Right now, as this story is published, the USS Fort McHenry and embarked elements of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) have begun northbound transit of the Dardanelles Strait, enroute to the Black Sea.

That's 2200 U.S. Marines and an incredible variety of war fighting / invasion equipment.

This is precisely the type of military unit one would send if they intended a lightning military strike to take Crimea back from Russia and give it to Ukraine.

Marine expeditionary unit (MEU, pronounced "Mew"),  is the smallest Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) in the United States Fleet Marine Force. Each MEU is an expeditionary quick reaction force, deployed and ready for immediate response to any crisis, whether it be natural disaster or combat missions.

A Marine expeditionary unit is normally composed of: a reinforced Marine infantry battalion (designated as a Battalion Landing Team) as the ground combat element, a composite medium tilt-rotor squadron forms the aviation combat element, a combat logistics battalion provides the logistics combat element, and a company-size command element serves as the MEU headquarters group.

Troop strength is about 2,200 and usually commanded by a colonel, and is deployed from amphibious assault ships.

Currently, a Marine expeditionary unit embarks Marines and equipment onto the amphibious warfare ships of an Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) which also includes escort ships and submarines to protect them from air, surface, and submarine threats.

For further protection and strong air support, such an ESG is often deployed along with one or more carrier battle groups.

The MEU is unique in that its air and ground combat elements are combined with a logistics combat element under one commander; other services do not unite the command of air and ground forces until much higher command levels.

When the United States Army integrates with Air Force assets, it typically is at the theater or corps level, with a general commanding, while at the division level it will integrate with Army aviation, which can be organized as organic at the battalion level.

The MEU's ground combat element also combines artillery, light armor and tanks at a much lower level than was common in the Army until the development of the brigade combat team early in the War on Terror, with a similar concept, the combat command, being utilized in World War II.

This air-ground task force concept is designed to thoroughly exploit the combat power inherent in air and ground assets by closely integrating them into a single force. The MEU brings all the supplies and logistical support it needs to sustain itself for quick mission accomplishment or to pave the way for any follow-up forces. This self-sustainment allows more flexibility in disposition and operations of forces, and allows the MEU to initiate operations sooner and let support catch up later, without having to wait for external logistical support to begin a mission. Deployments on U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships allows MEUs to sea base around the globe, ready for deployment at short notice.

A typical MEU has approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors. It is equipped with:

A UH-1N from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit flies past an AH-1W on the flight deck of USS Kearsarge
Qty Nomenclature Element
4 M1A1 main battle tank ground
7 to 16 Light Armored Vehicle ground
15 Assault Amphibious Vehicle ground
6 155mm howitzer: M777 ground
8 M252 81mm mortar ground
8 BGM-71 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missile weapon system ground
8 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile ground
4 to 6 AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters aviation
3 UH-1Y Venom light utility helicopters aviation
12 MV-22A Osprey medium-lift tiltrotor aircraft aviation
4 CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift transport helicopters aviation
6 AV-8B Harrier V/STOL light-attack airplanes aviation
2 KC-130 Hercules aerial re-fueler/transport airplanes
Note: usually maintained in the continental United States
2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit logistics
1 LMT 3000 water purification unit logistics
4 Tractor, Rubber Tire, Articulated Steering logistics
2 TX51-19M Rough Terrain Forklift logistics
3 D7 bulldozer logistics
1 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement dump truck logistics
4 Mk48 Logistics Vehicle System logistics
7 500 gallon water containers multiple
63 Humvee multiple
30 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks multiple
5 Boeing Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack aviation

Many types of equipment are, or will soon, undergo a transitory phase as they are replaced. Some examples include the Marine Personnel Carrier replacing the LAV-25, the F-35 Lightning II replacing the AV-8B Harrier, and the CH-53K Super Stallion replacing the CH-53E.


The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU) is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units currently in existence in the United States Marine Corps. It is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 personnel. They are currently based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and fall under the command of the II Marine Expeditionary Force. It is the most decorated of the Marine Corps' seven MEUs.

As shown on the map below, the Dardanelles Strait is the first of two such strategic waterways needing to be traveled to get to the Black Sea.  The second of the two waterways is the Bosphorus Strait which passes through Istanbul.

Much was made prior to Christmas of Ukraine positioning thousands of troops and tanks near Donetsk.  At the time, fears were that Ukraine intended to take the breakaway province and return it by force to Ukrainian control.

NOW, however, it may be that the total buildup of Ukraine forces near Donetsk was to cut-off any Russian reinforcements heading to Crimea, so as to allow CRIMEA TO BE TAKEN BACK.

This is an incredible development in world events and does not bode well for peace.  At all.  (Additional Updates appear Below the Warning notice below)


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Sources are now telling me the President will address the nation Wednesday night at 9:00 PM eastern time.   RIGHT NOW we are being told it is to declare a national emergency at the southern border, and use the military to close it or build a wall.  HOWEVER, it could very well be to tell the American people that we are now engaging in combat with Russia in Crimea.  Stay tuned.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tell The Truth · 1 years ago
    Russia did not TAKE Crimea.... Crimea is conservative and VOTED in referendum to be part of Russia and Ukraine is controlled by NATO/NWO/UN globalists and liberals-why on earth would our forces do that and why do you ignore these facts -- sounds like this is just another lamestream outlet for propaganda.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Carol Ramirez · 1 years ago
    Hal, I tried signing in with your new update and it is not recognizing my sign in? Please help. I am a subscriber not a guest. Thank you
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jon McGloin · 1 years ago
    Any update on ship and current location?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      bob sykes · 1 years ago
      It went to Romania
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ken · 1 years ago
    Shades of Gulf of Tonkin?
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      MadMax · 1 years ago
      Not likely.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jay · 1 years ago
    A boat is just a floating coffin these days unless it has extremely capable defenses. It has a much better chance of survival in an ocean than a pond. Short range means short life otherwise.
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    THE BEAR RAPTURE · 1 years ago
    I would not be surprised one bit if his address to the nation will include possible brinksmanship war with Russia or something resembling it. In fact, Russia has just deployed, or is going to deploy, precision-strike missiles to the western Atlantic it appears.


    There is no doubt this is ultimately going to lead to an Old Testament hidden prophecy from the book of 2 Kings chapter 2 and later confirmed in Ezekiel 38 & 39. It is called ...

  • This commment is unpublished.
    CVB · 1 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ted · 1 years ago
    and from another source..."The US Navy has confirmed the dock-landing vessel USS Fort McHenry has entered the Black Sea at moment tensions with Russia remain high following the Kremlin's seizure of three Ukrainian vessels in November in the Kerch Strait. This marks the first US vessel to enter the region since the Nov. 25th incident, which Russia said was an illegal and provocative violation of its territorial waters, and which as a result Ukraine has called on NATO powers, including the US and UK, to beef up its presence in the area to counter Russian aggression."

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ted · 1 years ago
    An update from one of my sources..."Looks like it’s in regards to right of passage in the Sea of Azov ahead of another planed movement of Ukrainian Naval forces"
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Reginald Fischer · 1 years ago
      Here we go, poking the angry bear with a stick again.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bob sykes · 1 years ago
    The USS Fort McHenry is NOT a complete Amphibious Readiness group. Such a groups consists of three to four large ships and support vessels. In particular, USS Fort McHenry does not have a MEU aboard.

    This is just a typical FONOP, gunship diplomacy. It implies nothing.

    Now if the complete Amphibious Readiness Group were present, then I would worry. But I would worry about the safety of the men and women aboard the Group, because such a flotilla would have a life expectancy on the order of minutes should a war with Russia break out.