Naval Warfare

26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Returns Home from Eight-Month Deployment

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26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Returns Home from Eight-Month Deployment

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26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Returns Home from Eight-Month Deployment
26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Returns Home from Eight-Month Deployment

Marines and Sailors with Battalion Landing Team 1/6, Combat Logistics Battalion 22, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced), and Command Element are scheduled to return to Camp Lejeune, Mar. 17-19, following an eight-month deployment at sea across the U.S. European Command, U.S. African Command, and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility. The 26th MEU (SOC) Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) will offload from the ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) onto Onslow Beach, North Carolina via Landing Craft Air Cushions (LCACs) and via helicopters to Goettge Field House, Camp Lejeune for the 26th MEU(SOC)’s Homecoming Event, where they will be met and welcomed by their friends, family and loved ones waiting for their arrival. Moreover, the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced) will fly-off the ships of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group to Marine Corps Air Station New River.

This deployment marked the first time a MEU with the Special Operations Capable (SOC) designation has been employed in over two decades. While deployed, more than 4,000 Marines and sailors supported a wide range of interoperability training, exercises and operations within the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations; covering the High North, Baltic Sea, Eastern Mediterranean, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea, and Middle East. The 26th MEU(SOC) supported operations and engagements, conducted theater security cooperation activities, bilateral training with our NATO Ally and partners, and executed sustainment training to ensure the force was ready and posture to respond to crisis in the region. The 26th MEU(SOC) is comprised of Battalion Landing Team 1/6, Combat Logistics Battalion 22, and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (Reinforced).

The Marines and sailors of the 26th MEU(SOC) deployed aboard the flagship Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 50), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). The 26th MEU(SOC) serves as one of the Nation’s premier crisis response forces capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations, to include enabling the introductions of follow-on forces and designated special operations, in support of theater requirements of the Geographic Combatant Commander. Coupled with the BAT ARG, the 26th MEU(SOC) serves as a premier stand-in force with a full complement of all-domain capabilities to operate persistently within the littorals or weapons engagement zones of an adversary.

The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) transit in formation with the United Kingdom primary casualty receiving ship RFA Argus (A135)
The Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5), Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), and Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) transit in formation with the United Kingdom primary casualty receiving ship RFA Argus (A135). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew F. Brown)

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