View Full Version : Helland assumes I MEF command

11-06-07, 06:25 AM
Helland assumes I MEF command

By: North County Times

CAMP PENDLETON -- Lt. Gen. Samuel T. Helland has assumed command of Camp Pendleton's I Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command.

Helland takes over for Gen. James Mattis, who held the position for the last year before being promoted to four-star general and assigned a new job at Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va. In his new role, Mattis will oversee war planning, troop allocations and work with NATO partners. Mattis left Camp Pendleton last week and no formal ceremony marking the change of command was conducted.

In a final message to Marines and sailors, Mattis told the troops that they have been his inspiration and that he will forever be in their debt.

Helland, the former commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, will oversee Marine forces throughout the Middle East as head of Marine Forces, Central Command.

Helland also takes over the position of "convening authority" under the military justice system, deciding steps in the investigations and prosecutions of Marine accused of wrongdoing related to civilian killings in Iraq and Afghanistan.