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Forces: U.S. & Coalition/U.S. Marines
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Forces




2nd Marine Division
Home Camp: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Units: The 15,000 Marines of the 2nd Marine Division are the backbone of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, which is assuming command of Marine forces in Iraq.

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15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Home Camp: Camp Pendleton, California
Units: The 2,000 Marines of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) returned to Iraq in March 2005.

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2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
Home Camp: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Units: The 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force recently assumed command of Marine forces in Iraq.

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
Home camp: Okinawa
Units: The 31st MEU conducted security and stabilization operations in Iraq from September 2004 to February 2005. On February 28, 2005, the 31st MEU's Marines and sailors boarded three ships of the U.S. Navy's Essex Amphibious Ready Group to prepare for a 4-week voyage back home to Okinawa, Japan.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Home camp: Camp Pendleton, California
Units: The 2,200 Marines in the 11th MEU consist of Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (Reinforced); and MEU Service Support Team 11. The MEU assumed operational control of Najaf and Qadisiyah provinces in Iraq from the U.S. Army on July 31, 2004. The MEU turned over control of Najaf Province to Iraqi security forces in November 2004 and moved to Karbala Province, where it assumed control from the Polish military in December 2004.

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24th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Home camp: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Units: The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Babil Province, Iraq, in July 2004 to relieve U.S. Army units being sent elsewhere in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2. The MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263, Marine Service Support Group 24 and the U.S. Navy's Amphibious Squadron 2.

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1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Home camp: Camp Pendleton, California
Units: For Operation Iraqi Freedom II, the 1st MEF is built around units from the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and 1st Force Service Support Group. The 25,000 Marines deployed to Iraq to relieve the 82nd Airborne Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

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2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Home camp: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Units: The 7,000 Marines of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade left the United States on January 15, 2003, to join other U.S. troops in Kuwait. The unit returned home on June 22, 2003.

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1st Marine Expeditionary Force (2003)
Home camp: Camp Pendleton, California
Units: For Operation Iraqi Freedom I, the 1st MEF was the main Marine force in Iraq and had overall command of all Marine units in the Persian Gulf region. Marine units that deployed in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom included elements of the 1st Marine Division and the 1st Marine Regiment plus Marine aviation units. Roughly 7,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Regiment and about 3,000 sailors left San Diego January 17, 2003. The Marines and sailors left San Diego aboard the amphibious assault ships USS Bonhomme Richard and USS Boxer, amphibious transport dock ships USS Cleveland and USS Dubuque, and dock landing ships USS Anchorage, USS Comstock and USS Pearl Harbor. The 1st MEF began to head home in August and September 2003 and transferred authority for five provinces in southern Iraq to a Polish-led multinational force on September 3, 2003 at Camp Babylon, Iraq.

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24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (2003)
Marines: 2,200
Units: The Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) are part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group, which includes the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau, amphibious transport dock ship USS Austin and dock landing ship USS Tortuga. The MEU, consisting of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 263 and Marine Service Support Group 24, was set to return home by May 1, 2003 but its deployment was indefinitely extended and the unit performed operations in Iraq. The unit returned home on May 26, 2003.

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26th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Home camp: Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Marines: More than 2,100 Marines and sailors
Units: The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) includes Battalion Landing Team 1/8; Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264; MEU Service Support Group-26; and the MEU's command element. Supporting the MEU is the USS Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, which consists of more than 2,500 sailors aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), USS Nashville (LPD-13) and USS Carter Hall (LSD-50), all from the Norfolk, Virginia, area. The MEU saw some action in northern Iraq near Mosul and has since redeployed to Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, at the Horn of Africa.

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