Monday, July 26, 2010
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit rotates out of Central Command, finishes deployment in Mediterranean
7/22/2010 USS NASSAU — The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) is rotating out of the Central Command and 5th Fleet area of operations after serving as the theater reserve force for approximately five months while embarked aboard amphibious assault ships of Amphibious Squadron 8 (PHIBRON).
The 2,300 Marines and Sailors of the 24th MEU participated in a variety of training exercises and theater security cooperation events throughout the Middle East and in Djibouti, Africa, while deployed in this region of the world. Many of these events were bilateral with partnered nations in the region, and were focused on strengthening military ties and continuing building relationships with these countries.
“Operating in the 5th Fleet area is extremely challenging, but at the same time tremendously rewarding. I could not be prouder of the MEU/PHIBRON team and all they have accomplished,” said Col. Pete Petronzio, commanding officer, 24th MEU.
The 24th MEU is headed to the European Command and 6th Fleet area of operations where they are planned to visit various ports throughout the Mediterranean before finishing their seven-month deployment and returning to the states.
The Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 24th MEU is being relieved of their duty in CENTCOM by the Camp Pendleton, Calif.-based 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. This rotation is part of normally scheduled rotation of MEU’s that takes place approximately every six months.
The rotation was officially complete as USS Nassau, the headquarters ship for the 24th MEU and PHIBRON 8, completed their transit through the Suez Canal.
The 24th MEU is made up of the following units: Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (based out of New River Air Station, N.C.), Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment (based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.), and Combat Logistics Battalion 24 (based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.). They are currently deployed on ships from Amphibious Squadron 8 (PHIBRON 8): the multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA 4), the amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48).