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1st Battalion, 1st Marines

1st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, is stationed at Camp Pendleton. After participating in Combined Armed Exercise (CAX) 1-01 from 01 October 2000 - 21 October 2000, it attached to 15th MEU in February 2001 for an August 2001 deployment.

On 10 July 1930, the designation of the 1st Marine Regiment was changed to its present, permanent title of 1st Marines by a Corps-wide redesignation of units. On 1 November 1931, the 1st Marines, as a regiment, was disbanded. A large part of its personnel joined the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, Expeditionary Force organized at Quantico the same date. On 31 October 1947, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, was disbanded, and the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, was redesignated 1st Marines, Fleet Marine Force, Western Pacific. During this period, the 1st Marines was at BLT strength in keeping with Marine Corps budgetary restrictions The 1st Marines again came into existence on 4 August 1950 by redesignation of the 2d Marines, 2d Marine Division. On 2 September, the regiment arrived at Kobe, Japan. In a few short weeks, the 1st Marines had been reborn, brought up to combat strength, and carried half way around the world.

On 17 March 1959, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, initiated the transplacement program, which called for organizing and training a unit, such as an infantry battalion, at Camp Pendleton, and then moving the trained unit to Okinawa, where it becomes a unit of the 3d Marine Division. In turn, a similar sized unit from that division returned to Pendleton, where, over a period of months, it was re-organized and trained to await its turn for a tour overseas.

On 15 October 1962, aerial photographs were analyzed and the presence of strategic missiles and sites in Cuba was indicated. After a quarantine of Cuba was ordered by the President, the units which were to participate in the blockade were alerted. Guantanamo had been reinforced and the order to activate the 5th MEB, had been issued before most of the American people were aware that the crisis had developed. With the activation order, the 1st and 3d Battalions of the 1st Marines began organizing for deployment with the 5th MEB. The dismantling of the missile sites by the Russians brought about the order to return to Camp Pendleton. On 01 December 1962, 1/1 and 3/1, on board the USS BEXAR, BAYFIELD, and the OKANAGAN, arrived at Guantanamo, and departed the next day with the 2d Battalion on board.

In the 1980's, the Battalion rotated between 3rd Marine Division at Okinawa and 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California. During the liberation of Kuwait, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines fought amid dense smoke. Unable to employ close air support and artillery, their tactics relied on TOW gunners using thermal sights. In spite of poor visibility, the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, destroyed about 43 enemy vehicles and captured more than 500 prisoners. The drive by the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, set off a chain of events. When the 1st Battalion proceeded north it encountered Iraqi units moving across the division front. The battalion halted the southern flank unit of a brigade-size enemy force, fixed it in place, and ultimately destroyed it.

Since the Gulf War, the Battalion has made various deployments to: Thailand; Singapore; South Korea; United Arab Emirates; Persian Gulf; and Australia. From October through November 1999, the Battalion participated in Operation Stabilise in East Timor.




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