Expeditionary unit deploys as America's force in readiness

14 Nov 2011 | Capt. Roger Hollenbeck 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

More than 2,300 Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit began a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions Nov. 14 after embarking USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor here. 

The mission for this forward deployed unit will be to provide a rapid-response force capable of conducting conventional amphibious and maritime operations from sea, by surface or air.

"Our Marines and sailors have excelled throughout our rigorous training cycle, and I am proud to be a part of this organization as we go downrange," said Col. Michael R. Hudson, the 11th MEU's commanding officer. 

"We embody the Corps' amphibious heritage with an agile and scalable force able to do great things from sea or land to either solve a given crisis or enable follow-on forces" Hudson said. "We leave our loved ones knowing that we are ready and that they too are well prepared for this deployment"

After pierside goodbyes to friends and family members, the service members left San Diego Bay and sailed westward to assume the role as the amphibious forces in readiness.

The MEU's major subordinate elements are Battalion Landing Team 3/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 11. This team, along with the unit's command element, has been working together as a complete air-ground-logistics team since May.

For more information, contact the unit's public affairs officer, Capt. Roger Hollenbeck at roger.hollenbeck@makin-island.usmc.mil  or visit the MEU website at www.11thmeu.usmc.mil or follow us on Twitter @11thmeu.

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