Photo Information

Marines serving with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit board USS Makin Island Oct. 1. The 11th MEU is the first amphibious landing force embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship, which set sail for San Francisco Oct. 1, to participate in the city's 2010 Fleet Week. There the 11th MEU plans to showcase to the public the Marine Corps' men and women, its aircraft and equipment and its ability to conduct missions that span the overlapping spectrums of peace and combat, from disaster relief to war.

Photo by Cpl. Justis Beauregard

Golden Gate bound; USS Makin Island transports first Marine amphibious landing force

1 Oct 2010 | Cpl. Justis Beauregard 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The first amphibious landing force aboard USS Makin Island left Naval Base San Diego Oct. 1 and made its way to San Francisco, where service members will participate in the city's 2010 Fleet Week.

The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, sailing for California’s Golden Gate, will reach San Francisco Oct. 6 and showcase to the public the Marine Corps' aircraft and equipment and its ability to conduct missions that span the overlapping spectrums of peace and combat, from disaster relief to war.

“Our focus during Fleet Week is to display and demonstrate the Marine Corps’ ability to provide assistance domestically should San Francisco or any other community require it,” said Col. Michael Hudson, the unit’s commanding officer and a San Francisco native. “Sharing our professions with the citizens and giving our Marines and sailors the opportunity to enjoy this great city is a winning combination.”

While in port, the approximately 650 Marines will live on board Makin Island, a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship commissioned in October 2009.

The unit’s men and women will take time off to enjoy the city, participate in community-outreach projects, march in parades, hold tours, teach seminars and play in a softball tournament.

“I’m looking forward to playing softball,” said Pfc. Brandon Andrews, an administrative clerk for the unit’s command element. “It is nice to do something out of the ordinary duties of an admin clerk.”

As the Corps seeks to reclaim its naval heritage, the underway transit with the Navy’s Makin Island crew and Amphibious Squadron 5 became a first for many Marines.

“I look forward to learning the ropes. This is my first time ever on a ship of any kind,” said Lance Cpl. Frank Lindsey, a motor transport operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 11, the 11th MEU’s logistics combat element. “It will be a learning experience for me being on a ship and working with the Navy.”

“The MEU will be deploying on the Makin Island next fall, so operating as a ship-based Marine air-ground task force is an excellent training opportunity,” said Hudson. “Getting to do it in front of our countrymen in a venue like San Francisco enriches the experience.”

The 11th MEU’s mission is to provide a rapid-response force capable of conducting conventional amphibious and enhanced maritime interdiction operations from the sea, by surface or air.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

Read Biography

Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

Read Biography

Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Read Biography