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22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit

Definition/Scope: Activated on December 1, 1982 as the 22nd Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), the 22nd MEU has an impressive operational history and emerged as the most decorated unit of its type in the Marine Corps. Since its activation, the MEU has deployed 19 times. The MEU's activation was the redesignation of the 32nd MAU, a unit that had regularly deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean regions for more than 20 years. In its final deployment, the MAU evacuated the Palestine Liberation Organization from Beirut, and was the first American unit in the multi-national peace-keeping force in Lebanon. The initial deployment of the 22nd MAU took it again to Beirut where it served until May 1983, and upon its return to the United States, the unit began preparing for a third deployment to Lebanon. On October 18, 1983, the MAU left the United States and less than two days into its trans-Atlantic voyage was diverted to the southern Caribbean. In 1998, the 22nd MEU served in Bosnia and Kosovo and stood by for operations in both Albania and Africa. The MEU later returned to Kosovo in 2001. During its 2002 deployment, the 22nd MEU took part in several anti-terrorist missions in the Central Command theater, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, and also launched life-saving humanitarian efforts in the African nation of Djibouti. The 22nd MEU's 2004 deployment took it to Afghanistan where it established Forward Operating Base Ripley. For four months, the MEU prosecuted an aggressive campaign against Taliban and anti-coalition factions in the area that senior Army officials called "the most successful campaign in the history of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM." Most recently, the 2005-2006 deployment saw the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU in Iraq, battling insurgents from a forward operating base in and around the ancient city of Hit (pronounced "heet"). Over the course of its time in Iraq, the MEU participated in 14 named operations and uncovered vast quantities of insurgent arms, ammunition and ordnance.


22nd MEU

Broader Terms:

II Marine Expeditionary Force
Marine Air-Ground Task Force
US Marine Corps

Narrower Terms:

Aviation Combat Element
Command Element
Ground Combat Element

Related Terms:

11th Marine Expeditionary Unit
13th Marine Expeditionary Unit
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
24th Marine Expeditionary Unit
26th Marine Expeditionary Unit
31st Marine Expeditionary Unit
Camp Lejeune
Camp Pendleton
II Marine Expeditionary Force
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Marine Expeditionary Force
Marine Expeditionary Unit

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