Photo Information

Lance Cpl. Thomas Kegley wears a duty master-at-arms badge aboard the amphibious transport dock New Orleans during a drill to protect the ship here Dec. 5. Kegley is a 24-year-old Burlington, Wis., native and a team leader with Company L. The Pendleton-based company is one of three rifle companies with Battalion Landing Team 3/1, the ground combat element for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14, beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.

Photo by Cpl. Ryan Carpenter

Suspicious Marines support sailors during protection drill

5 Dec 2011 | Cpl. Ryan Carpenter 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Plainclothes role players carrying instruments of peril, from fake IDs to bombs, attempted to gain entry through points aboard USS New Orleans here during a drill Dec. 5.

The actors, Marines serving with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, challenged the amphibious transport dock’s sailors who were training to protect the lives and equipment on board.

Lance Cpl. Thomas Kegley, a 24-year-old team leader with Company L, said that having Marines as role players added a sense of realism to the drill and enabled the sailors to conduct the exercise in a professional manner.

“Marines always play a little more aggressively,” said the Burlington, Wis., native. “It helped the sailors be aggressive and stern as well.”

Company L is one of three rifle companies with Battalion Landing Team 3/1 – the MEU’s ground combat element.

Sailors emulated real-life scenarios by searching suspicious role players and communicating with the ship’s leadership.

Chief master-at-arms Edward Mendoza, leading the drill, said the realism was important for ship safety.

“My priority is the safety of the ship. We need to make sure we can protect it,” said Mendoza.

The unit embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14, beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.


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