Original Post Date: June 2011
The City of St. Louis was host to the third annual week long event designed to introduce the Marine Corps to civilian life. Each year, the events are hosted in different cities across the country, and this year they chose St. Louis. The Marine Corps has partnered up with Mayor Francis Slay to host the events.
Marine Week kicked off by showing off the Marine Corps aviators and their technically advanced aircraft. Monday morning the highly skilled pilots landed the extremely technical equipment, right in front of the St. Louis Arch and also next to Bush Stadium. The aircraft that landed next to Bush stadium is one of their most advanced carrier aircrafts available. This aircraft is called the MV-22 Osprey. The Osprey is a Boeing design and was designed for amphibious assault transports. These can carry troops, supplies and equipment from ships to land. The design of their propellers allow these planes to make quick and fast drop landings, which is what makes them good for drop-offs on ships.
The Land, Air, and Sea Combat Assault Demonstration featured the different assault approaches the Corps is capable of. During this assault the MV-22 Osprey dropped down above the Missouri River in front of the Arch and unloaded two water boats loaded with Marines in gear. These boats then landed at the water’s edge and the Marines began a land assault. During all of this, the Marine Corps showed off their underwater tanks. These tanks actually drove on the bottom of the river like a submarine, and then became land tanks when they hit the bank of the river. The next step that they showed off was the air assault. This assault included three Marines parachuting from an aircraft about a thousand feet above the ground. They also dropped Marines off at a landing zone a dock off the river. This part of the event showed off the flying capabilities of all the types of aircraft the Marine Corps uses. The final portion of this event was the land assault. This assault allowed the Marine Corps to show off their tanks and all the gear they use. This included all of their camouflage gear.
I also got the chance to see a little of the behind the scenes of this event, including the advertisements and public relations work that went into the event. Overall, Marine Week was a really unique thing to see. It was practically a once in a lifetime opportunity to see it all done in my hometown. Every time I thought of the Marine Corps, I just thought about these young men in their early twenties raiding the houses of enemies. After Marine Week, I realized the agility and training they go through to be as elite as they are.