22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

caption= 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit insignia
dates= December 1, 1982 - present
country= United States
allegiance= United States of America
branch= United States Marine Corps
size= ~ 2200
command_structure=II Marine Expeditionary Force
current_commander= Colonel Gareth F. Brandl
nickname= 22nd MEU
motto= "Warriors at the Edge of Freedom"

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU) is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel. The MEU consists of a command element, a reinforced infantry battalion, a composite helicopter squadron and a logistics combat element. The 22nd MEU is currently based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and falls under the command of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. The 22nd MEU holds the distinction of being the most decorated of the Marine Corps' seven MEUs. [cite web
last = Cpl Miller
first = Peter
title = Most decorated MEU adds OEF, OIF Streamers on 25th anniversary
work =
publisher = 22nd MEU
date = 2007-12-08
url = http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/0/BC8413705BD7D7A5852573AC007E6AD4?opendocument
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-12-24


"Provide the United States with a forward-deployed, amphibious force-in-readiness capable of executing mission across the full spectrum of combat and military operations other than war."

Current subordinate units

* Ground Combat Element: 3rd Battalion 8th Marines
* Aviation Combat Element: HMM-261 (Rein)
* Logistics Combat Element: Combat Logistics Battalion 22



The 22nd MEU was activated on December 1, 1982, as the "22nd Marine Amphibious Unit" (MAU). This original activation was actually a redesignation of the 32nd MAU, which had been deployed regularly throughout the Caribbean and Mediterranean regions for some twenty years. Additionally, the 32nd MAU had operated within Lebanon.

During Operation Urgent Fury, the MAU participated with a number of helicopter and surface landings on the island of Grenada, eventually occupying over 75% of the island.

Redesignated the 22nd MAU, it deployed with the 24th and 26th MAUs in numerous operations and exercises throughout the 1980s, with the "Amphibious" moniker being dropped in favor of "Expeditionary" on February 5, 1988. Additionally, in 1986, the MAU was the third MAU designated Special Operations-Capable (SOC).


In the 1990s, the 22nd MEU participated in operations in Liberia, Zaire, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. Additionally, the MEU participated in peacekeeping missions in the Balkans region.

Global War on Terror

The 22nd MEU took part in several anti-terrorist missions in the Central Command theater, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and also launched life-saving humanitarian efforts in the African nation of Djibouti.

In 2004, they again deployed to Afghanistan where the unit inserted deep in Afghanistan's remote Oruzgan Province where it established "Forward Operating Base Ripley". For four months, the MEU prosecuted an aggressive campaign against Taliban and anti-coalition factions in the area.

The 2005-2006 deployment saw the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU in Iraq, battling insurgents from a forward operating base in and around the ancient city of Hīt (pronounced "heet"). Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, took the fight to the enemy, MSSG-22 worked to fix roads and other critical infrastructure in the area. Over the course of its time in Iraq, the MEU participated in 14 named operations and uncovered vast quantities of insurgent arms, ammunition and ordnance.

From September 25 to October 11, 2007, AV-8B Harrier II's from the 22nd MEU flew 70 combat missions over Afghanistan providing aerial reconnaissance, close air support and convoy escort in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. [cite web
last =
first =
title = http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/mcn2000.nsf/releaseview/8822CA656BC329F98525738B00696A1E?opendocument
work =
publisher = United States Marine Corps
date = October 31, 2007
url = http://www.usmc.mil/22ndmeu/HA_Ops/Releases_relief_ops.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-11-30
] Following the impact of Cyclone Sidr on November 15, 2007, the 22nd MEU, onboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) moved off the coast of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal and provided humanitarian assistance to those affected by the cyclone. [cite web
last =
first =
title = 22nd MEU (SOC) ramps up relief operations in Bangladesh
work =
publisher = 22nd MEU
date = 2007-11-23
url = http://www.usmc.mil/22ndmeu/HA_Ops/Releases_relief_ops.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-11-30

The 22nd MEU is scheduled to deploy in February 2009 to relieve the 26th MEU which deployed in August 2008. 22nd MEU will begin six months of training in September 2008 in preparation for the deployment. The MEU will be composed of Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines and from the Combat Logistics Battalion 22, as well as MV-22 Osprey aircraft from VMM-263.cite news |accessdate=2008-09-11
title=22nd MEU to start training for deployment
author=The Associated Press
date=September 11, 2008
work=Marine Corps Times

Unit awards

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. The 22nd MEU has been presented with the following awards:


ee also

*Marine Air-Ground Task Force
*List of Marine Expeditionary Units
*Organization of the United States Marine Corps



:Marine Corps
* [http://www.usmc.mil/22ndmeu/ 22nd MEU's official website]

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