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13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California
VMM-166 conducts exchange with French Air Force, kicks off Djibouti Sustainment Training

By Sgt. Jennifer Pirante | 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit | November 04, 2013

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Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), welcomes French Air Force pilots aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).  The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei D. Thornton/Released)

Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), welcomes French Air Force pilots aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei D. Thornton/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei Thornton)


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Col. Christopher D. Taylor, fourth from left, commanding officer of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), welcomes French Air Force pilots aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).  The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei D. Thornton/Released)

Col. Christopher D. Taylor, fourth from left, commanding officer of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), welcomes French Air Force pilots aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei D. Thornton/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei Thornton)


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Distinguished visitors from Djibouti Air base 188 board a French SA330 Puma Helicopter on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) after a visit with Boxer senior leadership.  Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SSgt. Matt. Orr/Released)

Distinguished visitors from Djibouti Air base 188 board a French SA330 Puma Helicopter on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) after a visit with Boxer senior leadership. Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SSgt. Matt. Orr/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Orr)


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A French SA330 Puma Helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) after a visit by French armed forces.  Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SSgt. Matt. Orr/Released)

A French SA330 Puma Helicopter takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) after a visit by French armed forces. Boxer is the flagship for the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by SSgt. Matt. Orr/Released) (Photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Orr)


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Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced), part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and French Air Force pilots listen as Col. Julian Sabene, commander of Djibouti Air Base 188, gives a brief about the force's aviation capabilities aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).  The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Jennifer Pirante/Released)

Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced), part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and French Air Force pilots listen as Col. Julian Sabene, commander of Djibouti Air Base 188, gives a brief about the force's aviation capabilities aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4). The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Jennifer Pirante/Released) (Photo by Sgt. Jennifer Pirante)


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GULF OF ADEN --

Sailors and Marines from the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced) welcomed distinguished visitors from the French Armed Forces aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4), Oct. 22.

Col. Christopher Taylor, 13th MEU commander, and Capt. Malcolm Potts, commander of Amphibious Squadron 1 and Boxer ARG, welcomed Col. Julien Sabéné, French Air Force commander of Djibouti Air Base 188, and a cadre of French Mirage F1 pilots.

The visit allowed for an exchange of tactics, capabilities, and procedures as more than 700 Marines with the13th MEU gear up for a mid-deployment sustainment training event in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

Lemonnier is an expeditionary base that provides vital support for counter-terrorism and counter piracy missions, as well as interagency operations that take place in concert with diplomatic activity.

According to Sabéné, Camp Lemonnier also provides great air space.

“We look forward to conducting modern theater operations side-by-side with our counterparts,” Sabéné said.

Lt. Col. Kevin Duffy, commanding officer of VMM-166 (Rein), said the highlight of training for the aviation combat element will be the integration of fixed wing AV-8B Harriers with French Mirage F1 strike aircraft to demonstrate the vital structure of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force in a forward deployed environment.

“I believe we will be able to learn a lot from each other,” Duffy said. “This is their backyard, so how they operate over here will help build our proficiency.”

Djibouti sustainment training will also allow VMM-166 (Rein) to showcase its new long-range ship-to-shore capability as the first West Coast MEU to deploy with the MV-22 Osprey aircraft.

The 13th MEU is deployed with the Boxer ARG as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.



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