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BMU 1 Returns Home from Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070603-07
Release Date: 6/3/2007 6:12:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman José R. Rolón, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Beach Master Unit (BMU) 1 Det. Foxtrot returned to Naval Amphibious Base Coronado after their nine-month deployment with Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 30.

Team Foxtrot, which left San Diego in September 2006, led the ship-to-ship movement of 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and their equipment while in the Persian Gulf and assisted with security missions in Iraqi coastal waters.

“We had 27 Sailors in the team, one of their primary missions was the off-loading of Marines into Kuwait to support Operation Iraqi Freedom,” said BMU 1 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Mark Lechner. “Foxtrot is a brand new team. It was their first deployment, which got extended, and the job they did out there makes me feel really proud.”

The team also played a major role in humanitarian missions and provided critical support during the multi-national 2006 Malabar exercise. The Malabar exercise focused on a number of naval mission areas to strengthen ties between United States, Canadian and Indian forces, as well as enhance the cooperative security relationship between the nations involved.

“It was a good deployment. Everything worked well with zero mishaps. No member of our unit was injured in any shape or form and that’s always a high point in any deployment,” said Chief Boatswain’s Mate (SW) Andrew Rader, assistant officer in charge. “It’s a phenomenal feeling to be home. In my 22 years of service, this is one of my longest deployments."

Construction Mechanic 1st Class (SCW) Emanuel Baptista echoed Rader when describing his feelings about returning home.

“The highest point of the deployment for me was visiting countries I never thought I would ever see,” said Baptista. “We did nine months, a little longer than expected, but it feels really good to be home.”

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