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U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Zachary Isberner, financial manager, 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB), loads luggage onto a bus to the airport from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, on May 29, 2023. 2d MEB Marines head to Naples, Italy, for a deployment Task Force 61/2. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jack Labrador)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jack Labrador

2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Deploys as Task Force 61/2

12 Jun 2023 | 2nd Lt. Zachary Cargill II Marine Expeditionary Force

NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY NAPLES, Italy — Marines and Sailors with 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB), II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF), recently deployed to assume the role of Task Force 61/2 (TF 61/2), a forward-deployed command element supporting U.S. Sixth Fleet operations in the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility on June 9, 2023.

2d MEB, as TF 61/2, will provide an operational level headquarters to command-and-control stand-in forces poised to protect U.S. interests, support allies and partners, and enable integrated deterrence of adversaries. In alignment with Force Design 2030, 2d MEB will continue to advance the cooperation between the Navy and Marine Corps furthering the capabilities of the naval force in the highly contested and active littoral regions.

The integration of TF 61/2 into Sixth Fleet headquarters aligns multiple existing forces under the Naval Amphibious Force Commander to include forward-deployed Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG), Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU), the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Europe (FASTEUR) and forces conducting reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance (RXR). These forces offer the Fleet commander advanced capabilities to employ small, self-sustaining Marine Corps units to coordinate and support large-scale fleet operations.

“2d MEB is an operational headquarters with the ability to operate as a mid-sized MAGTF command element to command-and-control forces within the EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility,” said Col. Martinez, Operations Officer, TF 61/2. “This makes us ideally suited to carry out the TF 61/2 mission and further embodies the Commandant’s Planning Guidance to better align with the needs of Sixth Fleet.”

2d MEB brings an additional capability to EUCOM and AFRICOM areas of responsibility. As a nimble, rapidly deployable Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) command element, 2d MEB provides Sixth Fleet with a headquarters capable of supporting the execution of naval campaigns or immediate crisis response operations in austere and contested environments.

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