MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A boy stands, watching as a white bus approaches. The bus comes to a halt as a man in uniform steps off. The boy instantly smiles and runs towards the Marine. He jumps into his father’s embrace which he hasn’t felt in seven months.
This was the sight here as Marines and sailors from Combat Logistics Battalion 13, 1st Marine Logistics Group, returned home, Sept. 29, from their deployment with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Family members of arriving troops waited with heart-warming posters and eager smiles before the Marines and sailors returned home.
“I’m very excited to see [my husband] again after waiting seven months,” said Terri P. Cline, a Marine spouse, “I’m proud of him and all he’s done on this deployment.”
The troops were also proud of what they were able to accomplish during the seven months overseas traveling from port to port.
“It was a great deployment,” said Maj. Samuel D. Davis, battalion executive officer, CLB -13, 1st MLG. “The Marines performed superbly.”
During their seven-and-a-half-month deployment, the unit traveled to many countries including Djibouti, Thailand, China, and Kuwait, where they conducted multinational cross-training exercises with host-nation militaries. Almost 3,000 Marines from CLB-13 were deployed, said Davis
“The Marines were outstanding, exceeding our expectations,” said 1st Sgt. Dennis J. Collins, battalion sergeant major, CLB-13, 1st MLG. “My satisfaction came from the success of each individual Marine.”
While deployed, the Marines conducted joint training with foreign countries and counter-piracy operations. In their off time, they developed themselves through the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, advancement through noncommissioned officer courses, and many other educational opportunities.
The battalion was split up between the three ships comprising the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, the USS Boxer, USS Green Bay, and the USS Comstock.
The San Antonio class amphibious transport dock USS Green Bay is a warship that transports and lands Marines, including their equipment and supplies. It can launch or land two CH53E Super Stallion helicopters, or two MV-22 Osprey aircraft, or up to four CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters. Its landing and attack craft includes two Landing Craft Air Cushions or one Landing Craft Utility, and 14 Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles. The ship has a crew of 363.
The Wasp class amphibious assault ship USS Boxer is used to embark, transport, deploy, command, and fully support all elements of a MEU and has a crew of 1,292. The ship carries a mix of assault helicopters plus six to eight Harriers. It’s armed with two radar-guided Nato Sea Sparrow missile systems, two rolling airframe missile systems, and two Phalanx close-in weapon-system mounts.
The Whidbey Island class amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock’s role is to transport and launch amphibious craft and vehicles and has a crew of 413. Its armament includes two 25mm MK 38 Machine Guns, two 20mm Phalanx mounts, six .50 cal. Machine guns, and two Rolling Airframe Missile mounts. The ship carries four LCACs that can deploy Marines and sailors onto hostile shores.
This was the first time all the Marines from CLB-13 have been together at the same time since they left port in February, said Collins.
The service members from CLB-13 that returned home came back as more experienced, skilled, and successful service members than before they left. They were given opportunities to improve themselves through training exercises and operations, and improve their bonds with their fellow Marines and sailors.