By Cpl. Christopher O'Quin
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines and sailors from Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-13, I Marine Expeditionary Force held loved ones and friends for the first time in more than a month, during their return from Exercise Native Fury 2010 in the Middle East, May 30.
The exercise brought together more than 200 Marines and sailors to train with military forces in the region and build interoperability.
"It made me more proficient since we used different radios than we are used to," said Cpl. Carlos Velazquez, a multichannel radio operator with Special Purpose MAGTF-13. "Right now I'm glad to be home and I'm just gonna enjoy the weekend."
Shortly after returning from deployment, Special Purpose MAGTF-13 became re-designated as the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit command element and Combat Logistics Battalion 13.
"We were tasked to go to Exercise Native Fury, which is in United States Central Command, to demonstrate and practice maritime prepositioning of ships," said Col. David W. Coffman, the commanding officer of 13th MEU. "It enables us to get the training camp repetition in to make sure we are all prepared to start our full work-ups later this summer. We used this exercise to ensure access to ports and airfields and to work with our partners in the region. We had great success moving Marines and materials from ship to shore. It was a great opportunity to develop relationships with our partners."
"They did fabulously well and we look forward to getting all the Marines and materials back home," finished Coffman.
Marines and sailors from the 13th MEU command element and CLB-13 will spend the next month taking leave and preparing for the months ahead as they train and complete the requirements to make them a force in readiness.