A Marine expeditionary brigade (MEB) is a formation of the United States Marine Corps, a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) of approximately 14,500 Marines and sailors constructed around a reinforced infantry regiment, a composite Marine aircraft group, a combat logistics regiment and a MEB command group.
The MEB, commanded by a general officer (usually a brigadier general), is task-organised to meet the requirements of a specific situation. It can function as part of a joint task force, as the lead echelon of the Marine expeditionary force (MEF), or alone. It varies in size and composition, and is larger than a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) but smaller than a MEF. The MEB is capable of conducting missions across the full range of military operations.
Notional Marine Expeditionary Brigade in 2010
Command Element (CE)
- MEB Command Group:
- MEB Staff.
- Detachment, Communications Battalion.
- Detachment, Intelligence Battalion.
- Detachment, Law Enforcement Battalion.
- Detachment, Radio Battalion.
- Detachment, Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
- Detachment, Force Reconnaissance Company.
Ground Combat Element (GCE)
- Regimental Landing Team (RLT) or Regimental Combat Team (RCT):
- Infantry Regiment (w/ 3 Infantry Battalions), Reinforced.
- 48 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, AAV-7A1 and variants (1 Amphibious Assault Vehicle Company (Reinforced)).
- 27 Light Armored Vehicles, LAV-25A1 and variants (1 Light Armoured Reconnaissance Company (Reinforced)).
- 14 Main Battle Tank, M1A1, Abrams (1 Tank Company (Reinforced)).
- 2 Armored Recovery Vehicle, M88A2, Hercules (1 Tank Company (Reinforced)).
- 2 Assault Breacher Vehicle, M1, Shredder (Combat Engineer Company).
- 24 Howitzer, 155 mm, M777A2 (1 Artillery Battalion w/4 firing batteries of 6 guns each).
- 24 Mortar, 81mm, M252 (4 tubes per section, 2 sections per platoon, of the Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 27 Lightweight Mortar, 60 mm, M224 LWCMS (3 tubes in the Mortar Section of the Weapons Platoon, Rifle company × 3, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 24 Anti-Tank Missile Launcher, BGM-71, TOW (8 launchers in the TOW Section of the Anti-Tank (AT) Platoon, Weapons Company, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 24 Anti-Tank Missile Launcher, FGM-148, Javelin (8 launchers in the AT Section of the Anti-Tank Platoon, Weapons Company, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 18 Automatic Grenade Launcher, 40 mm, Mk 19 (6 guns per Heavy Machine Gun Platoon, Weapons Company, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 18 Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible (6 guns per Heavy Machine Gun Platoon, Weapons Company, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 54 Machine Gun, 7.62mm, M240 (6 guns in the Machine Gun Section, Weapons Platoon, Rifle Company × 3, Infantry Battalion × 3).
- 243 Light Machine Gun/Infantry Automatic Rifle, 5.56mm, M249 (9 guns per Rifle Platoon × 3, Rifle Company × 3, Infantry Battalion × 3).
Aviation Combat Element (ACE)
- Composite Marine aircraft group:
- Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) [notional organisation shown below].
- 45 AV-8B (3 VMA squadrons w/ 15 aircraft each).
- 24 F/A-18 (2 VMFA squadrons w/ 12 aircraft each).
- 5 EA-6B (1 VMAQ squadron w/ 5 aircraft each).
- 6 KC-130 (1 VMGR detachment).
- 32 CH-53E (2 HMH squadrons w/ 16 aircraft each).
- 48 CH-46E or MV-22B (4 HMM or VMM squadrons w/ 12 aircraft each).
- 18 AH-1W/Z (1 HMLA squadron, each HMLA squadron contains both AH-1 & UH-1 aircraft).
- 9 UH-1N/Y (1 HMLA squadron, each HMLA squadron contains both AH-1 & UH-1 aircraft).
- 45 Stinger missile teams (1 Low Altitude Air Defense firing battery w/ 3 platoons of 15 Stinger missile teams each).
- 1 Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron (MALS) (Provides Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance, Aviation Supply, and Aviation Ordnance support to aircraft squadrons).
- 1 Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) (Provides Combat Service Support [i.e. all essential aviation ground support and services] to enable the MAG to perform its aviation mission).
- Other aviation support squadron detachments as required (MACS, MASS, MTACS, MWCS).
Logistics Combat Element (LCE)
- Combat logistics regiment (CLR) (w/ 1 to 3 combat logistics Battalions) [notional equipment shown below]:
- 1 medium girder bridge.
- 6 cranes:.
- 1 30-ton crane.
- 5 7.5-ton cranes
- 2 600k-gal fuel systems.
- 44 100-kW generators.
- 75 7-ton trucks.
- 9 Water purifying units.
- 116 forklifts.
- 5 bulldozers.
- 3 road graders.
List of MEBs (as at November 2022)
- 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
- 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
- 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
- 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
- 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
The following MEBs were deployed operationally:
- Task Force Tarawa for the Iraq War.
- Task Force Leatherneck for the Afghanistan War.
- 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade for the Vietnam War – deployed 08 March 1965.
- 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Anti-Terrorism) for the War on Terror – activated in 29 October 2001 and deactivated in February 2006.
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