Dragnet on II MEF drug use
By Capt. Binford Strickland
| II Marine Expeditionary Force | December 03, 2012
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
“Marines don’t do drugs,” stated Maj. Gen. Ray Fox, Commanding General II Marine Expeditionary Force, “and if they do, they’ll be out of our Corps.”
Through the creation of a Counter Drug Task Force, Fox enacted the II MEF Counter Drug Campaign to preserve the force and its readiness.
The II MEF Counter Drug Campaign will invoke an existing, cohesive partnership with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Carolina Field Office, the Provost Marshal Office, MCI-East Security and Emergency Services, and 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion.
Despite an already effective substance abuse program, the campaign, which reflects the service’s zero-tolerance policy, is to detect, disrupt, and deter illegal drug use. The campaign supports the policy and is meant to have traumatic effects on the drug threat across the MEF.
“The campaign is our commitment to the American people to preserve the most valuable treasure they have entrusted us…their sons and daughters,” said Fox, a Spokane, Wash., native and 36-year Marine veteran.
On Nov. 30, Fox ordered a MEF-wide urinalysis for the nearly 53,000 active-duty Marines and sailors. Samples were collected from men and women and shipped for analysis before the end of the day as a part of the detection phase of the drug threat to II MEF.
“This is not a onetime event,” said Lt. Col. Eric Young, commanding officer for 2nd Law Enforcement Battalion, II MEF. “This is part of sustained deterrence efforts partnering with other law enforcement agencies across Camp Lejeune and in other locations. This is also the first of many law enforcement activities the task force will execute,” added the South Glens Falls, N.Y., native.
The basis for the urinalysis was beyond detection.
“Drug networks threaten our Marines and Sailors,” said Capt. Job Armenta, Counter Drug Task Force Officer in Charge. “They will be pursued just as aggressively as the enemy networks facing our men and women overseas,” declared the Los Angeles native.
In October, a Michigan man was charged after investigators said he was selling pot to Marines at Camp Lejeune. The arrest was made possible from a tip provided by NCIS to Michigan authorities indicating a Marine was transporting marijuana between Michigan and Camp Lejeune three times a month since early 2011.
“The recently activated 2nd LEB provides the II MEF commander greater flexibility with deliberate, partnered counter drug focused efforts with law enforcement organizations outside the MEF,” Young explained.
Results of this and future drug screenings will be published in subsequent articles.
Marines and Sailors are asked to join in this fight and report drug activity to our recently created Counter Drug Task Force at 910-450-9942.