The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit is scheduled to return home after an eight-month deployment, Monday, May 13.
The unit deployed from Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on Sept. 17, 2012 aboard the ships of Amphibious Squadron Three and served in the U.S. 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
The 15th MEU conducted several theater security cooperation exercises designed to lay a framework for regional security and military interoperability with partners in the Western Pacific and Middle East. Marines and sailors also conducted bilateral training in Djibouti, Africa, that kept the unit prepared to serve as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout its deployment.
Scheduled port calls for the MEU included stops in Thailand, Bali, Australia, Oman, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
The 15th MEU is comprised of a command element that provides command and control, a ground combat element, an aviation combat element and a logistics combat.
Battalion Landing Team 3/5 is composed of approximately 1,200 Marines and sailors and is built around a reinforced infantry battalion that serves as the ground combat element.
Combat Logistics Battalion 15 and its approximately 300 Marines and sailors provide combat service support through maintenance, transportation, explosive ordnance disposal, military police and engineering support, and water, medical, fuel and logistical services.
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (Rein.) is a reinforced helicopter squadron comprised of approximately 500 Marines and sailors who utilize CH-46E Sea Knights, CH-53E Super Stallions, UH-1Y Hueys, AH-1Z Super Cobras, AV-8B Harrier jets, and KC-130 transport planes. To operate, maintain and defend these assets, the ACE employs Marines who conduct air-traffic control, air defense, aircraft maintenance and supply.
The 15th MEU serves as the last of the seven MEU’s deploying with the Sea Knight. A medium lift helicopter that was first introduced in 1964, the Sea Knight is primarily used to transport troops, supplies and equipment. The MV-22 Osprey serves as its replacement.