USA: Iwo Jima ARG Completes PMINT


Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON) 8 and the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) conducted the PHIBRON-MEU Integrated Training (PMINT) from Oct. 24 through Nov. 3.

PMINT is the first integrated training between the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) comprised of approximately 1,700 Sailors from amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), amphibious dock-landing ship USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21), and approximately 1,200 Marines with the 24th MEU.

PMINT enhanced operability between the Sailors and Marines and began the process of forming a blue-green team during three phases and approximately two weeks of training exercises.

During the first phase, Sailors and Marines worked together to safely embark and integrate the 24th MEU including all of the aircraft, vehicles, gear and personnel throughout the three ships within the ARG.
Sailors and Marines conducted many well deck and flight deck operations during the first two days transporting 24th MEU gear from land to the ARG ships.

“PMINT is not new, we understood what we needed to do which is to bring the blue-green team together for the first time underway,” said Marine Capt. Jeremey Wilkinson, MEU Battalion Landing Team (BLT) operations officer. “No matter how you cut the cake, green team cannot be successful without the blue and blue team cannot be successful without the green. So we have to learn how to work together to deliver the right solution around the world.”

The second and longest phase was integrated training. Phase two of PMINT included a series of air defense exercises, surface gunnery, communication scenarios, boarding exercises, planning, co-mingling standard operating procedures and testing gear.

During the training exercises, Sailors and Marines worked on their driver training for the on and off loading of vehicles, dock landing qualifications, shipboard familiarization and overall team building.

“In the well decks, we’ve done a lot of integrated training, bringing different types of crafts and vehicles aboard,” said Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class (SW/AW/SCW) Kenyon Copeland, assigned to Iwo Jima.

“We’ve worked together with the MEU, the watercraft crews and ships company to stage them to see what kind of storage we can have, and if we would be able to fit any more and still get around.”

Post exercise evaluations were held after each operation. All training evolutions were reviewed and critiqued in order to identify any problems and improvement possibilities.

“This is to basically get everyone on the same page before deployment, so that we can operate safely and complete our mission,” said Copeland. “All the trainings have gone well; we’ve worked well together and kept our heads on a swivel.”

The debarkation process involved off-loading embarked personnel, aircraft, watercraft and vehicles from the Iwo Jima ARG.

Senior Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Joshua D. Kramer said Sailors and Marines worked well together and expects similar cohesiveness during the next training exercises.

Upon completion of PMINT the Iwo Jima ARG plans to conduct composite unit training exercise (COMPT2X) and a certification exercise (CERTEX) in preparation to deploy in 2012.

Source: navy, November 07, 2011;