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Photo Information

Cpl. Brock W. English with the Offload Preparation Party ensures all parts are operational on the Assault Amphibious Vehicles aboard the Maritime Prepositioning Force ship, USNS Pililaau, Feb. 6. The OPP Marines conducted pre-operation checks on all of the vehicles aboard the ship. Their mission is to prepare and offload the equipment from ship to shore for use during Exercise Cobra Gold 2015. English is an AAV crewman with General Support Platoon, and a Lampasas, Texas, native.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Mandaline Hatch

Marines prepare AAVs for Cobra Gold

6 Feb 2015 | Lance Cpl. Mandaline Hatch 3rd Marine Division

Marines with the Offload Preparation Party performed pre-operation checks on Assault Amphibious Vehicles, Feb. 6, in order to support Exercise Cobra Gold 2015.

The mission of the OPP on board the Maritime Prepositioning Force ship, USNS Pililaau, is to prepare and offload support equipment and supplies from ship to shore. The Marines and the ship’s crew work side-by-side to ensure the equipment is fully operational before moving it off ship for use during Cobra Gold.

“It’s important to perform pre-operation checks to ensure the vehicles are ready to operate the way they are intended to operate during Cobra Gold,” said Staff Sgt. Brent L. Wade, the platoon sergeant for General Support Platoon attached to the OPP, from Hubert, North Carolina. “Once these vehicles roll off ship into port, they’re ready to roll and function the way they’re supposed to.”

The Marines connected the batteries in the AAVs, inspected the vehicles from top to bottom and confirmed they all ran smoothly.

“We’re making sure everything is good for once we get to Thailand,” said Cpl. Tomas X. Martinez, an AAV crewmember with General Support Platoon attached to the OPP.

“It is good training for the Marines,” said Martinez, a San Francisco, California, native. “We’re an amphibious [military operational specialty], so anytime we can get our guys out on ship is good training.”

Not all Marines receive the opportunity to train on a ship, much yet be a part of an OPP on an MPF ship. The Pililaau is one of many ships which make up the Marine Corps' Maritime Prepositioning Force. The MPF provides the Marine Air-Ground Task Force essential equipment and supplies to support and execute crisis or contingency responses worldwide.

 The Marines aboard the USNS Pililaau are learning firsthand what it means to be an expeditious force, ready to complete any mission at any time.