MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Forces Africa visited Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point July 25, taking time to address the Marines of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing here.
The visit came as part of Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler’s initial tour of Marine Corps units now under his command, including 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Beydler took command of II MEF at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, July 17.
Aviation squadrons belonging to 2nd MAW, at Cherry Point, MCAS New River, North Carolina and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, conduct operations in support of II MEF, including humanitarian and disaster relief and contingency operations.
During the visit, Beydler spoke about the current condition of II MEF, its subordinate commands and his plans for the future. The Marines of II MEF and 2nd MAW must continue to prepare to face challenges once U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan within the next year.
“I’m getting into an organization that is well led and well prepared for any mission … together we’re going to have three priorities: readiness, readiness and readiness. There a couple things we have to do as Marines and as sailors … we’ve got to get to our nation’s point of friction, we’ve got to command and control ourselves when we get there, and we’ve got to sustain ourselves over time. That’s what we do for a living,” said Beydler.
Beydler spoke about the Marine Corps’ core values and the need for Marines and sailors to return to the basics of honor, courage and commitment. Calling recent controversies involving Marines’ conduct unacceptable, Beydler encouraged the Marines of 2nd MAW to refocus on the moral and physical standards unique to Marines.
“We’re going to hold Marines accountable, regardless of rank and regardless of age. Being fit is part of being a Marine. We’re going to be fit because I’m going to make sure that when we get to a point of friction we can endure the operational tempo when we get there. We’re going to use our core values, something we share with our Navy counterparts, as a basis for our decision making. I want to make sure everyone here knows I expect honesty and forthrightness. I expect you to have courage to make the right decision when no one is looking. And I expect you to be committed to the nation and committed to the Corps while you wear this uniform. It’s just that simple.”
Beydler fielded several questions during the visit, addressing short-term and long-term initiatives, operational readiness and the future of the East Coast’s Marine Air-Ground Task Force. Marines, sailors and families across II MEF and 2nd MAW must prepare to answer the nation’s call anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, according to Beydler.
“The bottom line is the Marine Corps is a unique organization. We’re ready, and readiness means more than having a wheeled suitcase, an airline ticket and a rental car. I will tell you, II MEF is doing a great job, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing is doing a great job. Things are good and they’re going to get better. I appreciate all you are doing and I’m going to expect a lot from you. I’m going to give you my very best effort and I will demand the same in return from each one of you,” said Beydler.