The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit departed Naval Station San Diego Friday, January 9, 2009, for a six-month deployment as the nation’s ready-reserve force within the Pacific and Central Commands.
Comprised of approximately 2,200 Marines and Sailors stationed at Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., the MEU is prepared to support a variety of operations in the western pacific; from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to decisive combat operations.
The MEU serves as the landing force for Expeditionary Strike Group 5, and completed its final certification exercise, Dec. 12. Over the past several months, the Marines and Sailors completed a series of exercises, including Training in An Urban Environment, MEU Exercise (MEUEX) and Expeditionary Strike Group Integration.
Battalion Landing Team 1/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron – 163 (Rein.), and Combat Logistics Battalion – 13 serve as the ground combat element, aviation combat element, and logistics combat element, respectively. They joined the command element last May to start a rigorous training cycle in preparation for the deployment.
The MEU is embarked on USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS Comstock (LSD 45), and USS New Orleans (LPD 18).