Story by 1st Lt. Christopher Harrison
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan was deactivated during a ceremony at the I Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters Friday at noon.
Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan was established during 2009, and deployed more than 4,000 forces from Camp Lejeune to Helmand province, Afghanistan. Their role was to assist the Afghan National Security Forces quell insurgent forces and establish security and governance to the region as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
During 2010, Marines and sailors under I MEF (Forward) joined coalition forces in the establishment of Regional Command (Southwest), International Security Assistance Force aboard Camps Bastion and Leatherneck. The forces conducted security force assistance, supported normalization of provincial governance, and consolidated and reduced coalition force posture in order to set conditions for the transfer of full security responsibility across the region to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan was reactivated during a ceremony aboard Camp Pendleton, November 2013, and deployed to southwest Afghanistan during early 2014. Marines and coalition forces assisted the ANSF as they set the conditions for security during the 2014 presidential elections, transferred full security responsibility, and handled the redeployment and retrograde of all equipment and personnel from the region.
At its peak, more than 20,000 Marines and sailors served in RC(SW). During the final two years of operations, more than 230 bases and outposts were transferred to the ANSF in their continuing effort to provide security for the Afghans in the region.
“People ask what we did here and whether it was worth it,” said Sgt. Maj. Doug Berry Jr., the MEB-A sergeant major. “We were successful. We are leaving here knowing that everything we worked for was accomplished. We met our objectives. Those who have come here and did not go home, or went home different, should know that we finished for them. The families should be proud of that.”
“The security of Helmand is up to the ANSF,” said Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, MEB-A commanding general. “And I am confident in their abilities to continue to succeed.”