I Marine Expeditionary Force
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Official U.S. Marine Corps Website


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. 


Covid Vaccine and the Second Shot
1st Marine Logistics Group
July 29, 2021 | 2:17
Covid Vaccine and the Second Shot
1st Marine Logistics Group
July 29, 2021 | 2:17
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Covid Vaccine and the Second Shot
Range 800 Opening
Vaccines Can Protect Against the Delta Variant
Why I Reenlisted - Cpl. Smith
I MIG Change of Command
How to Schedule a “Shot Ex”
Why We Chose To Vaccinate Our Children
Return to water operations
1/5 Return to Water Operations Part 1: Crawl
1/5 Return to Water Operations Part 1: Crawl
Vaccine Benefits: What's In It For Me?
En Route Care
Like Father, Like Son: 1st Lt. Stefawn Payne
Like Father, Like Son: MGySgt (Ret.) Steve Payne
Like Father, Like Son: Sgt. Trevon Wade
1st Tank Battalion Deactivation Ceremony
Bronze Star Awards Ceremony
I MEF/MCI West Navy Marine Corps Relief Society
2/11 Fitness Seminar
2/5 Fox Company conducts Stand-Down to Address Extremism in the Ranks
In Any Time and Place
Artemis Program
Artemis We Care
1st Marine Division 80th Anniversary
Artemis Program
Annie N. Graham: First African-American Woman to Join the Marine Corps
1stMARDIV CG receives COVID-19 Vaccine
V17: Sergeants Lead the Way
Dawn Blitz/Steel Knight 21: Ship-to-Shore Ops
Transitioning Out of the Military and Adjustment Disorders
Support To the MAGTF
I MEF Holiday Message
MCCRE Teaser
I MEF Sleeves Down Reminder
Free and Open Indo-Pacific
Keeping a Tactical Mindset
Veterans Day with 2/11
Veterans Day with 2/11
Veterans Day with 2/11
1st Marine Division Change of Command
Charlie Company MCCRE
Supersquad 2020
Battalion Landing Team 1/4 honors Marines, Sailor at memorial service
Chop and Drag | TF KM20 Combat Engineers repair airfield in Peleliu
SPMAGTF-CR-CC 20.2 Valkyrie Program Training
Photo Information

The Estonian Contingent poses for a picture with Estonia’s Minister of Defence, Sven Mikser, center, and other coalition force officials after their farewell ceremony held aboard Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 9, 2014. This was the 17th and last Estonian Contingent to deploy to Afghanistan.

Photo by Sgt. Jessica Ostroska

Estonian soldiers bid farewell to coalition counterparts in Helmand province

12 May 2014 | Sgt. Jessica Ostroska

Soldiers with the Estonian Contingent gathered for a flag-lowering ceremony aboard Camps Bastion and Leatherneck as they bid farewell to their coalition counterparts, May 9.

“Today is a special day, and it is a milestone that will be recognized for a very long time in Afghanistan as well as our home countries,” said Brigadier Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, Commander of Regional Command (Southwest), during the ceremony. “Afghan security forces have taken the lead and continue toward full security responsibility. It is important and symbolic of the commitment of the international force and our accomplishment as a coalition force. The Estonian military has been a steward partner in Afghanistan, especially with RC(SW).”

This was the 17th Estonian Contingent to deploy to Helmand province. During their deployment they operated under Task Force Helmand, and then directly under RC(SW) after TFH merged with the command.

“This is the largest and most difficult external mission that Estonia has taken part in since our independence,” said Sven Mikser, Estonia Minister of Defence, as he addressed the troops. “I am very proud of the Estonian soldiers who have served in Afghanistan over the years, and this occasion fills me with great humility. I admire your professionalism, dedication, courage and bravery. You have done a great job and I believe I can say that all Estonians take great pride in what you have done and achieved in Afghanistan.”

While working with Task Force Helmand, the Estonians’ mission was to aid in security force assistance within Helmand province. They worked closely with Afghan National Security Forces to provide security to the local populace and government.

“My soldiers did a good job,” said Lt. Col. Maidu Allikas, Estonian Contingent commander. “I’m proud of what we have done here. As Estonians, we understand the fight for independence. We understand what the locals face, their situation, and know how to support them. Our weapon is a tool to use when needed, but showing a good attitude to the locals creates the foundation for them to trust coalition forces. My soldiers had a great attitude and did an awesome job, doing the best work we can do.”

At the end of the ceremony, the Estonians lowered their flag symbolizing their time in Afghanistan had come to an end.

“The mission isn’t quiet complete, but ANSF are showing they are ready to take care of the security of their country and their people,” said Mikser. “We have come a very long way from when the country was ruled by the Taliban, and you have played a huge part in that. Afghanistan is not quiet there yet, and there are challenges which will remain for this country for years to come, but today Afghanistan is a safer place, and the world is a safer place.”

I MEF Leaders

Lt. Gen. Karsten "Hazel" Heckl
Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Lieutenant General Karsten "Hazel" Heckl assumed command of I Marine Expeditionary Force on 31 July 2020.A native of Stone Mountain Georgia, Lieutenant General Heckl graduated from Georgia State University and was commissioned in April 1988.  He was designated an unrestricted Naval Aviator in September 1990.Lieutenant General Heckl commanded Marine

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Brig. Gen. Ryan S. “Chick” Rideout
Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Brigadier General Rideout assumed duties as Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force in July 2021. His previous assignment was serving as Director, Military Advisor Group, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation INHERENT RESOLVE based in Baghdad, Iraq from June of 2020 to June 2021. Fleet Marine Force assignments include: Commanding

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Colonel Brian Rideout
Chief of Staff, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Colonel Rideout holds a baccalaureate degree in Psychology from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Master of Science in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, a Master of Military Studies from Marine Corps University and a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.  He is a graduate

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Sgt. Maj. Terrence C. Whitcomb
Sergeant Major, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Sergeant Major Whitcomb began Marine Corps Recruit Training on 14 September 1993 at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California with Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion.  He was meritoriously promoted to Private First Class and graduated Recruit Training on 10 December 1993. Following graduation from Recruit Training, Private First

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Command Master Chief

 Though a native of Montebello, California, Master Chief Ruiz calls Monte Vista, Colorado home.  He enlisted in the Navy in March 1991, reported to basic training at RTC Great Lakes, Illinois and completed Signalman “A” School at NTC Orlando, Florida.  After serving two tours as a collateral-duty Command Career Counselor in 2000 and 2003, he became

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