15th MEU News
Photo Information

Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit pause to snap a photograph while walking in Litchfield National Park, Australia, Oct. 17. Marines and sailors from the 15th MEU and USS Rushmore stopped at their first liberty port in another nation, Darwin, Australia, during the MEU and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group’s Western Pacific deployment.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Timothy Childers

Crewmembers of USS Rushmore relax in Darwin

22 Oct 2012 | Lance Cpl. Timothy Childers 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

PACIFIC OCEAN – The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit recently wrapped up Exercise Crocodilo 2012 in Timor-Leste Oct. 16. It was the first exercise of its Western Pacific deployment, which began Sept. 17.

Throughout the five-day evolution, forces participated in various events to include field training and community-relations activities aimed at strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Timor-Leste. U.S. Marines and soldiers from the F-FDTL conducted military police training and exercises designed to strengthen infantry combat skills.

The 15th MEU is broken up into four elements: the ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 3/5; the logistics combat element, Combat Logistics Battalion 15; the aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Rein.) and the Command Element, which commands and controls the major subordinate elements.

Each unit participated in the events focusing on their particular specialty. Battalion Landing Team 3/5 conducted bilateral training with 570 Timor-Leste Defense Force soldiers. Their training focused on infantry tactics, the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, patrolling, weapons systems, pre-combat inspections, reconnaissance missions and raids.

Combat Logistics Battalion 15 assisted the local populace by providing medical and dental services to the people of Timor-Leste. During the exercise, more than 1,881 patients received care, and 90 immunizations were given. Additionally, the battalion showcased its engineering capabilities by participating in the construction and sustainment of local infrastructure.

Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Rein.) was spread throughout the Marine Air-Ground Task Force flying 420 hours to move 2,331 people and 216,140 pounds in support of the different exercises.

The Command Element’s Religious Ministry Team conducted 16 community-relations events at local schools donating books and their time to the people of Timor-Leste.

“Today, the partnership between the United States and Timor-Leste is stronger than ever,” said Judith R. Fergin, U.S. Ambassador to Timor Leste. “With Crocodilo, we have written the latest chapter in our ongoing efforts to enhance regional security.”

To kick off the closing ceremony, the 15th MEU’s Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel Platoon demonstrated their fast-roping capabilities after the Timorese Fuzileiro (special forces) landed on the beach and secured the area.

“The Marines and sailors of the 15th MEU take home with home an experience they will not soon forget. The hospitality you have shown here is indicative of the strong and continuing friendship that exists between our two nations,” said Scott D. Campbell, commanding officer, 15th MEU.

The 15th MEU is currently embarked as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group while they serve as the nation's rapid-response sea-based Marine Air Ground Task Force for Western Pacific Deployment 12-02.

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit