CMC pays special visit to 15th MEU to give thanks
By Lance Cpl. Timothy T. Parish
| | April 5, 2007
CAMP VIRGINIA, Kuwait -- General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, , and Sergeant Major John Estrada, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, paid a visit to the Marines and Sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), during a recent stopover at Camp Virginia, Kuwait.
The 15th MEU (SOC) recently completed a tour in Iraq and was in Kuwait making final preparations for re-embarkation aboard the amphibious ships of the Boxer Strike Group. Deployed from San Diego in September 2006, the 15th MEU (SOC) was brought ashore into Al Anbar Province, Iraq in mid-November and subordinate units spent four months conducting combat operations in Rutbah, Barwana, Haditha, Haqlaniyah, Ramadi and Al Asad in support of Multinational Force-West.
The 15th MEU (SOC) was instrumental in providing MNF-W Commanders with enough time and manpower for the surge in forces to take place, related Conway.
“You all stepped up to the plate when we needed folks to fill the void and you’ve done it magnificently,” Conway said. “We’ve seen the difference that’s happened here on your watch and it is absolutely amazing.”
The Commandant applauded the numerous successes of the 15th MEU (SOC) while conducting operations in Al Anbar, highlighting the increased cooperation from tribal and religious Iraqi leaders as significant indicators of forward progress.
“You should be very proud of who you are and what you’ve done over the past several months,” said Conway.
The Commandant and Sergeant Major also took time to field questions from the Marines and Sailors, with particular interest being the new policies concerning tattoos and incentives for extended deployments.
Before departing, the Commandant and Sergeant Major met with several Marines and Sailors to discuss their experiences and bestowed commemorative coins to thank them for their efforts while on deployment.
General Conway reminded the Marines and Sailors of the 15th MEU (SOC) of the many accomplishments they achieved over the past four months and asked for continued success in future operations.
“You’ve established a tremendous reputation for yourselves out here,” he said. “Please continue that.”