MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
In the past, operation Continuing Promise offered training for United States military personnel and partner nation forces while providing medical, dental and valuable services to communities in need.
Every year since 2005, Marines, Sailors and civilians provide aid to Central and South American nations during humanitarian and civic assistant deployments in support of operation Continuing Promise.
To continue support of operation Continuing Promise, Marines and Sailors from the East Coast region joined together to form a Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force. During the upcoming operation, Marines and Sailors will continue to build partnerships in a mutual effort and lend a helping hand to those in need.
“I could not be anymore excited, honored or humbled to lead such great Marines and Sailors as we embark on a mission tailored to save lives, reduce human suffering, and capitalize on training opportunities with our friends in Central and South America,” said Lt. Col. Chris S. Richie, commanding officer of Marine Air Control Squadron 2 and CO of the Special-Purpose MAGTF. “I hope our Marines and Sailors learn the value of teamwork not only with the Navy, but also with our partner nation friends.”
The Special-Purpose MAGTF Marines and Sailors are scheduled to embark the amphibious assault ship, USS Iwo Jima, in mid-July for a four-month deployment to Latin and South American countries.
When a Special-Purpose MAGTF is formed, it is configured to accomplish a specific mission(s) with support from a command element, ground combat element, logistics combat element and aviation combat element. With all elements combined, they will provide supplies, air support, military training opportunities and community relations.
“Our mission is to support the Navy’s humanitarian civic assistance activities, conduct subject matter expert exchanges (training) with specified partner nations, and to be postured to respond to any Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief crisis that might hit the region,” Richie said.
More than 500 Marines and Sailors from Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 774 and MACS-2 will embark USS Iwo Jima to assist the ship’s crew while overseas.
“Many Marines have never been aboard an amphibious ship,” said Richie. “The knowledge they will gain by refocusing on a naval heritage and our amphibious roots will serve them well during the remainder of their careers.”