MEU Service Support Group 13 (MSSG 13)
MEU Service Support Group 13 is task organized, equipped and assigned by the Commanding General, 1st Force Service Support Group, from the assets of the eight battalions organic to the FSSG. Its mission is to provide combat service support, specifically: supply, maintenance, transportation, deliberate engineer and health services to the forward deployed 13th MEU.
The Group was formally activated at Camp Pendleton, Calif., Feb. 1, 1985, but its history and lineage can be traced, indirectly, through a composite of the subordinate battalions of 1st FSSG from World War II through Korea and Vietnam. The predecessors of MSSG, Marines and Sailors from 1st Landing Support Battalion, 1st Supply Battalion, 1st Maintenance Battalion, 7th Motor Transportation Battalion, 1st Dental Battalion, 1st Medical Battalion and Headquarters and Service Battalion fought with distinction through Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Chosin Reservoir and Vietnam.
Although the designation of the Combat Service Support Element of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force has changed many times, from Combat Service Group, Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command and Force Service Support Group, each Marine and Sailor still contributes his own specialized skill to ensure that combat arms personnel and equipment are prepared for combat and contingency operations.
With less than 300 Marines and Sailors, MSSG-13 stands ready to support the 13th MEU across the spectrum of combat service support requirements. Capabilities include replenishment of all classes of supply, vehicular transportation, and landing support for both amphibious craft and helicopters. Services supported through the MSSG include military police, disbursing and information systems management.
Engineer capabilities include explosive ordnance disposal, road improvement, water production and distribution, and bulk fuel storage and distribution.
Medical and dental support is resident in the MSSG for health maintenance, battlefield casualty treatment and evacuation.
During an amphibious landing, while the Marines of MSSG-13 are performing a myriad of tasks both ashore and afloat, they are always prepared to depart from their specialized mission and assume the role of Marine riflemen should the need arise.
While afloat, the Marines and Sailors of MSSG-13 are spread-loaded across ships of the Amphibious Readiness Group, proudly serving as an integral part of the Navy/Marine Corps team.
MEU Service Support Group 13 (MSSG-13) is a Navy/Marine Corps team focused on providing cross-spectrum Combat Service Support (CSS) in a forward-deployed, expeditionary environment. The MSSG-13 team is an integral part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) [13th MEU (SOC)]. Preparations and training remain focused on providing CSS in an austere expeditionary environment as the Combat Service Support Element (CSSE) of 13th MEU (SOC).
MSSG-13 stands ready to provides the full range of ground CSS that is beyond the organic capabilities of the MEU Command Element and the major subordinates elements (MSEs) of 13th MEU. It includes providing supply, maintenance, transportation, deliberate engineering, medical and dental, automated information processing, utilities, landing support, disbursing, legal, and postal service necessary to support the MEU. On order, MSSG-13 can also provide CSS to other units in order to refine CSS techniques, train as a CSS unit, and support exercises or operations.
The MSSG is formed using the personnel and equipment contributed by the Force Service Support Group (FSSG). It is divided up into detachments that each specialize in providing a certain type of service to the MEU.
In 2000 while embarked with the Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group MSSG-13 participated in a Humanitarian Assistance Operation to help the people of East Timor. Marines and Sailors provided assistance in moving tons of building supplies by helicopter support teams, painted schools and churches, built basketball courts, and demolished unsafe buildings by using a bull dozer. MSSG-13 stopped in Darwin, Australia on September 7th and trained with the Australian Army. Our Marines worked very hard supporting Battalion Landing Team 3/1, setting up internal and external communications, and firing weapons on a range far superior to the ranges that we train on in Camp Pendleton. After three hard days of training, Marines back loaded the ships and enjoyed a night of liberty. Then MSSG-13 pulled into Singapore on 21 September 2000 for some liberty and training. The Marines and Sailors found the training challenging as many of them participated in an indoor rock climbing facility, rappelling from an 80 foot tower, and an extremely challenging confidence course. The liberty was a couple days this time, but many found Singapore a little expensive. Phuket Thailand was the next stop.
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