The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), embarked aboard ships of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), completed its eight-month deployment on May 13, 2013. After departing the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility, the blue-green team returned to their respective homeports at Naval Base San Diego and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Ca.
The PELARG, which included the 15th MEU and Amphibious Squadron Three, sailed from Naval Base San Diego on Sept. 17, 2012, covering more than 43,000 nautical miles. While deployed, the Navy-Marine Corps team conducted numerous theater security cooperation exercises with partners in the Western Pacific and Middle East. These TSCs promoted military cooperation and interoperability and laid the framework for continued security and prosperity in the region. The PELARG also participated in an international training exercise that focused on employing maritime interdiction operations to prevent nuclear and chemical proliferation.
This was also the last deployment for the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter as the Marine Corps transitions to the MV-22 Osprey.
As U.S. Central Command’s theater-reserve and crisis-response force, 15th MEU and PHIBRON 3 planned for contingencies focused on embassy reinforcement and non-combatant evacuation operations during times of increased instability in the Middle East and Africa. Other missions ranged from serving as a quick reaction force for military raids and providing Marines for maritime interdiction operations to offering fixed and rotary-wing strike support. The MEU is proficient across the range of military operations, from amphibious assaults, raids and maritime interdiction operations to humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and non-combatant evacuation operations.
On Friday, June 7, a bloggers roundtable was held to discuss the 15th MEU’s recent deployment, and answer any questions about the mission and capabilities of the crisis response Marine Air Ground Task Force, Pacific presence, promoting theater security and fostering partnerships in the Western Pacific and Middle East. Guests to the Roundtable were the commanding officers of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group and the 15th MEU, Capt. Shawn Lobree and Col. Scott Campbell.
Joining us on the call were Chuck Simmins, of America’s North Shore Journal; Andrew Lubin, of Leatherneck Magazine; Gail Harris, of Foreign Policy Blogs; and Raymond Pritchett, of Information Dissemination.