31st MEU PVC Tan Patch – With Hook and Loop
A 4″ inch with Hook and Loop PVC patch of the 31st MEU.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) is one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units in existence in the United States Marine Corps. The Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air Ground Task Force with a strength of about 2,200 Marines and sailors. The 31st MEU consists of a company-sized command element, a battalion landing team (BLT), (an infantry battalion reinforced with artillery, amphibious vehicles and other attachments), a medium tiltrotor squadron (reinforced), (which includes detachments of short take-off, vertical landing airplanes and heavy, light, and attack helicopters), and a combat logistics battalion. The 31st MEU is based at Camp Hansen, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan. The 31st MEU is the only permanently forward-deployed MEU, and provides a flexible and lethal force ready to perform a wide range of military, humanitarian, and diplomatic operations as the premier crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region.
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit will readily address the needs of the Geographic Combatant Commander, always Ready to Fight and Win. Mission success is defined by the 31st MEU’s direct contribution to regional stability through the support and defense of our allies and partners, and ultimately our nation.
Current subordinate units
Ground Combat Element: Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marines
Aviation Combat Element: VMM-262 (Reinforced)
Logistics Combat Element: Combat Logistics Battalion 31
The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit was activated on 1 March 1967 as Special Landing Force Alpha, for operations in Vietnam. It made the first of many amphibious deployments from Okinawa to the coast of Vietnam on 10 April 1967.
The first operation actually conducted was on 14 April 1967, when the MEU conducted a rescue of the crew of the SS Silver Peak, a Panamanian vessel run aground by Typhoon Violet, in vicinity of Minami Ko Shima Island, Japan.
Days later, it was committed to Operation Union, a search and destroy mission in Vietnam.
It was during this period of intense combat that Special Landing Force Alpha earned the Presidential Unit Citation. The unit participated in continuing combat operations ashore over the next three years, including the Vietnam Tet counteroffensive in 1969, while returning to Okinawa periodically for re-outfitting and the rotation of forces.
Special Landing Force Alpha was officially designated as the 31st Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) on 24 November 1970. Once more the unit returned to the Gulf of Tonkin. This time, however, the 31st MAU would not be committed to overt land operations as the Vietnam War was winding down. The 31st MAU performed presence missions and conducted a series of special operations through May 1971. From June 1971 until April 1975, the 31st MAU conducted many deployments to the waters off Vietnam.
The 31st MAU was then directed to the Gulf of Thailand for Operation Eagle Pull, the American Embassy evacuation by air of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which took place on 12 April 1975.
This was followed by the 31st MAU’s participation in Operation Frequent Wind on 29 April 1975 which was the final evacuation of Saigon as North Vietnamese forces entered the city.