CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and the Special Operations Training Group are heading to Guam this week for a mandatory training exercise, unit officials stated Wednesday.

The last of the about 350 Marines, who began flying from Kadena Air Base on Tuesday, should arrive on Guam by Sunday, said Capt. Burrell Parmer.

The Marines are going to Guam for their Training in an Urban Environment Exercise, an exercise MEUs must conduct yearly, said Parmer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit spokesman.

“But the unique thing about the 31st MEU is that we conduct it twice a year,” he said.

That’s because unlike other MEUs, the 31st receives a new Battalion Landing Team, the ground combat element, every six months as part of the unit deployment program.

While on Guam, Marines will conduct three situational exercises practicing reconnaissance, insertion and sniper skills. The unit also will complete a rapid-response planning process: Unit leaders will be given a mission and have six hours to devise a plan to complete it.

Marines with the Special Operations Training Group will evaluate the 31st MEU Marines’ performance — one of the steps needed to gain a Special Operations Capable designation.

The Marines are scheduled to return to Okinawa in about three weeks, Parmer said.

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