I MEF provides the Marine Corps a globally responsive, expeditionary, and fully scalable Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), capable of generating, deploying, and employing ready forces and formations for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations, and campaigns.



Activated 8 November 1969 on Okinawa, Japan, as the I Marine Expeditionary Force. Redesignated 18 August 1970 as the I Marine Amphibious Force. Relocated during April 1971 to Camp Pendleton, California. Redesignated 5 February 1988 as the I Marine Expeditionary Force.


Participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Southwest Asia, August 1990-April 1991. Participated in Operations in Somalia, December 1992-May 1993. Elements participated in support of Operation Southern Watch, Iraq, January-February 1998. Elements participated in Operation Desert Thunder, Iraq, February-June 1998. Deployed during Novmember 2002 to Kuwait in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, March-October 2003 and during 2004.