MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – On July 31, the last M1A1 Abrams main battle tank left Camp Lejeune as 2d Tank Battalion continues the deactivation process in accordance with Marine Corps Force Design 2030.
This historic event marks the end of tanks in the United States Marine Corps. 2d Tank Battalion personnel will remain active to complete the administrative actions associated with the deactivation process.
“This is a sorrowful day, as we honor to the machine that we had become one with,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Formella, the operations chief for 2d Tank Battalion. “For 79 years, the Marines of 2d Tank Battalion have always accomplished the mission, globally. We always trained hard, and to standard, in preparation for war.”
Marines and Sailors of 2d Tank Battalion held a ceremony at the rail head where the tanks were staged and loaded for departure by rail. The ceremony included a troop formation with a salute send-off as the M1A1 tanks departed Camp Lejeune for the last time, bringing an end to a successful and storied era of heavy armor in the United States Marine Corps.
Formella continued, “Our mission - to close with and destroy the enemy using expeditionary armor-protected firepower, shock effect, and maneuver in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) across the range of military operations - is complete.”
M1A1 Abrams tanks were notably used by 2d Tank Battalion during Operation Iraqi Freedom in the battles of An Numaniyah, Al Aziziyah, Eastern Baghdad, and during Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. 2d Tank Battalion also used M1A1 tanks to support Operation Enduring Freedom in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Additionally, 2d Tank Battalion employed its tanks valiantly in the battles of Tarawa, Saipan, and Okinawa during World War II, the Korean War, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War in 1991.
Following the send-off, 2d Marine Division commanding general, Maj. Gen. David J. Furness, addressed the Marines and Sailors of 2d Tanks to both commemorate the event and spend some time with his Marines and Sailors.
Imagery and a story of the send-off is available at the 2d Marine Division DVIDS page, https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/2MARDIV. For more information, please contact the 2d Marine Division Communication Strategy and Operations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For imagery and video of the event, please visit
Official Website: https://www.2ndmardiv.marines.mil/