MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- After completing an eight-month deployment, Marines attached to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit were welcomed home by their families and friends at Marine Corps Air Station, Camp Pendleton, May 13. While deployed, the 15th MEU was comprised of approximately 2,400 Marines and sailors and was deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group. They acted as a forward-deployed, sea-based, Marine Air Ground Task Force capable of conducting a wide variety of operations from humanitarian assistance to combat related missions. “For me personally, it’s a tremendous honor to be here today with these Marines as they get to celebrate the reunion with their families after a job well done,” said Lt. Col. John Field, commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Reinforced), which was the aviation combat element for the 15th MEU. “I couldn’t be more proud of my Marines and sailors.” While deployed, the 15th MEU conducted bilateral training in Djibouti where they participated in multi-national cooperation exercises and made scheduled port calls in Thailand, Bali, Australia, Oman, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong. “As the nation’s premier expeditionary fighting force, our Navy-Marine Corps team provided a persistent, flexible and effective military force to support the theater requirements of geographic combatant commanders,” said Col. Scott D. Campbell, commanding officer the 15th MEU. “We successfully trained with key regional partners and thoroughly planned for and supported multiple operations vital to national and international security and stability.”
Although the MEU’s mission was challenging, reuniting with families made their deployment worth it. Returning Marines expressed good feelings about their family and friends awaiting their arrival. “It’s very rewarding and it’s also humbling to see the support from the friends, family and the local community and what they’ve done to support these Marines,” Field said. After seeing their families for the first time in eight months the Marines and sailors gathered their belongings and left to spend much deserved time with their loved ones.