SP-MAGTF departs for Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade, community relations events aboard USS Arlington

Cpl. Jorden Wells II Marine Expeditionary Force

To see a video of this trip, click here.

BOSTON – More than 100 II Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Forces Command Marines from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, arrived in Boston aboard the USS Arlington for the St. Patrick’s Day parade and other festivities March 13.

Marines and sailors aboard the USS Arlington ‘man the rails’ as the ship approaches the Black Falcon terminal in South Boston, March 13, 2015.

Marines and sailors aboard the USS Arlington ‘man the rails’ as the ship approaches the Black Falcon terminal in South Boston, March 13, 2015.

Marines from both units created a Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force for the trip, where they will participate in the nation’s third largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in South Boston, conduct static displays and participate in community relation events.

The mission of the SPMAGTF is to showcase the Navy-Marine Corps team to the public and display the capabilities of that team.

The static displays include the Mk-19, a 40 mm, belt-fed automatic grenade launcher; the M2 .50-Caliber Machine Gun, the M240B medium machine gun, the M16A4 Service Rifle and two Humvees.

Captain William Sullivan, the commander of troops for the SPMAGTF, said the trip is a great way for Marines who have never been on a ship to interact with sailors and gain understanding on how the Navy-Marine Corps team works to achieve its mission of being able to operate from a sea base without the need for a secured land base, seaport or airfield.

“Another reason we have this combined team is to continue to build our relationship with our Navy brothers,” said Capt. William Sullivan, commander of troops for SPMAGTF. “This gives the Marines the experience of being underway and seeing what ship-to-shore operations consists of first-hand.”

During ship’s tours, the Marines will have the opportunity to talk about their experiences with the public while showcasing its capabilities.

“This trip also gives the Marines an excellent opportunity to communicate and interact with the public and showcase to them the weapons that are used on a daily basis from Marines with first-hand experience in handling them,” Sullivan said.

While in Boston, the Marines will also have an opportunity to speak and interact with potential Marine Corps recruits and give them a little peek behind the curtain of what they can expect from the future, should they decide to follow through with joining the service.

“This is my, as well as many others’, first time being in Boston,” said Lance Cpl. Anthony Swanson, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, attached to the SPMAGTF. “I am looking forward to seeing the historical sights Boston has to offer and also having the opportunity to serve the local community and show them who we are as Marines.”


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