MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit command element took charge of its three major subordinate elements to form a complete Marine air-ground task force at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C, July 10, 2013.
One of three MEUs based on the East Coast at Camp Lejeune, the 22nd MEU will deploy in early 2014 to conduct operations and exercises in the U.S. European, Africa, and Central command areas of responsibility.
The four main elements of a MAGTF are the command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element and logistics combat element.
Commanded by Col. James D. Christmas, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the approximately 2,500 Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (reinforced); Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and the command element will begin a rigorous six-month training cycle prior to deploying early next year.
After completing predeployment training, the MEU will embark aboard the USS Bataan (LHD-5), USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) and USS Gunston Hall (LSD-44), which make up the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. The ARG and MEU together form a forward-deployed, rapid-response team trained to handle crisis situations worldwide.
The 22nd MEU was activated Dec. 1, 1982, renamed from the 32nd Marine Amphibious Unit that had regularly deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions throughout the previous 20 years. More recently, the 22nd MEU provided disaster relief and humanitarian aid as the first major Marine response force to respond to a devastated Haiti after its 7.0 earthquake in early 2010. The MEU began its last deployment in 2011 by supporting operations Unified Protector and Odyssey Guard in Libya, returning home in February 2012 after nearly 11 months at sea.
Information about the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit –
A MEU is considered America’s 911 Force - always forward deployed, ready to respond to a variety of crises from full-scale combat to humanitarian assistance. A MEU consists of a command element, ground combat element, aviation combat element, and combat logistics element. The 22nd MEU will be made up of the following units: Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 (based out of New River Air Station, N.C., with AV-8B Harrier attachments from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point); Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment (based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., which includes various attachments of reconnaissance, assault amphibious vehicles, and other support units), and Combat Logistics Battalion 22 (based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.).
There are three MEUs on the East Coast (22nd, 24th, and 26th) and three on the West Coast (11th, 13th, and 15th), with a seventh based out of Okinawa (31st MEU.) The 26th MEU is currently deployed from Camp Lejeune.
The 22nd MEU last deployed from March 2011 to February 2012. During this deployment, the 22nd MEU deployed to the Central Command area of operations where it participated in numerous training exercises and theater security cooperation events with partnered countries throughout the Middle East and Djibouti, Africa. In the Mediterranean, the 22nd MEU participated in liberty port calls in Italy, Romania, Turkey, Greece and Spain.