11th Marine Expeditionary Unit
Definition/Scope: The 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), originally designated the 17th Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), formed at Camp Pendleton, California, on April 13, 1979. The MAU was created to plan and participate in large-scale amphibious training exercises. In its early days, the unit also fulfilled requirements for a west-coast based MAU to respond to contingencies, but was normally activated and deactivated based largely upon scheduled amphibious landing exercises directed by the Commander, Third Fleet. In 1983 the Marine Corps directed a change that resulted in the first renaming of the 17th MAU. The decision was made to “source” the continuously deployed Western Pacific (WESTPAC) MAUs from I Marine Amphibious Force units in Southern California. Previously, their units came from the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii. This resulted in the renaming of the 17th MAU to the 11th MAU on July 20, 1984. A second name change took place on February 5, 1988, when the Marine Corps more clearly defined the multiple capabilities of its Marine Air-Ground Task Forces. “Amphibious” was changed to “Expeditionary,” and the unit was given its current designation - the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. While the unit’s designation has changed, the mission of the 11th MEU has remained largely unchanged. The MEU is an expeditionary intervention force with the ability to move quickly on short notice, to wherever needed to accomplish conventional or special operations. The strength of the MEU (Special Operations Capable) resides in the inherent combined arms capability while operating from forward-deployed amphibious shipping.
Broader Terms:I Marine Expeditionary Force
Narrower Terms:Aviation Combat Element
Related Terms:13th Marine Expeditionary Unit