Mar 11, 2014

Marines and sailors of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Amphibious Squadron 11 and USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), stand in formation during a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on the flight deck of the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), Mar. 11. During Operation Tomodachi, the 31st MEU and PHIBRON-11 distributed 164,000 pounds of food, thousands of gallons of water and other relief supplies to Kesennuma, Oshima Island and other areas throughout the Honshu region. Colonel John Merna, commanding officer of the 31st MEU and a native of Prince George’s County, Md., said, “General Mattis once said that when it comes to U.S. Marines, there is no better friend, no worse enemy. The friendships made with the people of Oshima Island, for example, continue to this day. The history of the 31st MEU - PHIBRON-11 team will be forever linked to the people of Oshima Island.” The 31st MEU is currently conducting amphibious integration training alongside PHIBRON-11 while deployed for its regularly-scheduled Spring Patrol. The 31st MEU is the Marine Corps’ force of choice for the Asia-Pacific region and is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU.

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