Photo Information

Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and USS Makin Island listen as a firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Dpeartment describes the various tools and their functions found in a rescue environment here Oct. 8. The unit visited the fire department to receive search-and-rescue training. The 11th MEU is the first amphibious landing force to embark Makin Island, 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. Elyssa Quesada

On Treasure Island, wealth for Marines lies under the rubble

8 Oct 2010 | Cpl. Elyssa Quesada 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Amid heaps of concrete and rubble, city Fire Department officials taught Marines and sailors at a Treasure Island facility how to find and retrieve disaster victims Oct. 8.

The service members, who are participating in the city’s 2010 Fleet Week, sailed into San Francisco Bay Oct. 6 from San Diego aboard USS Makin Island.

Should San Francisco ever need military assistance following a natural disaster, the search-and-rescue training gave the 45 service members hands-on experience intended to prepare them to respond.

“I’ll be able to work in a timely manner if casualties are waiting to be rescued,” said Phoenix native Lance Cpl.  Anthony J. Arcieri, 22, a machine gunner with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, the ground combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s special-purpose Marine air-ground task force during Fleet Week.­

Firefighters with Engine 5 and Rescue 1 taught ropes and pulleys, and cribbing and shoring, all which showed how to build small structures used to hold up collapsed building walls.

“The missions of a Marine air-ground task force include disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, so if something were to happen, we would know how to respond,” said Gunnery Sgt. Robert L. Lytle, the unit’s civil affairs chief and an Asheville, N.C., native.

Marines and sailors trained side by side, evaluating situations and deciding on time-efficient methods – fundamentals to search-and-rescue, according to Mark Kearney, the Fire Department’s assistant deputy chief for homeland security.

This was a great training experience for the Navy and Marine Corps team, and it gave the military and non-military a chance to work together, Kearney said.  

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