Black Sea Rotational Force 13 deploys

Black Sea Rotational Force 13 deploys

Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 deployed from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., to Eastern Europe today for a six-month tour. 1stSgt Charles McDew holds his grandson one more time before getting on the bus. Photo by Cpl Phillip Clark.

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (March 18, 2013) - Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 deployed from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., to Eastern Europe today for a six-month tour.

BSRF-13 will be conducting theater security cooperation activities with more than 20 countries throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions. They also bring with them the capability to respond to situations outside the realm of their training exercises.

"We will be able to provide a capable force to respond to any crisis that may occur," said LtCol Steve Wolf, BSRF-13 commanding officer, referring to the unit's ability to respond to contingencies.

Marines and sailors from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division compose the majority of the personnel deploying with this year's iteration of the annual Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force. This is the first time the Special-Purpose MAGTF is formed around an active-duty unit.

The purpose of this operation is to strengthen our partnership with these countries, said Wolf, a Colorado Springs, Colo. native. We also will be ready if any crisis arises and we will show everyone what the Navy-Marine Corps Team is capable of.

While BSRF-13 is in theater they will conduct numerous military engagements missions with partner countries. The focus of these engagements range from urban combat operations to NCO professional development to non-lethal weapons engagements. The Marines will have the opportunity to experience the culture of the countries they visit, offering first-hand understanding of how people in European countries live.

The first stop for the 300-person force will be the Republic of Georgia where they'll conduct exercise Agile Spirit, a bi-lateral military engagement with the Georgian Armed Forces.

Upon completion of Exercise Agile Spirit, the Marines and sailors of BSRF will re-deploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania and continue their assigned mission, which involves training exercises with 20 nations planned throughout the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions.

Marines.mil is the official website of the United States Marine Corps and is maintained by the Marine Corps' Division of Public Affairs.