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 10th Marine Regiment

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 James W. Lively
Commanding Officer

Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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Lieutenant Col. Le E. Nolan
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Colonel Nolan is a 2001 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through Officer Candidate Class 180. After completing flight training as a CH-53E pilot, he reported to HMH-361 in MCAS Miramar.

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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.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit