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3d Marine Division


3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
Marines prepare AAVs for Cobra Gold

By Lance Cpl. Mandaline Hatch | III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | February 6, 2015


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.