Photo Information

AL ASAD, Iraq -- Lieutenant Gen. Chip Gregson, commander, U.S. Marine Forces Central Command, talks with Chief Warrant Officer L. Scott Reinhardt, director, Al Asad Regional Police and Border Patrol Academy, about the progress being made in training Iraqi security forces here. Gregson visited Al Asad to ensure the units here are properly supplied and supported.

Photo by SGT. JUAN VARA

MARCENT commander visits 2nd MAW in Iraq

21 Mar 2005 | Sgt. Juan Vara

The commander of Marine Forces Central Command visited Al Asad on March 21 to ensure the units here are properly supplied and supported.

Lieutenant Gen. Chip Gregson and Sgt. Maj. Lawrence E. Thompson, MARCENT sergeant major, toured some of the units here and talked with Marines and sailors accompanied by Col. Tony Jackson, who has been selected for promotion to brigadier general and will serve as MARCENT's deputy commander.

Escorted by Brig. Gen. Robert E. Milstead Jr., 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) commanding general, and Sgt. Maj. Collin A. Cotterell, 2nd MAW (Fwd) sergeant major, the MARCENT top leaders visited Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26, the Al Asad Regional Police and Border Patrol Academy, Marine Attack Squadron 311, and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264.

"It's great to see all the super Marines in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing keeping everything flying to support the Iraqi forces, the coalition forces and our fellow Marines," said Gregson.

According to Maj. Eric Litchfield, Gregson's aide-de-camp, the MARCENT commander is interested in making sure the Marines in Iraq have what they need to operate effectively, whether it's the appropriate armor on humvees or introducing technology to reduce manpower requirements and improve the Marines' safety.

"All of the members of the armed forces here are doing a great job and it's refreshing to come and see all these people of a young age operating at a level where their responsibilities are much higher," said Thompson.  "It amazes me to see a young corporal saving somebody's life.  This is the generation we weren't sure it had what it takes, and when it's all said and done, they may be better than us."

Jackson, who's currently serving with I Marine Expeditionary Force, said he was here a year ago and noticed a great deal of progress made in improving this former Iraqi air base.  "It's tremendous the amount of progress the 3rd and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wings have made.  I look forward to working with everybody down the road as I assume my duties as deputy commander of Marine Forces Central Command."

After visiting Al Asad for the better half of the day, Gregson and his party continued traveling throughout the II MEF's area of responsibility.  The MARCENT commander and his staff were scheduled to visit other commanders and camps in Iraq, ensuring the Marines and sailors of II MEF have the logistics necessary to support the Global War on Terrorism and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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