Photo Information

U.S. Marines move through brush during a raid to establish a forward command operations center as part of Marine Expeditionary Force 20.1 on Fort Drum, New York Oct. 31, 2020. Marines with 2nd Marine Logistics Group are participating in MEFEX 21.1, a MEF-level exercise consisting of approximately 1,200 Marines and sailors across the eastern United States. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Jenkins

II MEF Marines conclude MEFEX 21.1

16 Nov 2020 | 2ndLt Eric Bohnenkamp II Marine Expeditionary Force

II MEF concluded Marine Expeditionary Force Exercise 21.1, which took place across the east coast at Fort Drum, New York; Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia; and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Nov. 13.

The exercise occurred from November 4-13 and included Marines and Sailors with II MEF training alongside NATO allies: Norway’s Brigade North, French Army 6th Light Armoured Brigade, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Marine 3rd Commando, and U.S. Navy partners with Second Fleet.

II Marine Expeditionary Force Support Battalion provided and coordinated combat service support and administrative, training, and logistical support to the MEF Command Element during MEFEX 21.1. Additionally, II MSB served as the camp commandant for all tenants at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, and provided life support to a nearly 1000-person camp.

"We have a diverse group of talented Marines and Sailors across II MSB," said Lt. Col. Robert Fairley, commanding officer, II MSB. “Exercises such as MEFEX 21.1 provide our battalion with unique opportunities to come together and position ourselves to best support the MEF Command Element in a deployed environment.”

MEFEX 21.1 enhanced command and control and interoperability with allies and partners, focused upon facing a near-peer threat in the European theater and synchronized II MEF with its subordinate commands from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group.

“This peer level exercise is focused upon a peer-level adversary where II MEF is dependent upon working with our allies and fleet partners,” said Lt. Gen. Brian D. Beaudreault, commanding general, II MEF. “This is very much a joint-combined exercise against a near-peer threat.”

The training objectives reached in the scenario were also matched by real-world accomplishments. Marines with Combat Logistics Regiment 27 drove 916 miles from Fort Drum, New York, to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in only two-and-a-half days. CLR 27 is awaiting word from the USMC Historical Division concerning whether it was the longest the vehicle convoy in recent Marine Corps history.

The key objective of MEFEX was to find ways to tighten our integration with the allies and partners. “That was woven into this exercise in addition to tightening up the relationship with key allies and really subset of our NATO allies who are most likely matched with the capability with the Marine Corps,” said Beaudreault.

II MEF is preparing for MEFEX 21.2, which is scheduled to occur in spring 2021.