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Expeditionary unit deploys as America's force in readiness

US Marine Corps News

11/15/2011 By Courtesy Story, 11th MEU

SAN DIEGO — More than 2,300 Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit began a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific and Middle East regions Nov. 14 after embarking USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor here.

The mission for this forward deployed unit will be to provide a rapid-response force capable of conducting conventional amphibious and maritime operations from sea, by surface or air.

"Our Marines and sailors have excelled throughout our rigorous training cycle, and I am proud to be a part of this organization as we go downrange," said Col. Michael R. Hudson, the 11th MEU's commanding officer.

"We embody the Corps' amphibious heritage with an agile and scalable force able to do great things from sea or land to either solve a given crisis or enable follow-on forces" Hudson said. "We leave our loved ones knowing that we are ready and that they too are well prepared for this deployment"

After pierside goodbyes to friends and family members, the service members left San Diego Bay and sailed westward to assume the role as the amphibious forces in readiness.

The MEU's major subordinate elements are Battalion Landing Team 3/1, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 268 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 11. This team, along with the unit's command element, has been working together as a complete air-ground-logistics team since May.

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