I Marine Expeditionary Force

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I Marine Expeditionary Force
I MEF insignia
Active 8 November 1969 – present
Country  United States of America
Branch  United States Marine Corps
Type Marine Air-Ground Task Force
Role Expeditionary combat force
Part of U.S. Marine Forces Pacific
Garrison/HQ MCB Camp Pendleton, California, U.S.
Engagements Persian Gulf War

Global War on Terrorism

Iraq War

LtGen David H. Berger, USMC
Gen Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Gen Anthony Zinni, Gen Michael Hagee, Gen James T. Conway, Gen James Mattis, Gen John F. Sattler

The I Marine Expeditionary Force ("I" pronounced "One") is a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) of the United States Marine Corps primarily composed of the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and 1st Marine Logistics Group. It is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

I Marine Expeditionary Force is the largest of the three MEFs in the Fleet Marine Force and is often referred to as the "Warfighting MEF" for its consistent involvement and contributions in major armed conflicts.


Among U.S. Marines, I MEF is pronounced as "one mef". Other pronunciations, such as "eye mef" and "first mef", are categorically viewed as incorrect and improper, with the latter being mistakenly used often.


When directed, I MEF deploys and is employed as a Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) in support of Combatant Commander (COCOM) requirements for contingency response or Major Theater War; with appropriate augmentation, serves as the core element of a Joint Task Force (JTF); prepares and deploys combat ready MAGTF’s to support COCOM presence and crisis response; and supports service and COCOM initiatives as required.


  • Activated on 8 November 1969 at Okinawa, Japan as the I Marine Expeditionary Force
  • Redesignated on 18 August 1970 as the I Marine Amphibious Force (I MAF)
  • Relocated in April 1971 to Camp Pendleton, California
  • Redesignated on 5 February 1988 as the "I Marine Expeditionary Force"


Structure of I MEF


Recent service


  1. Reynolds Baghdad, Basrah and Beyond, pg. 169.

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