Thursday, July 30, 2009

13th MEU Marines and sailors come home after seven month deployment

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., (July 29, 2009) – The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is scheduled to return to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 31, after completing a seven month deployment in the Western Pacific and Middle East regions.

During this deployment, the 13th MEU/Boxer Amphibious Ready Group served as the theater reserve in the Central Command area of operations, prepared to rapidly execute a variety of missions from humanitarian assistance to decisive combat operations.

While deployed, the 13th MEU conducted five Theater Security Cooperation exercises in different countries, countless hours of sustainment training afloat and ashore and participated in counter-piracy operations off the coast of Africa.

A highlight of the MEU’s deployment occurred when USS Boxer (LHD-4) became the flagship for Combined Task Force 151 in support of counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin. For approximately three months, 13th MEU elements assisted in planning and executing a multitude of counter-piracy operations, including the hostage situation with Captain Richard Phillips and the Motor Vessel Maersk Alabama.

In total, the MEU successfully operated in over 13 different countries across the Pacific, Central and Africa Commands.

The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit is comprised of a Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (Reinforced), and Combat Logistics Battalion 13.

Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (BOXARG) is comprised of Amphibious Squadron 5, USS Boxer (LHD 4), USS New Orleans (LPD 18), USS Comstock (LSD 45), USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 Detachment 3, Naval Beach Group 1, Assault Craft Unit 5, Assault Craft Unit 1, Beach Master Unit 1 and Fleet Surgical Team 5.

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