The US Marines are currently investigating members of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit after an unspecified incident of misconduct last month in Gaeta, Italy.
The Marine Corps is being tight-lipped about the incident, which took place while the USS New York was ported in Gaeta, part of the 26th MEU’s Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group.
While details are scarce, the Corps is acknowledging something did happen, and the terse nature of their responses to the Marine Corps Times implies that -whatever it was- it was likely serious, with the potential to create strain between the US and their Italian allies.
“Regarding an incident involving alleged misconduct of 26th MEU Marines in Gaeta, Italy, I cannot comment on the ongoing investigation,” Capt. Natalie Poggemeyer, a spokeswoman for the 26th MEU, told Marine Corps Times in an email. “The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps take all cases of misconduct very seriously and NCIS [Naval Criminal Investigative Service] is working with local law enforcement officials to investigate the alleged incidents.”
26 MEU has had a rough tour this year, from the firing of 2/6 Commander Lt. Col. Marcus J. Mainz to a pair of crashes involving an AV-8B Harrier II and CH-53E Super Stallion, resulting in temporary suspension of flight operations.
Prior to the stop in Italy, the MEU has been operating around Africa and the Middle East, making an appearance in Jordan and Djibouti, respectively.
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