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MacMannis to hand over command of 31st MEU

Date Posted: 2012-06-01

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, active over the past 23 months with two humanitarian aid operations and a series of regular patrols and exercises, sees Colonel Andrew R. MacMannis relinquish command tomorrow evening at Camp Hansen in Kin Town.

At 6 p.m., June 1, an official change of command ceremony for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will take place on Camp Hansen, Kin-town, Okinawa.

MacMannis will relinquish command to Col. John E. Merna at 6 p.m. on the parade deck on Camp Hansen as the new commanding officer of the 31st MEU. Col. MacMannis has commanded the 31st MEU since June 2010, during which time the MEU conducted two humanitarian aid operations, including response to Super Typhoon Megi in the Philippines in 2010, and response to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters during Operation Tomodachi in northern Japan in 2011. He also led the 31st MEU through four regular patrols of the Asia-Pacific region, including exercises CERTEX in Okinawa and Guam, Cobra Gold in Thailand, and PHIBLEX and Balikatan in the Philippines.

Col. MacMannis is scheduled to report to Quantico, Va., to serve at Plans, Policies and Operations, part of Headquarters Marine Corps. Col. Merna is coming from Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he held the billet of Assistant Chief of Staff of Logistics (G-4) for 2nd Marine Division.

The 31st MEU provides a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based force capable of conducting amphibious operations, crisis response and limited contingency operations in the Asia-Pacific region. Always ready to respond, the 31st MEU is also prepared to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief when directed. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward-deployed MEU, and remains the nationís force-in-readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

The change of command ceremony, is scheduled to include a static display of two M777 Howitzer artillery pieces, two 7-ton transport vehicles, a CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter, a UH-1 Huey helicopter, a AH-1 Cobra helicopter, a CH-46E helicopter, an amphibious assault vehicle, an up-armored Humvee, a multi-terrain loader, a bulldozer and an internally transportable vehicle.

Representatives from Oshima Island, Kessenuma, including a family affected by the disaster, are scheduled to be present to witness the ceremony.

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