I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group held a change of command ceremony at Camp Pendleton, California, July 6, 2017.
After two years of commanding I MHG, Col. Bobbi L. Shea relinquished command to Col. Dawn Alonso. Alonso assumes command of I MEF Information Group which was re-designated from I MEF Headquarters Group during the ceremony. Shea was frocked to brigadier general in a separate ceremony later in the day.
From June 2015 to June 2017, Shea focused the efforts of the 9th Communication Battalion, 1st Radio Battalion, 1st Intelligence Batallion, 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liason Company, 1st Law Enforcement Battalion and the Headquarters Company. Together these units have provided command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, joint control of fires and law enforcement to I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Lt. Gen. Lewis A. Craporatta, the commanding general of I MEF, says Shea increased her Marines’ combat readiness, even taking the headquarters group into the field, increasing their survivability and capacity to deal with peer and near-pear competitors.
Throughout Shea’s tenure as commander, I MHG Marines and sailors deployed and re-deployed to Operation Inherent Resolve and Resolute Support Mission, in addition to a variety of other operations and exercises. I MHG also maintained I MEF’s ability to serve as the commandant’s major combat operations force.
“The most exciting part is watching all the subordinate commands work together,” said Shea, a New Hampshire native. “(Because of) not only what they bring to the MHG team, but what they add to other parts of the MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force).”
Shea also enthusiastically and aggressively implemented the commandant’s “Protect What You’ve Earned” campaign, helping the Marines and sailors of I MEF to use available resources and programs to keep them safe.
“I am so grateful to the moms and dads of America who, quite frankly, give their sons and daughters to the Marine Corps with this undying faith that we’re going to take care of them and expose them to opportunities,” said Shea.
Alonso, the incoming commander, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1987 and served as a military policeman. She was commissioned in 1993 and went on to serve in many billets around the Marine Corps including commanding 1st Intelligence Battalion in 2010, one of her now subordinate commands.
“It’s a privilege to stand in front of you today as the new commander of I MIG,” said Alonso, a native of Pennsylvania. “As the former commander of 1st Intelligence Battalion I feel like I’m coming home.”
Most recently Alonso served as the U.S. Central Command intelligence Operations Division Chief in Tampa, Florida. During this time she also supported the Combined Joint Task Force and Operation Inherent Resolve in Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
In her change of command speech Shea encouraged the Marines of I MIG and assured them that Alonso would take the Information Group to a new level of capability to fight on the modern battlefield.