An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsArticle Display

Marines land at Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrive to Vandenberg during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrive to Vandenberg during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuate civilians during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuate civilians during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuate civilians during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Plew)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit evacuate civilians during a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday. An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team’s effort in Lebanon has increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and our allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Matthew Plew)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit came to Vandenberg's airfield and successfully executed a simulated non-combatant evacuation operation Sunday.

Four military helicopters flew 58 Marines onto the base as part of a training exercise that began Dec. 1. The purpose of this exercise was to prepare and certify the Marines for future deployments and evaluate their readiness to deploy. Similar training exercises have been conducted at numerous locations throughout Southern California and Nevada.

"The Marines must be able to complete this exercise fluidly and be able to get in and out without incidence to become certified," said Marine 1st Lt. James Thomas, a certification site controller from the Tactical Exercise Control Group. "We train our Marines in preparation for long range helicopter raids, amphibious vehicle raids and forward air refueling. The goal is to have our Marines operationally prepared for any situation and to complete any given mission."

An MEU in recent events successfully pulled out American citizens during a conflict in Lebanon. The team's efforts in Lebanon increased the awareness of the military to be ready for the need of non-combatant evacuations in foreign countries when they become unsafe for Americans and U.S. allies.

On Sunday, a team of Marines, Marine actors and a Navy Corpsman played the role of American citizens waiting in a hangar to be extracted by the MEU. As soon as the expeditionary unit arrived on the southern portion of the airfield here, they quickly established local security before processing and loading the acting American citizens onto the helicopters, to evacuate the "civilians" to offshore U.S. Navy ships.

"We are glad to help out the Marines with their training," said Thomas Hom, who was the 30th Space Wing coordinator and facilitator for the exercise. "These Marines will be deploying overseas and they need the training. This is one of the many ways Vandenberg contributes to aid the War on Terror."

Organizations from all over the base helped make the Marine exercise possible, to include, but not limited to, security forces, medical agencies, the control tower, safety office and civil engineers, Mr. Hom said.

"I would like to express our great appreciation to the 30th Logistics Readiness Squadron for allowing us to use their hangar," Mr. Hom said.

Training for the MEU's often occurs at Camp Pendleton, Calif. The idea was to train the Marines in an unfamiliar setting to simulate a deployed environment, Lieutenant Thomas said. Vandenberg was one of a few locations chosen by the Marines to conduct their training.

"Vandenberg was a great place for this exercise because of its location and vicinity to the coast," the lieutenant said. "Using Vandenberg's airfield provided an opportunity for our Marines to train on a different terrain than they are use to.

"The training here has gone as planned without any problems," the lieutenant Thomas said. "The staff here at Vandenberg has been very conducive throughout the entire process and the exercise went smoothly. Due to the success of the training, similar MEU exercises are in the works to take place here again in the future."