News: II MEF Fwd deactivates, officially ‘home’
Story by Cpl. James Clark
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) officially deactivated during a ceremony, April 18, at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The unit deployed from March 2011 to March 2012 under the command of Maj. Gen. John A. Toolan, and served as the headquarters element of NATO’s Regional Command Southwest, comprised of approximately 30,000 coalition troops, responsible for an area of more than 40,000 square miles encompassing Helmand and Nimruz provinces.
During II MEF (Fwd.)’s deployment, several districts, including the Helmand provincial capital at Lashkar Gah transitioned to Afghan control. Other districts, including the former Taliban stronghold at Marjah, are scheduled to transition later this year as the coalition continues to shift its mission in the region from counter-insurgency to advisory.
Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr., the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, joined Toolan and his staff for the ceremony.