Big Marine rotation, Spring 2005

Posted as a reference, supporting one of the chapters in the book

Quote from a footnote in, Marine Forces Reserve Operational History: Global War on Terror (2004 – 2007) by Col David T. Waters, USMCR

Boarding planeThe turnover of Coalition staffs was significant. II Marine Expeditionary Force Forward (II MEF (Fwd)), 2nd Marine Division, and three regimental combat team staffs relieved their I MEF counterparts, many of whom had been in Iraq for more than a year. Subordinate units, including battalions and squadrons, also turned over as part of the scheduled seven-month deployment cycle.

And a Chicago Tribune Article…
For Marines, end of 2-day trip is just the beginning
March 16, 2005|By James Janega

AL ASAD AIR BASE, Iraq — Each night for a month, helicopters or sometimes cargo planes have brought them–Marines, jarred and jet-lagged from the two days of travel that took them from the U.S. through Germany and Kuwait.

The trip always ends the same, in Iraq’s western desert, on hard plywood benches under piercing fluorescent lights in a warehouse, facing the square jaw of Cpl. Lynn Caskey of Omaha and the simple greeting he has delivered to thousands of Marines in recent weeks:

“Welcome to Al Asad. Welcome to Iraq.”

And like that, the contest for Anbar, one of Iraq’s most restive provinces, is handed to a new crop of Marines, joining a two-year war now on its third rotation of American troops… full article

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