MEU Service Support Group 24
The mission of MEU Service Support Group 24 is to provide timely, reliable, and continuous support to 24th MEU in support of the MEU commander's tactical mission and concept of operations; and to conduct, on order, Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations, Medical treatment and evacuation of casualties on a large scale, and Humanitarian Aid and Assistance operations.
MSSG-24 and its sister MSSGs, of the the 22d and 26th MEUs, operate on a rotational basis as the landing force of the US Sixth Fleet conducting operations in the Mediterranean Area. As of July 2000 MSSG-24 and the USS TRENTON had completed a washdown and agricultural inspection in Rota, Spain. The duties of combat service support for the Landing Force of the Sixth Fleet had been turned over to MSSG-26, and the TRENTON was headed across the Atlantic Ocean towards the U.S. with an arrival date scheduled for early August 2000.
MEU Service Support Group 24 has existed in one form or another since the early 1960s. It has participated in many of the important Marine Corps operations of the last half-century. During the 1960s, the Logistic Support Unit, 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic was temporarily activated to participate in exercises and operations in the Caribbean and Atlantic areas. In the early 1970s, the unit underwent several re-designations and name changes to become the MAU Service Support Group 32 of the 32d MAU -- which is very similar to our current name. The MSSG-32 and the 32d MAU participated in numerous exercises and operations in the Mediterranean Area in the 1970s.
On December 1, 1982, the numbering of MAUs and MSSGs was redesigned. MSSG-32 became MSSG-22 of the 22d MAU, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic. During this time and for several six-month deployments in 1983 and 1984, MSSG-22 was a part of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon. When Cuban and Communist influence was threatening US citizens and US national interests in the Caribbean islands of Grenada and Caricao, President Reagan ordered the Marines, including MSSG-22, to land and take those islands in October and November 1983.
In the years after the Grenada invasion, the numbering of the MSSGs was shuffled, and MSSG-22 became MSSG-24 of the 24th MAU, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic in 1984 and MSSG-24 of the 324th MAU in 1986. MAU Service Support Group-24 got its present name of MEU Service Support Group-24 in 1988.
Following Operation Desert Storm in 1991, the 24th MEU and MSSG-24 were tasked with the humanitarian relief effort Operation Provide Comfort in support of the Kurdish people in Turkey and Northern Iraq. In 1993 and 1994, the 24th MEU and MSSG-24 helped keep warring factions in Somalia at bay during Operations Restore Hope and Continue Hope. The MSSG left the shores of Somalia for the Adriatic in 1994, where it supported Operations Provide Promise and Deny Flight during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovinia. Two weeks after returning from the Balkans in 1994, the MSSG was off to the coast of Haiti as part of Operation Support Democracy.
MSSG-24 returned to the Balkans with the MEU during its next several deployments in 1995 and 1996 to support operations against Serbian aggression. During 1995, the 24th MEU rescued Captain Scott O'Grady, an Air Force pilot who had been shot down over Bosnia. In 1996, MSSG-24 assisted in restoring a bridge over the Drina River in Bosnia. In 1997, the 24th MEU and the MSSG were diverted to the Arabian Gulf to be the landing force for Fifth Fleet in support of Operation Desert Thunder. During its 1999 deployment, the 24th MEU assumed again a forward presence in the Balkans during the NATO operation against Serbian aggression in Kosovo. During this deployment, Harriers from the 24th MEU were the first such aircraft to be used in combat.
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