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5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade

The 5th MEB provides a scalable, standing, joint capable, forward-deployed headquarters in the CENTCOM AOR capable of conducting expeditionary operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in support United States Central Command operational requirements.

More than 100 Marines, sailors and guests witnessed a historic ceremony aboard Naval Support Activity Bahrain, 15 October 2015, when Command Element U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command Forward deactivated and opened a new chapter in the proud history and legacy of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. “When the United States and her allies have needed a crisis response force in the past, 5th MEB has responded,” said Maj. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III, commander of the newly activated 5th MEB. “Our activation today means that we will continue to be there in the future.”

The 5th MEB would have established relationships with air, ground and logistical combat elements. However, these elements will reside in the United States until called to execute any crisis or contingency. To prepare for future operations these continental United States-based enablers will participate in several exercises annually to increase interoperability. 5TH MEB first activated during World War I and served in France guarding supply lines and garrisons that were critical to supporting the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments during the allied defeat of the German army in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The last activation occurred during Operation Desert Storm when 7,500 Marines deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard 13 amphibious ships and conducted an amphibious landing south of the Kuwaiti border. 5TH MEB supported deception operations that fixed divisions and resulted in the successful coalition offensive that defeated Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard Force over the course of a 100-hour ground campaign.

The 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, numbering about 7,500, sailed from San Diego on the first of December 1990 in the 13 ships of Amphibious Group Three. The last operational deployment of the 5th MEB had been in 1962, when it went through the Panama Canal to take station in the Caribbean during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The ground element core of the 5th MEB was the reinforced 5th Marine regiment from Camp Pendleton; the aviation element, MAG-50; and the combat service support element, BSSG-50.

The 5th MEB's schedule called for it to arrive at Subic Bay on 26 December 1990, for a brief training period. Then on 1 January, it was to proceed so as to drive in the area of operations by 15 January. "Embedded" in 5th MEB was the 11th MEU(SOC)--meaning that the 11th MEU(SOC) could be reconstituted for missions such as those being per-formed by 13th MEU(SOC).

With the allied advance well under way all along the line, a U.S. Navy amphibious force made its final effort to convince the Iraqi command authority that Central Command would launch a major over-the-beach assault into Kuwait. Beginning late on 24 February 1991 and continuing over the following two days, the Navy landed the 7,500-man 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Al Mish'ab, Saudi Arabia, about 28 miles south of the border with Kuwait. Once ashore, the 5th became the reserve for Joint Forces Command East. Later investigation showed that the presence of the amphibious force in Persian Gulf waters before the ground war had forced the Iraqi command to hold in Kuwait as many as four divisions to meet an amphibious assault that never materialized.

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Page last modified: 16-11-2015 18:53:58 ZULU