Marine unit uncases colors, to be among last to deploy to Afghanistan

marine unit encases

By Debbie Gregory.

On October 23rd, the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) was activated during a ceremony at Camp Pendleton, in preparation for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan in 2014.

Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, commanding general of I MEF (Fwd), and Sgt. Maj. Douglas E. Berry uncased the unit’s battle colors during the ceremony.

“This is the most important thing I MEF will do,” said Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, commanding general.

The I Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF) (Forward) will be the last major Marine Corps command to deploy to Afghanistan, as the war winds down. I MEF (Fwd) will assume command of Regional Command (Southwest), which is comprised of Helmand and Nimroz provinces.

Brig Gen. Daniel Yoo echoed the significance of the upcoming deployment, as he spoke of the enduring commitment of those who have served in the past.

Camp Pendleton Marines conducted the activation ceremony for the unit that will supervise the wind down of Marine forces in southern Afghanistan over the next year. A similar event took place  in October 2009, when Camp Pendleton stood up a brigade headquarters to lead the surge of Marines back into Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, commanding general of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and the Western Recruiting Region, will take charge of U.S. and international troops in southwestern Afghanistan next year at the helm of a Camp Pendleton-led task force, a Marine official said.

I MEF (Fwd) will deploy to Helmand province, southwest Afghanistan in early 2014. The brigade will take over responsibility and command of Regional Command (Southwest) from II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. President Obama has set the end of 2014 as the deadline to withdraw most American forces.

We at wish the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) a successful mission, and await their safe return home to their families and friends.