Photo Information

Marines gather for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s composite ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, April 8, 2016. The ceremony marked the joining of the ground combat element, air combat element and logistics combat element into the MEU’s Marine Air-Ground Task Force before the MEU begins its intensive six-month training and certification period prior to their upcoming Western Pacific 16-2 deployment.

Photo by Cpl. April Price

Pendleton’s Pride of the Pacific Composites

8 Apr 2016 | Lance Cpl. Devan K. Gowans 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The subordinate elements, consisting of Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 4th Marines; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced); and Combat Logistics Battalion 11, will embark three U.S. Navy vessels from Amphibious Squadron Five, and deploy to the U.S. Pacific and Central Commands’ areas of operations in late 2016.

The ceremony officially recognizes the merging of the 11th MEU’s major subordinate elements with its command element, led by Col. Clay C. Tipton and Sgt. Maj. Keith Massi. The MEU command element provides overall direction for the MAGTF and is augmented by various units and organizations throughout I MEF.

“For the next six months, we will go through a rigorous, high-tempo, high-intensity training and certification process,” said Tipton. “We must shift our mindset and bodies to this training as we prepare to execute our deployment and push off through U.S. Pacific and Central Commands with our Navy brethren.”

The ceremony also included remarks from Brig. Gen. David W. Coffman, deputy commanding general, I MEF, and featured artillery and tactical vehicle static displays, showcasing some of the capabilities the 11th MEU possesses for their upcoming deployment: Western Pacific 16-2.

“The goal is to produce the best sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Force ever, embark it onto the ships of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and, together with Amphibious Squadron 5, sail out of San Diego next fall to do the nation’s bidding as a forward-deployed Navy-Marine team,” said Coffman.

While deployed, the 11th MEU provides senior U.S. military leadership with a sea-based, rapid, crisis-response force able to conduct amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations.

“You are preparing for a deployment to combat,” said Coffman. “All away games, all nasty enemies, fog and friction, utter confusion, tasks large and small that will require the very best that you have to give.”

The Marines and sailors of the 11th MEU will begin their six-month training cycle on Monday, which will certify their ability to effectively operate from the air, land, and sea.

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 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.

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