MEB troops to get prestigious valor award
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  1. #1
    Marine Free Member Wrench3516's Avatar
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    MEB troops to get prestigious valor award

    MEB troops to get prestigious valor award

    By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
    Posted : Thursday Jun 21, 2012 16:00:50 EDT

    About 28,000 U.S. and coalition forces who fought a thriving insurgency in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010 under the command of a Marine expeditionary brigade will receive the prestigious Presidential Unit Citation, Marine Corps Times has learned.

    Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has approved the PUC for personnel who served under Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan from May 29, 2009, to April 12, 2010, for “outstanding performance in action against enemy forces,” said Maj. Shawn Haney, a spokeswoman for the Marine Corps Awards Branch, out of Quantico, Va. The award is considered the unit-level equivalent of the Navy Cross, second only to the Medal of Honor in recognizing heroism in combat.
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    Read the Presidential Unit Citation

    MEB-Afghanistan is credited with launching a broad offensive against Taliban insurgents in Helmand, Farah and Nimroz provinces.

    The unit “conducted the most holistic counterinsurgency campaign since the Coalition presence in Afghanistan began in 2001,” according to the PUC citation signed by Mabus and obtained by Marine Corps Times.

    The unit was commanded by Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson and overseen by 2nd MEB, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Nicholson is now a two-star general, and serves as the senior military assistant to Ashton Carter, the deputy secretary of defense.

    It marks the first time that a Marine-led unit has been awarded the PUC since early in the Iraq war, when the actions of I Marine Expeditionary Force (Reinforced), out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., during and shortly after the initial invasion were recognized.

    Marine officials said a complete list of MEB units authorized to wear the blue, yellow and red-striped PUC ribbon will be announced in a forthcoming Marine administrative message.

    The major subordinate elements included Regimental Combat Team 3, RCT-7, Marine Aircraft Group 40, Combat Logistics Regiment 2, and the brigade’s headquarters group. Marines comprised the bulk of the MEB’s forces, but there also are U.S. soldiers, airmen and sailors, coalition forces, and Navy Department civilians who will be recognized, Haney said.

    The MEB arrived in Afghanistan in spring 2009 as the U.S. grew its military footprint in the southern part of the country to take on deeply entrenched Taliban fighters in a countryside checkered with rolling poppy fields. The citation highlights two offensives in particular: Khanjar and Moshtarak, bloody offensives in Helmand province that expelled insurgents from areas where they had been deeply entrenched.

    In Operation Khanjar, some 4,000 Marines and 650 Afghan soldiers assaulted sections of Garmser, Khanashin and Nawa districts in July 2009. The name of the operation translates roughly to “Strike the Sword.” Units involved in the offensive include 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, and 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, both out of Lejeune; and 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Pendleton.

    In Operation Moshtarak, more than 15,000 U.S., British, French, Canadian and Afghan troops assaulted the Marjah section of Helmand in February 2010. They faced stiff initial resistance, and suffered multiple casualties due to a network of improvised explosive devices and snipers employed by the Taliban.

  2. #2
    Congradulations job well done!!!!!

    Semper fi and godbless each and everyone of you!!!!

    Stephen doc hansen hm3 fmf

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