A Certain Force in an Uncertain World

The video production highlights the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s ability to gain access to critical areas anywhere in the world with ground, air and logistics capabilities, which enables the Navy-Marine Corps team to shape actions across the range of military operations to resolve conflict, conduct humanitarian assistance or combat enemy activity in remote, austere environments that would otherwise be inaccessible. (U.S. Marine Corps video by Lance Cpl. Gary Jayne III/Released)

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The Marine Expeditionary Unit mission is to provide a forward-deployed, flexible, sea-based marine air-ground task force, capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations to include enabling the introduction of follow-on forces and designated special operations in order to support the theater requirements and geographic combatant commands. The Marine Expeditionary Unit, also known as the MEU is made up of four main elements including the Command Element, Ground Combat Element, Aviation Combat Element, and the Logistics Combat Element. Equipped with the Maritime Raid Force and elements from an Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, intelligence battalion including imagery interpretation, human exploitation, ground sensor and topography, a radio battalion detachment, a communications battalion detachment, law enforcement, and cyber detachments, the Command Element is also augmented with a Special Operations Forces Liaison Element, or SOFLE. The MEU Command Element is capable of rapid planning, command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance, human intelligence, signals intelligence, geospatial intelligence, and imagery intelligence. The Maritime Raid Force, also known as the MRF, falls within the Command Element. The MRF gives the MEU the unique capability by bringing together highly-trained, experienced, and mature operators from the reconnaissance, intelligence, fires, and explosive ordinance disposal fields into a single cohesive team. Members of the MRF receive specialized training in visit, board, search, and seizure, urban sniper, close-quarters tactics, breaching, amphibious reconnaissance, site exploitation and more. The Ground Combat Element, also known as the GCE is equipped with a headquarters and service company, three rifle companies, a weapons company, an amphibious assault vehicle platoon, a light armored reconnaissance platoon, a tank platoon, a combat engineer platoon, and an artillery battery. The GCE is capable of amphibious assaults, amphibious raids, air-field seizures, offensive and defensive operations, stability operations, embassy reinforcements, and the ability to operate with combined forces. The Aviation Combat Element, or ACE, is centered around a medium tilt-rotor squadron but reinforced with light attack helicopters, fixed-wing aviation assets, heavy lift helicopters, aviation logistics, aviation support, air control, and low-altitude air defense detachments. The Aviation Combat Element is capable of assault support, offensive air support, anti-air warfare, and aerial reconnaissance. The Aviation Combat Element is armed with MV-22 Ospreys, AH-1 Whiskey Cobras, UH-1 Yankee Hueys, CH-53E Super Stallions, AV-8B Harriers, and RQ-21 Blackjacks. The Logistics Combat Element is equipped with motor transport, maintenance, health services, engineer, communications, supply, landing support, and explosive ordinance disposal platoons. The Logistics Combat Element is capable of ground supply operations, ground equipment maintenance, transportation operations, water purification, humanitarian operations, and evacuation control center operations. The Logistics Combat Element can also provide health services, general engineering, and explosive ordinance disposal. Although the MEU is comprised of different elements, all of these elements come together to fulfill 13 different mission-essential tasks, or METs. The 13 METs consist of Amphibious Assault, Amphibious Raid, Enabling Operations, Maritime Interception Operations, or MIO, including, visit, board, search, and seizure, Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations, facilitate Foreign Humanitarian Assistance, Integrate and Operate with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational Organizations, Embassy Reinforcement, Theater Security Cooperation Activities, Aviation Operations from Expeditionary Shore-Based Sites, Personnel Recovery such as tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel, Airfield and Port Seizure operations, Expeditionary Strike. The Marine Expeditionary Unit provides a forward-deployed, flexible, and responsive sea-based marine air-ground taskforce. Together the armed MEU provides the distinct ability to gain access to critical areas in the world utilizing ground, air, and logistics forces.

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