MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- 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.