There are no live-fire activities outside the military installations at this year’s Realistic Urban Training Exercise, which commenced on Jan. 11, according to Marine Corps Forces Pacific.
“Members of Guam SWAT and Marines from the 31st MEU, however, will train together on Naval Computer Telecommunications Site in Dededo to focus on best marksmanship techniques with small arms pistol and rifle,” the Marines said in a press release.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has been conducting its annual training exercise, also known as RUTEX, in preparation of the unit's deployment in the Asia-Pacific late this year. The purpose of RUTEX is to train Marines to coordinate with local law enforcement agencies and local leaders to operate in an urban environment and hone their proficiency to respond to a threat to a community or its infrastructure. Most of the exercise this year has occurred on military installations, but a very important portion of the exercise is scheduled to be conducted in Hagatna at the Sewage Treatment Plant this Saturday night.
Village residents could see Marines periodically throughout this portion of the exercise, but those Marines will be in plain clothes until the initiation of the raid late Friday night - early Saturday morning. Since August of last year, planners for the exercise have coordinated through the appropriate agencies and officials to ensure safety and minimize the impact on the community. Some of these agencies and personnel include village mayors, the Office of the Governor, Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense as well as the U.S. Coast Guard. "Working in unfamiliar environments is critical to the success of our Marines," said Col. Tye R. Wallace, commander of the 31st MEU. "As the nation's only permanently-deployed Marine Expeditionary Unit, we must be able to react with little or no notice to threats in urban environments as a regional crisis response force." "We are always ready to support Marine Corps Activity Guam and the Expeditionary Operations Training Group," stated Charles Esteves, Office of Civil Defense Administrator. "Public safety during the conduct of any exercises is a priority. We ensure risk management is conducted at every stage of the planning process. Risks will be mitigated by exercise stakeholders and partnering agencies within the Government of Guam. There is no doubt that this year's exercise will be a success."