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II Marine Expeditionary Force

 

II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Global Operations

As an Expeditionary Force in Readiness, the Marine Corps' main missions are "the ability to respond to crisis" and "assure littoral access." Given this emphasis our focus ranges from security cooperation to forcible entry with a special emphasis on crisis response. Fulfilling this role requires a forward posture with the right capabilities to deploy, employ, and sustain our forces in expeditionary and austere environments.

When directed, II Marine Expeditionary Force deploys and is employed as a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) in support of Combatant Commander (CCDR) requirements for contingency response or Major Theater War.  With appropriate augmentation, II MEF serves as the core element of a Joint Task Force (JTF); prepares and deploys combat ready MAGTF’s to support CCDR presence and crisis response; and supports service and CCDR initiatives as required. II MEF is representative of the largest and most powerful Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF).

Special-Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa
The official request for forces for a SPMAGTF-CR-AF was made in February 2013, and the Marine Corps established the initial force in March 2013. SPMAGTF-CR-AF made the Transatlantic flight of (2) KC-130Js and (6) MV-22B Ospreys to Morón Air Base, Spain in April 2013. Although positioned in Europe, SPMAGTF-CR-AF operates in support of USAFRICOM. Forward-basing of the SPMAGTF-CR-AF in Europe increases the capability of the command to rapidly respond to incidents on the continent of Africa in support of USAFRICOM combatant commander’s contingency requirements. Since its inception, the force has positioned to respond to unrest and contingency operations six times: May, September, October, and December 2013; and again in July and October 2014. 

SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a rotational contingent of approximately 800 Marines, Sailors and support elements sourced from a variety of Marine Corps units to include II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. Its organic assets include 12 MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, four KC-130J Hercules aerial refueling tankers, one UC-12, a logistics and sustainment element, and a reinforced company of infantry Marines. SPMAGTF-CR-AF is commanded by Col. Thomas B. Savage.

• SPMAGTF-CR-AF is a self-command and controlled, self-deploying, and highly mobile crisis response force allocated to U.S. Africa Command to respond to missions in permissive and uncertain environments to protect U.S. personnel, property, and interests in the AFRICOM area of responsibility.

• In addition to the forces positioned at Moron Air Base, an infantry company of Marines subordinate to SPMAGTF-CR-AF is positioned out of MK, Romania. The company is not attached to Black Sea Rotational Force, also at MK. This company is also allocated to USAFRICOM in order to provide additional rapid response forces to the African continent.

• SPMAGTF-CR-AF is postured to respond to a broad range of military operations in the AFRICOM region, including: U.S. Embassy reinforcement, fixed-site security, non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, theater security cooperation, and other missions as directed. Additionally, SPMAGTF-CR-AF can serve as the lead element, or the coordination node, for a larger joint/combined element.




MARINE EXPEDITIONARY UNITS

Visit our Marine Expeditionary Units on Facebook: 22nd MEU; 24th MEU; 26th MEU.


Since World War II, in nearly every crisis, the Marine Corps has deployed projection forces, with the ability to move ashore with sufficient sustainability for prolonged operations. These forces have been organized into Marine Air Ground Task Forces (MAGTF), a combination of air, ground and support assets. MAGTFs are established for specific missions, or in anticipation of a wide range of possible missions. Combining air, ground and logistic assets maximizes the combat power of each of the war fighting elements. MAGTFs have long provided the United States with a broad spectrum of response options when U.S. and allied interests have been threatened and in non-combat situations that require instant response to crisis. Selective, timely and credible commitment of air-ground units have, on many occasions, helped bring stability to a region and sent signals worldwide to aggressors that the United States is willing to defend its interests, and it is able to do so with a significantly powerful force on extremely short notice.

Based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., are the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is the smallest of the MAGTFs and comprises about 2,200 Marines and Sailors. Its major elements are the Command Element (CE), the Ground Combat Element (GCE), the Aviation Combat Element (ACE), and the Logistics Combat Element (LCE).

The CE comprises the commanding officer and supporting staff - about 200 Marines and Sailors. It provides the overall command and control essential for effective planning and execution of operations and synchronizes the actions of each element within the MEU. Skill sets falling under the command element include: administration, intelligence, operations, logistics and embarkation, communications, legal and public affairs. The GCE is built around an infantry battalion and provides the overland combat power for the MEU. Assets inherent within the standard infantry battalion include: medium and heavy machine guns, mortars, combined anti-armor teams and scout snipers. While assigned to the MEU, the unit, designated a Battalion Landing Team, is reinforced with light armored reconnaissance vehicles, tanks, artillery, combat engineers and assault amphibian vehicles.

The ACE is a composite squadron that provides the MEU medium to heavy lift capability, assault support and close air support (CAS). Its assets include: MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft or CH-46 Sea Knight medium lift helicopters, CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopters, AH-1 Super Cobra helicopter gunships, UH-1 Huey utility helicopters and AV-8B Harrier jump jets. With a force strength of approximately 500, the ACE includes air traffic control, aircraft maintenance/support and aviation logistics/supply capabilities.

The LCE, about 250 Marines and Sailors strong, provides combat support such as supply, maintenance, transportation, explosive ordnance disposal, military police, water production and distribution, engineering, medical and dental services, fuel storage and distribution, and other services to the deployed MEU. The LCE gives the MEU the ability to support itself for 15 days in austere expeditionary environments. 




Unit Deployment Program
The Marine Corps, as America's expeditionary force in readiness, constantly seeks opportunities to train and partner with allies and friends in the Pacific theater. The Unit Deployment Program, or UDP, has been a cost-effective way to expose U.S.-based Marine units to various training environments and maintain military partnerships throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Increased forward presence also improves the Marine Corps' ability to respond to contingencies throughout the region.

These Marines will participate in theater security cooperation activities and partner with regional allies and friends. When called to respond, Marines can rapidly deploy with the equipment and training necessary. To reduce the number of unaccompanied tours and improve unit continuity, the Commandant of the Marine Corps established the UDP in October 1977 to provide for the deployment of units to the region for periods of approximately six months.

The initial program was a six-phased evolution that sequenced infantry battalions and aircraft squadrons/detachments into Asia-Pacific deployments, thus eliminating the 12-month permanent change of station assignments for personnel assigned to these units. Marines under the UDP will rotate to Okinawa under the command of III Marine Expeditionary Force. Marines under the UDP will rotate to Okinawa under the command of III Marine Expeditionary Force. Their rotation durations will ideally be six months at a time. This construct reduces their impact on the host nation as families will remain in the U.S. and the vast majority of Marines will be housed on military installations.