USS BATAAN --
Lieutenant General John M. Paxton, commanding general, II Marine Expeditionary Force, visited Marines and sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Bataan, April 4, 2011.
Upon arrival, Paxton was saluted by a traditional ceremonial posting of sailors tending the ship’s flight deck and greeted by unit commanders and the ship’s captain.
During the visit, Paxton spoke with Marines and sailors on the USS Bataan’s mess deck and met with unit leaders and commanders, including 22nd MEU Commanding Officer Col. Eric Steidl.
Paxton addressed questions, explained the 22nd MEU’s mission to relieve the 26th MEU in the Mediterranean Sea, and commended the Marines and sailors for their hard work and loyal dedication.
“We’re proud of you,” Paxton expressed to the Marines and sailors. “We could never tell you thanks often enough for who you are and what you do. You raised your hand for an all volunteer force, and you raised your hand in the in the middle of the gunfight.”
“We want nothing more than to have the team succeed and to have the team succeed because you succeed,” Paxton said. “Take care of each other – be safe.”
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU are currently deployed with Amphibious Squadron 6 aboard the USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and will continue to train and improve the MEU’s ability to operate as a cohesive and effective Marine Air Ground Task Force.
The 22nd MEU is a multi-mission, capable force, commanded by Col. Eric J. Steidl and comprised of Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron 263 (Reinforced); Logistics Combat Element, Combat Logistics Battalion 22; Ground Combat Element, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; and its Command Element.
Marine Expeditionary Units are the Marine Corps' smallest permanent Marine Air-Ground Task Force, and comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors ready to provide immediate response to a hostile environment or crisis.