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I MEF CG motivates, inspires 15TH MEU (SOC), Royal Marines

USMC

Story Identification Number: 20033494644
Story by Cpl. Anthony R. Blanco

CAMP GIBRALTAR, Kuwait(March 4, 2003) -- CAMP GIBRALTAR, Kuwait -- British Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade and U.S. Marines and Sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) gathered here March 2 for a speech from Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, the commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force about what they can expect in the coming weeks.

"Never more will our country sustain the [attack] we saw in September a couple of years ago," Lt. Gen. Conway said. "I think [President Bush] made that decision when he stood looking at a giant hole in the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and an even larger one up in New York City where the twin towers had been and 3,000 people died."

The United Kingdom lost approximately 300 Britons during the attack on the World Trade Center.

More than 1,500 United States Marines and Sailors stood with 3,000 British Royal Marines in a coalition formation during the speech.

Lieutenant Gen. Conway's speech re-enforced President George W. Bush's commitment to rid the world of terrorists, and not to allow another September 11 to occur.

Although the tragedy happened nearly 18 months ago on U.S. soil, the United Kingdom has backed the efforts of the U.S. in the global war on terror.

Throughout the years, both American and British Marine Corps maintained close ties with countless individual and unit-sponsored exchange programs. In 1991, American Marines and British Royal Marine units worked together under Central Command in Operation Safehaven in Northern Iraq. During the war on terrorism, both United States and United Kingdom joined forces again during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

"Those Marines who have gone before us have given us two things - one is a reputation," Lt. Gen. Conway said. "The second thing we bring is whole concept of combined arms."

"It was unique to have a mass formation with our United Kingdom brothers," said, Gunnery Sgt. Howard Macaulay, the NBC chief for the 15th MEU (SOC), a Reno Nev., native.

The Royal Marines who worked with U.S. Marines in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom can sense the feeling of brotherhood between the two countries, according to Royal Marine Staff Sgt. Adie Dance, 35, a Plymouth, United Kingdom native, the Artillery Support Troop staff sergeant, Commando Logistics Regiment.

"You could tell he is firmly committed to what we're doing here," said Royal Marine Rajinder Singh, 32, a London native, a Royal Marine with the United Kingdom Landing Force.

Lance Cpl. Marvin Chee, 23, a Navajo, N.M., native, an operations clerk, S-3, Command Element, said it was good to hear the general say that two of the world's finest fighting forces would be working together to accomplish the mission.

For Captain Ryder White, 32, a Tehachapi, Calif., native, the force reconnaissance platoon commander, 15th MEU (SOC), said that the general's speech was pure motivation. White also commented on if he and his Marines cross the border, that the nation and higher headquarters were behind them 100 percent.



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