CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan
— Marines and Sailors with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are preparing to board Navy ships of Amphibious Squadron 11 and are scheduled to depart within days to begin a patrol of the Asia-Pacific region.
This is the first deployment of the 31st MEU since returning from participation in Operation Tomodachi in Northeast Japan during March and April.
While on this upcoming patrol, the 31st MEU is scheduled to participate in the bilateral exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 with partner nation military forces in Australia.
"The 31st MEU looks forward to the partnership with Australia and their military forces,” said Col. Andrew MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st MEU. “This exercise increases our readiness and advances regional security in the Pacific. We look forward to validating our combat readiness and interoperability as part of a combined joint task force.”
The 31st MEU includes more than 2,200 Marines and Sailors, and is comprised of four elements: the Command Element; Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced) and Combat Logistics Battalion 31.
The majority of Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU will load aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2), with some also boarding the USS Germantown (LSD 42).
The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific area. Always ready to respond, the 31st MEU is also prepared to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief when directed. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the nation’s force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.
For more information about the deployment of the 31st MEU, follow the MEU on Facebook at www.facebook.com/31stMEU or visit the webpage at: www.marines.mil/unit/31stmeu.
Media queries may be directed to Capt. Caleb Eames, 31st MEU public affairs officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.