Operation Distant Runner - Rwanda/Burundi - Page 2
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  1. #16
    I just did a search for Distant Runner and came upon this post. I was the fire support chief for 11th MEU command element. Col Mullins was MEU CO SgtMaj Singer MEU Sgt Maj. LtCol Bach was 2/5's CO. I was on duty in the LFOC and took the phone call for the warning order and a few minutes later the execution order. I brought the message to LtCol Meade the S-3. He woke up the CO. The S-3 went to the LFOC and picked up the phone and introduced himself then put the phone down. They did not want to talk to him. Usually when a MEU goes out they have 1 KC-130 in theater For some reason we had 3.CWO Alebaster was thier rep in the CE. The plan they came up was excellent We took 2 CH-53s filled them with Force Recon, SEALs, and the Trailer Plt. the flew from Somalia straight towards Rwanda(We did not even have air clearance yet). 1 KC-130 took off to refuel them in the air. The other 2 were being configured to carry troops. The Pelileu headed at max speed towards Mombasa. when we were within helo range every CH-46 we had carried everyone else to Mombasa where they on loaded to the KC-130s, the 2 53s secured the airfield then the 130s came in.


  2. #17
    The first post by TwigNoBerries is bogus. We never sent anyone to Zaire,or Uganda. Zaire is past Rwanda. Normally the GCE commander would be the mission commander for an Op. SgtMaj Singer went to the MEU CO and told him that this was going to be a very high profile mission and that he the MEU CO should go as the mission commander. Col Mullins agreed. An hour into the mission we got a call from which ever COM gave us the mission and they told us that they were sending an Army Col. to take charge of the mission so that there would be no command relationship problems. The S-3 LtCol Meade told them that there was no need for the Army Col. to come because the MEU CO was a full Col. and he was the mission commander. They turned the Army Col around in Egypt and sent him back to his command. I did not get to go ashore for this one, but I was in the LFOC and knew everything that was going on. That SSgt with the Barret .50 was Ssgt Sheramie (think I spelled it right). The Legal officer never went ashore for this Op. Can't find my cruise book right now. The other ship was the Fredricks not the Fredrickson. She had some mortar rounds land about 150m away from her while offloading supplies in Somalia. I got stuck working 12 on, 12 off the entire time we were in Somalia. The CE's Combat Photographer Martinez got out and started working for the DAV. He remembered me when I went to process my claim with the VA. He now works for the VA. The S-1 officer also works for the VA in San Diego


  3. #18
    I was on the USS Fredrick 1174 and we didn't have the pleasure of stopping in Hawaii on the way out. Due to that Pacific storm our flat bottomed ship suffered multiple cracks in its hull, we had 24 hour a day welding crews attempting to fix it while we steamed on to Singapore. Once the rest of you caught up I did hear we gave a good show... Where'd they go.... there they are... we had waves breaking over the ships pilot house... it was entertaining. as for the gulf, it was our ship that went to the gulf. We went to Saudi and trained with the Royal Saudi Marines, but while alone and en-route we were accosted by Iranian submarines, one on each side of us, (there were other ships, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group were at the mouth of the gulf) so once the subs popped up on us and made harassing contact with us we went on general quarters and the carrier group was contacted. it seemed like a matter of minutes after GQ when anti sub planes were on us, then minutes after that the carrier group too. those subs bugged out quickly by the way. So ya, to the guy who said 2/5 wouldn't have been there, I was Golf Co 2/5. We were on the 11th MEU and participated in operation restore hope, and 2/5 was also part of Distant runner.


  4. #19
    I was the Fire Support Chief in the 11th MEU CE. I was on duty in the LFOC and I took the phone call that gave us the Warning Order and the Execution Order for the Op. An Army Col. was rattling off things we were to get ready to do. I was writing as fast as I could. When he was done he hung up. I had to rewrite the warning order to make it readable. As soon as I finished the last word, the phone rang again. It was the same Col with the execution order. I went down stairs and woke up the MEU S-3 LtCol Meade. He read the messages and woke up the MEU CO Col Mullens. LtCol Meade went up to the LFOC and picked up the phone and introduced himself to the Army Col then put the phone down. The Army Col only wanted to talk to the MEU CO. We went through the rapid planning process that we had practiced many, many times before. Blt 2/5 was commanded by LtCol Bach. Normally when a MEU deploys they take 1 RC-130 refueler. For some reason we had 3. CWO Alebaster was the rep from their Det attached to the MEU CE. The plan 2/5 came up with was great. 2 CH-53s would take Recon, SEALs and the trailer platoon straight inland and be refueled in flight. The Pelelieu headed to Mombasa at max speed. Once we were within helo range, everyone else boarded the helos and flew to Mombaa. 1 of the RC-130s took off and refueled the 53s in flight. the other 2 would fly rest of the Marines in once the helos got there. Normally in a mission like this the GCE commander would be the mission commander. MEU SgtMaj. SgtMaj Singer went to the MEU CO and told him that this is going to be a very high profile mission, and that the MEU CO should go in as the mission commander. Col Mullens took his advice and did so. I stayed in the LFOC on the Pelilieu during the mission. At one point we got a call saying that they were going to send in an Army Col to take charge of the mission so that there would be no command relationship problems. The S-3 informed them that the MEU commander was a Col and that there was no need to send the Army Col. 11th MEU was the only MEU to participate in this Operation. As I said earlier I was in the MEU CE 3 shop and I know this for a fact, I took part in all the planning for the Op.


  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by toprjf739 View Post
    11th MEU was the only MEU to participate in this Operation. As I said earlier I was in the MEU CE 3 shop and I know this for a fact, I took part in all the planning for the Op.
    Talk like that is going to get me off my duff to find the box with my cruise book and ORB pages that show 15th MEU and the support we provided to Distant Runner (CH53 support after the initial assessment by the command element team which I was part of). You may want to go back and check your facts.


  6. #21
    I remember Distant Runner and the USS Frederick....I have a lot of pictures of our MEU and the incoming MEU who supported the withdraw...I was on LSD36 The USS Anchorage and The LHA 5 Peleliu were in our ARG...11th MEU/SOC BLT 2/5.....I also remember our libo getting cut short in Mombassa due to a huge fight with the Merchant Marines.....a lot of memories....Semper Fi !!!


  7. #22
    If he was Hispanic, it would have been SSgt Stanley Hernandez. Otherwise it was probably Sgt Joe Capen or Sgt Michael Cheramie. I remember that was a VERY long 6 hrs flight back to Kenya and you guys were incredably patient with a bunch of irritated grunts


  8. #23
    BigDrew, who were you with? I was with STA 2/5, on the Peleliu.


  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy25 View Post
    VMGR 352 KC-130s
    Took a bunch of mean muthahubbards into Burundi and tanked a couple of 53s en route. Lcpl Brewster and I deckloaded as many marines as we could get in a tanker. Sat there for four days while the Chairforce ran their GTCs so they could have air-conditioning. The last night there I removed my flight suit and daisychained cases of water off a pallet. I needed something to do... then the most spectacular meteor shower happened. Those marines from the MEU were true badasses; sniper rifles and all.
    I was with STA Plt (Snipers), BLT 2/5. I flew in on one of the KC-130s. Watching those two CH-53 do a refuel looked rough. I was actually scared for those poor suckers that had to fly on the 53's and endure that in-flight refuel. I remember the meteor shower. I was posted on the roof of the building. It was creepy, yet beautiful. Do you have any photos?


  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by edarst View Post
    Hey, Duffy! Those were some great memories. I recall a SSgt sitting on the crew door with a rifle case, I wormed my way through grunts fully geared out sitting ******* to belly button on the floor to see what was in that case. It was a .50 cal single shot (I believe) bull barrel rifle. He told me a story or two when they were in Mogidishu.
    I was with STA Plt (Snipers), BLT 2/5. If the SSgt was Hispanic, his name was SSgt Stanley Hernandez. Otherwise there were two other Sgt's (Sgt Michael Cheramie and Sgt Joe Capen). They had Barrett .50 semi automatic sniper rifles. We were packing Rofus rounds (RDX explosive tip with a tungsten steel penetrator rod) designed to disable armored vehicles. I think I remember you because I was sitting by the right rear door, near the ramp, and Sgt Cheramie and SSgt Hernandez were both seated on the ramp. Sgt Cheramie retired as a Gunny with a Bronze Star with "V". Sgt Capen joined the Army and recently retired as a Top. He's living the life in La, duck hunting and fishing with his son and grand kids.


  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by toprjf739 View Post
    The first post by TwigNoBerries is bogus. We never sent anyone to Zaire,or Uganda. Zaire is past Rwanda. Normally the GCE commander would be the mission commander for an Op. SgtMaj Singer went to the MEU CO and told him that this was going to be a very high profile mission and that he the MEU CO should go as the mission commander. Col Mullins agreed. An hour into the mission we got a call from which ever COM gave us the mission and they told us that they were sending an Army Col. to take charge of the mission so that there would be no command relationship problems. The S-3 LtCol Meade told them that there was no need for the Army Col. to come because the MEU CO was a full Col. and he was the mission commander. They turned the Army Col around in Egypt and sent him back to his command. I did not get to go ashore for this one, but I was in the LFOC and knew everything that was going on. That SSgt with the Barret .50 was Ssgt Sheramie (think I spelled it right). The Legal officer never went ashore for this Op. Can't find my cruise book right now. The other ship was the Fredricks not the Fredrickson. She had some mortar rounds land about 150m away from her while offloading supplies in Somalia. I got stuck working 12 on, 12 off the entire time we were in Somalia. The CE's Combat Photographer Martinez got out and started working for the DAV. He remembered me when I went to process my claim with the VA. He now works for the VA. The S-1 officer also works for the VA in San Diego
    I was with STA Plt (Snipers), BLT 2/5. (1) The Sgt's with the Barrett .50 cal were Sgt Michael "Buzzard" Charamie, Sgt Joe Capen, and SSgt Stanley Hernandez.
    (2) I flew in on a KC-130 and got to watch two CH-53's refuel.
    (3) We never stopped, because that was a brutal, @$$holes to belly-button 4-5 hrs flight and I would have definately remembered a stop.
    (4) I think TwigNoBerries is seriously confused, not to mention some of his claims are really far-fetched.
    (5) If TwigNoBerries was really there, in the manner in which he claimed he was there, he left out some moments and events that were significant to those that were there.


  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by TwigNoBerries View Post
    Talk like that is going to get me off my duff to find the box with my cruise book and ORB pages that show 15th MEU and the support we provided to Distant Runner (CH53 support after the initial assessment by the command element team which I was part of). You may want to go back and check your facts.
    Do you have any photos????
    I was with STA Plt (Snipers), BLT 2/5. I do not recall the 15th MEU having any part of Operation Distant Runner (None what so ever). Do you have any photos at all?


  13. #28
    I was a doc with 2/5 E co wpns plt on that same operation- I remember being at an airfield in Burundi and being able to see Mt. Bujumbura, very cool looking back on it-wish more had been done. I think the only ones in E co that came close to any real action was 3rd plt (trailer)- my guys stood a lot of fire watches there in Burundi


  14. #29
    Me too I was your doc


  15. #30
    2/5 deployed with the 11th MEU in 1994- our BLT made it Speacil Ops Capable. We went to Pearl Harbor twice, Australia, Mombassa Kenya, Singapore, Burundi, Somalia, and did a lot of jungle training in Kenya as well as training exercises in Somalia. I was a doc with E co wpns plt 2/5, I was there we did deploy with 11th MEU


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