Photo Information

Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan (right), the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division and Sgt. Maj. Michael F. Jones (left), the sergeant major of 2nd MarDiv, took part in the deactivation ceremony for II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward), April 18, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. The ceremony officially marked the end of II MEF (Fwd.)’s service after the unit’s year-long deployment to Afghanistan, during which time it served as the headquarters element of NATO’s Regional Command Southwest.

Photo by Cpl. James W. Clark

II MEF Fwd deactivates, officially ‘home’

19 Apr 2012 | Cpl. James W. Clark

II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) officially deactivated during a ceremony, April 18, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. 

The unit deployed from March 2011 to March 2012 under the command of Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan, and served as the headquarters element of NATO’s Regional Command Southwest, comprised of approximately 30,000 coalition troops, responsible for an area of more than 40,000 square miles encompassing Helmand and Nimruz provinces.

During II MEF (Fwd.)’s deployment, several districts, including the Helmand provincial capital at Lashkar Gah transitioned to Afghan control. Other districts, including the former Taliban stronghold at Marjah, are scheduled to transition later this year as the coalition continues to shift its mission in the region from counter-insurgency to advisory.

Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr., the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, joined Toolan and his staff for the ceremony.