MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
With bags packed and stacked, the strumming of a ukulele resonates over the sound of conversations and laughter while the Marines and sailors of Company F, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, wait patiently for their busses to arrive.
This was the scene Oct. 30, as the Marines and sailors of Co. F, AT Bn. attached to 2nd Marine Division, prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and officially begin their deployment.
“I’m super excited,” said Sgt. Jason Yoon, 4th platoon guide, Co. F, AT Bn. “The beginning of every deployment is always full of anticipation and excitement about where we’re going, what we’re going to do there and how we’re going to do it.”
Company F has been conducting their pre-deployment training aboard Camp Lejeune for the past five months. They learned and mastered the numerous tactics and techniques needed in their rapidly approaching mission to conduct theater security operations in the Marine Central Command area of operation.
“After five months’ worth of pre-deployment training, I feel like I’m as ready as I could ever be,” said Yoon. “This hasn’t been the standard three-month pre-deployment training cycle reserve units normally go through which is probably why I feel so ready for this deployment.”
While the main body of the company is deploying together, one of their platoons has been tasked with a separate mission of providing security forces at an American embassy and will not be accompanying their fellow Marines and sailors during the deployment.
“The Marines have done exceptional work throughout our time aboard Camp Lejeune,” said Maj. James Burchfield, commanding officer of Co. F, AT Bn.
During their stint aboard Camp Lejeune, Co. F has trained in a wide array of tactics and techniques due to the fact that until recently, their mission and deployment status have been unclear. However, because of their efforts to ready themselves for any situation they may be called upon to handle, Co. F is fully confident in their ability to accomplish the upcoming mission.
“When we all first came together we had the part-time warrior mindset, but after five months of continuous training, we’re all in the full-time Marine mindset and ready to go,” said Yoon. “Five months of this and they’re ready to go just like any other active duty unit.”
Company F, Anti Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division is a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force designed to rapidly organize, train and deploy specially trained and sustainable task forces to detect, deter and defend against terrorism, as well as to conduct crisis response in the event of a terrorist attack. Co. F is attached to 2nd Marine Division while being supported by Marine forces based in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Co. F, AT Battalion is comprised of Marine reservists from Marine Corps bases across the U.S. in states that include Hawaii, Louisiana, Alabama, Tallahassee, Florida, Mississippi, New York., Massachusetts and many more.