CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — After four weeks at sea, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived at Kuwait Naval Beach on Sept. 11 for desert training.

“The MEU departed from its home base in Okinawa, Japan, making its initial stop in Kuwait, where it has started a series of training exercises designed to sharpen unit level skills and get personnel acclimated to operating conditions in the desert,” 1st Lt. Tryiokasus Brown said in a news release from Camp Udairi Range, Kuwait.

About 2,000 Marines are with the 31st MEU, including almost 1,000 from Hawaii, who deployed to Okinawa in July. They arrived in the Northern Arabian Gulf a week ago aboard ships of the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group.

“Operating within the U.S. Central Command’s area of operations,” Brown said, “the MEU is part of the security cooperation with neighboring countries in the Northern Arabian Gulf, guarding against pirates, smuggling of illegal goods and possible terrorist attacks.”

Capt. Michael D. Butler, 31st MEU training officer, said the unit will concentrate on small unit training including convoy operations, patrolling and live firing, the release stated.

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