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Forces: U.S. & Coalition/Marines
Deployments in the Persian Gulf

Marines with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division post security at a railroad station just outside Fallujah, Iraq, while awaiting a resupply of food, water and ammunition on April 7, 2004.  
1st Marine Expeditionary Force

Home camp: Camp Pendleton, California

Deployed to: Anbar Province in western Iraq. Units began deploying in February 2004.

Units: For Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the 1st MEF is built around a division-sized Marine Air-Ground Task Force that includes units from the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and 1st Force Service Support Group.

1st Marine Division: The 1st Marine Division's Regimental Combat Team 1 and Regimental Combat Team 7 will deploy and are composed of the following units: 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 4th Marine Regiment; 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment; 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 7th Marine Regiment; 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment; 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment; 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion; elements of the 1st Tank Battalion; and elements of the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing: This includes portions of the following units: Marine Aircraft Group 16, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466; Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 775; Marine Aerial Refeuler Transport Squadron 352; Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 234; Marine Wing Support Group 37; Marine Air Control Group 38; Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38; 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion; and Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 2.

1st Force Service Support Group: Units from the 1st FSSG include the headquarters element of Combat Service Support Group 3; Combat Service Support Companies 111, 117, 121 and 123; portions of Combat Service Support Groups 11 and 15; Combat Service Support Battalions 1 and 7; 1st Medical Battalion; 7th and 8th Engineer Support Battalions; Brigade Service Support Group 1; and Headquarters and Service Battalion, 1st Force Service Support Group.

1st MEF Command Element: This includes elements from the 8th and 9th Communication Battalions; 1st Intelligence Battalion; 3rd Radio Battalion; the 1st and 3rd Force Reconnaissance Companies; and the 1st Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.

Duties: The 1st MEF relieved the 82nd Airborne Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, officially taking over control of Iraq's Al Anbar Province in western Iraq on March 24, 2004.

U.S. Marine forces deploy as an integrated Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) grouped into four core elements: a command element, an aviation combat element, a ground combat element, and a combat service support element. The basic structure of the MAGTF never varies, though the number, size, and type of task force is always mission dependent. The 1st MEF numbered roughly 45,000 Marines for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, but is down to 25,000 for Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

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