|Marine Expeditionary Units are the
smaller and most visible example of the Marine-Air Ground Task Force
(MAGTF) Concept. A MAGTF is the Marine Corps Combined-Arms,
self-sustaining concept for military operations. By combining
air elements, ground combat elements and logistical support elements
under one command element, the individual elements together become
a force-multiplier and effective, powerful force unlike any force
in the world. Because all of these elements are indigenous
to the Marine Corps, the MAGTF Force trains together, works together
and deploys rapidly together as one force.
Scalable, flexible, responsive Marine Air-Ground
Task Forces. The
basic types of MAGTFs are:
The largest and most robust MAGTF is a Marine
Expeditionary Force. Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEFs)
are task-organized forces designed to fight and win our Nation's
battles in conflicts up to and including major theater war.
Commanded by a 3-Star General Officer, a MEF is comprised of one
or more full Marine Aircraft Wings, one or more Force Service Support
Groups and one or more complete Infantry Divisions. Uniquely,
a MEF can be tailored to any size dependent upon the mission, but
usually a MEF accounts for approximately 20,000 to 90,000 Marines
with an average of around 40,000 men and women. MEF's are
the cradle for embedded MEB's and deploying MEU's, capable of enabling
or leading of a Joint or multinational force and have a sustainment
of approximately 60 days. Marine Expeditionary Forces are
the proud hammer of the Marine Corps and are major warfighting elements
of all operation war plans. A MEF consists of:
element plus command, control and reconnaissance/surveillance
- Division: 18,000…
3 infantry regiments (9 infantry batallions), 1 artillery regiment
(4 artillery batallions), 1 tank batallion, 1 LAR batallion, 1
amphibious assault batallion, 1 combat engineer batallion
- Wing: 15,000…
approximately 300 aircraft
- FSSG: 9,000…
military police, supply, maintenance, engineering, health services
and transportation assets
Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEBs)
are task-organized to respond to a full range of crises, from forcible
entry to humanitarian assistance. They are our premier response
force for the small-scale contingencies that are so prevalent in
today’s security environment. The
Marine Corps has three numbered MEB's, one within each MEF with
the capability to deploy the MEB's in several ways.
Similar to a MEU, a MEB deploys on 15 amphibious
ships of which 5 are large deck ships such as LHA or LHD ships and
has a 30 day sustainment. The MEB consists of
Element sourced from the parent MEF staff with the Deputy MEF
Commander as the MEB Commander.
Ready to enable a Joint task Force or form a nucleus to enable
introduction of follow on forces.
Combat Element built on an infantry regiment
Aviation Combat Element consisting of a composite Marine Air Group
capable of conducting all (6) functions
of Marine aviation including Offensive Air Support, Assault Support,
Electronic Warfare, Control of Aircraft and Missiles, Antiair
Warfare, Air Reconnaissance.
Brigade Service Support Group (BSSG) for the Combat Service Support
Element or CSSE, which can logistically
support a community of 30,000 Marines and Sailors.
Marine Expeditionary Units (Special Operations
Capable) (MEU(SOC)s) are task-organized to provide a forward
deployed presence to promote peace and stability and are often the
Marine Corps’ first-on-the-scene force. Each MEF deploys
a 2,500-man MEU (SOC), embarked aboard a three to ship Amphibious
Ready Group (ARG), to operate in the Mediterranean, Persian Gulf,
and throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans continuously. These
MEU(SOC)'s provide the National Command Authority and Unified Commanders-in-Chief's
(CINC's) with forward deployed, sea-based, multi-purpose Marine
forces. These forces are uniquely poised to provide CINCs with a
variety of quick reaction crisis response options. MEU's act
as a Joint Task Force Enabler to enable Joint or Combined Multi-National
force follow-on operations in an Area of Operation.
Special Purpose MAGTFs (SPMAGTFs)
are task-organized to accomplish specific missions, including humanitarian
assistance, disaster relief, peacetime engagement activities, or
regionally focused exercises.
along with other Marine Corps unique forces, such as Fleet Anti-Terrorism
Security Teams (FASTs) and the Chemical Biological Incident Response
Force (CBIRF), represent a continuum of response capabilities tethered
to national, CINC, and naval requirements.