in the state. COMPTUEX tested the unit’s command, ground, aviation and logistics elements’ ability to work together as a cohesive force and meet numerous objectives during the exercise.
Personnel from II Marine Expeditionary Force’s Special Operations Training Group evaluated the MEU’s ability to accomplish missions to include: amphibious raids, non-combatant evacuation operations, tactical recoveries of aircraft and personnel, mass casualty situations, embassy reinforcements and a host of other missions. All planning, coordination and execution were completed in real-time.
MEUs are built around a reinforced infantry battalion, a combat service support element, a reinforced helicopter squadron and a command element.
Loveless joined the Marine Corps in June 2002.
For more information on the 26th MEU, go to http://www.26meu/usmc.mil.