CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- Marines and sailors of the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) command element began their deployment to Afghanistan as approximately half of the unit said good-bye to their families and friends Saturday, Jan. 4. The next group is expected to leave Jan. 12.
The I MEF (Fwd) command element is comprised of approximately 300 Marines and sailors and will operate out of Camp Leatherneck and Camp Bastion. The unit is commanded by Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo.
Upon arrival in Afghanistan, I MEF (Fwd) will assume command of Regional Command (Southwest), which is comprised of both Helmand and Nimroz provinces, and will replace the Marines and sailors of II MEF (Fwd) from Camp Lejeune, N.C. I MEF (Fwd) will be the last major Marine Corps command to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and is scheduled to return at the end of 2014.
I MEF (Fwd) will also include elements of 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Logistics Group and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and will have more than 4,000 Marines and sailors.
Video footage and photos of the deployment will be posted daily for download at I MEF (FWD) Marines.mil and the I MEF (FWD) DVIDs Page as well as the RC(SW) DVIDs Page.