10.26.2012 -- USS RUSHMORE- The ship was unusually busy one early morning aboard the USS Rushmore as the golden sun rose, casting long shadows of Marines standing in formation across the flight deck.
Combat Logistics Battalion 15 celebrated their 25th birthday with a Battle Color Rededication Ceremony here, Oct. 15, during the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group’s Western Pacific deployment.
During the ceremony, the units battle colors were adorned with award streamers the unit has received since it was first activated 25 years ago in 1987 at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. The unit was then known as Marine Amphibious Unit Service Support Group 15 and was assigned to the 1st Force Service Support Group, which is now 1st Marine Logistics Group. Since that time, the unit has had a rich history of serving the Marine Corps and United States.
“Since World War II, in nearly every crisis, the United States Marine Corps has deployed projection forces, with the ability to move ashore with sufficient sustainability for prolonged operations,” said Lt. Col. John Wiener, commanding officer, CLB-15, 15th MEU. “These forces have been organized into Marine Air Ground Task Forces, a combination of air, ground and support assets to maximize the combat power of each of the war fighting elements. [Marine Air Ground Tasks Forces] have long provided the United States with a broad spectrum of response options when U.S. and allied interests have been threatened and in non-combat situations that require instant response to crisis. Combat Logistics Battalion 15, as the logistics combat element for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is no exception.”
The unit supported many operations even before it was assigned to 1st FSSG and has an intertwined record of service with the 15th MEU. In October 1989, elements of MSSG-15, under the operational control of the 15th MEU, participated in earthquake relief efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, one of their first major operations.
Since that time the unit has participated in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Fiery Vigil, Operation Restore Hope, Operation Support Hope, Operation Vigilant Warrior, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Stabilize, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Unified Assistance. Among these operations were a number of humanitarian operations in countries including Pakistan, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Somalia, Philippines and Timor-Leste.
In fact, Oct. 11-16, the CLB conducted multiple humanitarian operations in Timor-Leste that included medical and engineering aid to remote locations. This was the second time the unit had visited the country.
“As one can see, the distinct ability of amphibious forces to gain access to critical areas anywhere in the world with ground, air and logistics forces enables the Navy-Marine Corps team to shape actions across the range of military operations to resolve conflict, conduct humanitarian assistance or combat the enemy in remote, austere environments that would otherwise be inaccessible. CLB-15 is no exception as her short but great history and lineage clearly attests to,” said Wiener.
As the deployment continues, the 15th MEU plans to conduct more training operations with foreign countries and will continue to be America’s away team, ready to respond to any call for action.