MEU stands guard
Submitted by: 22nd MEU
Story Identification Number:
Story by 1st Lt. Mikal A. Rasheed
CARTAGENA, Spain(Jan. 26, 2001) -- As
the Marines and Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit
(Special Operations Capable) pull into Cartagena, sight-seeing,
shopping and sampling exotic dishes aren't on the agenda of every
A number of Marines stand duty each day the USS Nassau is in port to
ensure that their brothers in arms have a fun, safe and uneventful
" We look forward to visiting different cities in Europe."
shared Staff Sgt. Mark D. Gifford, of Johnstown New York.
"However, our main purpose is to be a force in readiness,"
revealed the disbursing chief from the MEU Service Support Group
22," and standing duty is more important than seeing the
Assignments can range from maintaining accountability of those who
leave the ship to cooking free hamburgers and hotdogs for the war
fighters who wish to stay on the pier for the evening.
"I don't particularly mind standing duty" explained
Charlotte, NC's Sgt. Anthony Chapman, who pulled shore patrol in
Brindisi, Italy. The maintenance administration noncommissioned
officer in charge for Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron- 162 had
duty during the MEU's holiday period in Italy.
"On shore patrol, you get to see a lot more of the town than
your average Marine on liberty" related the Carolinian.
"You get to see a little bit of everything because you're given
such a wide area to cover.'
Duty is a part of every normal liberty port visit. The Nassau always
keeps enough of its sailors aboard to go underway, in a hurry if
necessary. The Marines always maintain a watch to keep track of who
is in town and how long they've been gone. The MEU also have Marines
standing watch within their individual sections as well.
"I've been the OOD (Officer of the Day) for the MSSG in every
port we've been to," stated Gifford, who has been in the Marine
Corps for fourteen years and a former drill instructor.
The commanders focus on the bigger picture. Capt. Robert Redmond is
the operations officer for the MSSG-22 and its senior officer aboard
"It's important that we keep our eyes and ears open"
stated Redmond, who calls Custer, Kentucky home. "Not only are
we visitors and guests, we are ambassadors for the United States. We
must place our best foot forward every time we step ashore... and
have someone here to deconflict when we don't"
The MEU's Leathernecks have had no major need for deconfliction thus
far. Between tours, the wonderful recreational sights and shopping
opportunities that Brindisi, Italy, Malta, Palma and Cartagena,
offered, Devil Dogs and Sea Rats alike have fully occupied their
The ship's staff provides briefs on what to expect in the city,
available tours, and where to go in town. The entire package ensures
that the warriors are aptly armed for an enjoyable stay.
From 26-30 January, the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group and the
Marines and Sailors of the 22d MEU (SOC) enjoyed many tourist sites
at their respective Spanish liberty ports. The USS Nassau moored
pier-side in Cartagena. The USS Nashville docked in Palma while the
USS Portland continued its stay in Barcelona.
For additional information regarding the 22nd MEU (SOC), visit our
website at www.usmc.mil@22meu.