Photo Information

Tom Lindsey, left, City of Yorba Linda mayor pro tem, and Col. Matthew Trollinger, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit commanding officer, exchange gifts during the 11th MEU adoption ceremony in the city of Yorba Linda, Calif. May, 16, 2015. The adoption represents a pledge to support service members and their families when the unit is deployed and at home, and maintains a constant link between Yorba Linda and the military community. The 11the MEU is a flexible, adaptable, and persistent force capable of rapidly responding to crises and contingencies. (U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Rick Hurtado/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado

11th MEU Makes New Friends, Strengthens Ties with Local Community

19 May 2015 | Cpl. Ricardo Hurtado 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Communities near military installations have a unique perspective on the lifestyle service members and their families live. They are an integral part of the support system that is essential to maintaining an efficient force. The community of Yorba Linda, California, solidified their support by adopting the I Marine Expeditionary Force's 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Yorba Linda City Council formally adopted the 11th MEU on Dec. 16, 2014. The adoption represents the constant support the city provides to service members and their families when the unit is both deployed and at home, and it maintains a constant link between Yorba Linda and the military community.

Dignitaries and members of the community, along with Marines, Sailors and families of the 11th MEU, gathered in Yorba Linda, May 16, 2015, to witness the first annual adoption ceremony, which honored the traditions and history of the unit.

Tom Lindsey, Yorba Linda city mayor pro tem, said adopting the 11th MEU has been one of the proudest moments he has experienced while serving as a city official.

“It’s a tremendous honor to have the Marines and Sailors here among us and we wish to thank them all for their service in the defense of our great nation,” said Lindsey. “We are extremely grateful to have this fantastic opportunity to support the 11th MEU and its families, and we hope this is the beginning of a very long-lasting bond between us.”

By adopting the unit, the City of Yorba Linda now plays an imperative supportive role in the MEU’s mission.

“I am confident that adopting the 11th MEU will be a unique treat for the city, as our deployments take us literally around the world and you are, by extension, a part of that journey,” said Col. Matthew Trollinger, 11th MEU commanding officer.

Trollinger added that the commitment is mutual and that the 11th MEU is not only being adopted by the city, but the city is also being adopted by the unit.

“For the MEU to be adopted by the city of Yorba Linda is an opportunity to forge a lasting relationship between the nearest and dearest of the city, and the generations of Marines to pass through the 11th MEU,” added Trollinger.

During the event, Marines and Sailors showcased some of the MEU’s capabilities, including vehicles, equipment, weapon systems, and the men and women who make up a small portion of the unit.

The 11th MEU returned from a seven-month deployment in February where they participated in military exercises and operations across the Asia-Pacific region, employed their amphibious capabilities, honed fundamental skills, and worked alongside armed forces from foreign nations to create stronger international ties. 

Marines, Sailors and family members left Yorba Linda with new friends in a community that is eager to support the 11th MEU and be part of the unit’s next mission.

“On behalf of the Marines and sailors currently with the MEU, and for those to come who will enjoy the fruits of our budding relationship … thank you,” said Trollinger. “Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and your warm welcome to beautiful Yorba Linda.”

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.

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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.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ 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.

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