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    11th MEU Djibouti Sustainment Training: 239th USMC Birthday

    11th MEU Djibouti Sustainment Training: 239th USMC Birthday

    Photo By Cpl. Jonathan Waldman | U.S. Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), celebrate the 239th...... read more read more



    Story by 1st Lt. Colleen McFadden 

    11th Marine Expeditionary Unit   

    D'ARTA PLAGE, Djibouti -Two centuries ago, the United States welcomed the humble birth of its elite fighting force, the United States Marine Corps. Over the course of the next 239 years, the Marine Corps has seen action across the face of the earth, “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”

    Today, Marines and Sailors from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), reflected on this heritage and joined together to celebrate the birth of the Corps in locations throughout U.S. 5th Fleet, in the deserts of Djibouti, and across the three ships of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). On ship, Marines celebrated with their Navy brothers and sisters. In Djibouti, Marines celebrated alongside the French armed forces with the French Foreign Legion, displaying the deeply rooted traditions of the traditional Marine Corps birthday celebration. In Kuwait, Marines were joined by Soldiers and Airmen also deployed in U.S. 5th Fleet.

    “The Marine Corps’ birthday is a moment when we celebrate our heritage in order to establish a frame of reference for our future,” said Capt. Jonathan A. Wagner, company commander of Headquarters and Service Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 11th MEU. “The Marines recognized our rich history in 100 degree heat, with sweat in their eyes, and dirt on their faces. It isn't very often that you get to experience this type of camaraderie while being exposed to human factors. .”.

    The enablers of the celebration, from the cooks who artistically crafted the cake using Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), to the Marines who set security at the entry control points, worked as a team to make the celebration possible.

    Sgt. Mario V. Castillo, a food service specialist explaining his involvement said, “It was an interesting experience making the cake here. We had minimal equipment and even less ingredients to make it. Using what we had was much harder in the field but was a great challenge for our team.”

    The opportunity to train in Djibouti affords the Marines time to sustain their readiness and continually distinguish themselves as a responsive, expeditionary force. This exercise demonstrates the agility of the Marines to train in any clime or place with limited resources.

    As Marines of the MEU reflect upon the decorated years of Marine Corps history in places far away from the familiar comforts of home, they know that they are carrying on the traditions of the warriors who have gone before them, embodying esprit de corps and remaining ever faithful as they continue their deployment.

    Addressing his Marines aboard the USS San Diego, Lt. Col. Eddy I. Hansen, executive officer of the 11th MEU, stated, “The Marine Corps’ legacy is one of pride, professionalism, dedication to duty, and selflessness. We must pay tribute to those who have paved the way for us and honor their selfless spirit not only today on the Marine Corps’ birthday, but each and every day.”

    Being forward deployed on amphibious ships allows the 11th MEU to project its capabilities in areas not easily accessible by land. The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, deployed in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of responsibility, is postured, trained and ready to respond to any regional crisis.

    But even in the midst of a busy training schedule, Marines will always make time to celebrate their service’s birthday.



    Date Taken: 11.10.2014
    Date Posted: 11.11.2014 13:04
    Story ID: 147548
    Location: D'ARTA PLAGE, DJ

    Web Views: 2,608
    Downloads: 1