Marines: January 19, 2000


The US Marine Corps disbanded its six Marine Expeditionary Brigades after the Gulf War in order to save manpower. Each division formed a "forward detachment" which was brigade sized and linked to one of the three Maritime Prepositioned Forces. In theory, this forward element was ready to go to war on short notice. Now the Marines have gone a step further, setting up the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade as part of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. (The II and III MEFs will shortly set up the 2nd and 3rd MEBs.) Each of the brigades will be linked to a Maritime Prepositioned Force; the personnel for the Brigade HQs are drawn from the Division HQs. (The Brigade commanders are also Assistant Division Commanders.) The 1st MEB includes the 7th Marine Regiment, an aviation battalion, and a support battalion, plus other attachments. --Stephen V Cole


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