Marines assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit completed training in Reno, Nevada, Aug. 24 to conduct U.S. Embassy reinforcement and noncombatant evacuation operation missions.
The training was supported by the U.S. Department of State advisors at U.S. Army National Guard Base Reno-Stead, Nev. The mission was not related to President Joe Biden’s visit to the area, officials said.
Part of the Realistic Urban training, the six-day evolution allowed members of the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) from Camp Pendleton, California to simulate an embassy takeover. Seventeen members of the 15th MEU’s Forward Command Element flew in a KC-130J Super Hercules from Yuma to Reno to support the fictional U.S. Consulate of Reno. The simulated crisis escalated from a call for help to a violent protest, allowing the 15th MEU to rapidly respond and evacuate the “consulate.”
“This scenario is fiction, but this mission is very real to us – we understand how critical it is to our nation that the 15th MEU is trained and ready to respond if Americans overseas need our help,” said Col. Sean Dynan, commanding officer of the 15th MEU. “RUT provides us a challenging training construct to practice our standing missions and exercise the full potential of our MAGTF.
The team in Reno worked closely with the State Department subject matter experts as they role played consul general, diplomatic security, consular affairs, public affairs and a Marine Security Augmentation Unit. Together the group planned and coordinated getting resources to Reno and evacuating the consul, including putting in place evacuation control center teams, a medical team and other personnel from Combat Logistics Battalion 15 to conduct a military-assisted departure for civilians.
The 15th MEU also prepped an embassy reinforcement team of infantry Marines to enter the scenario before the protests ended.
“Here, we rapidly plan and then aggressively execute our missions just like when we get the call,” Dynan said.