Meet MRF-D 22: the Command Element

13 Apr 2022 | Courtesy Story The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The Marine Rotational Force–Darwin command element writes a new chapter in the story of MRF-D.

The flexibility and agility of a Marine Corps Air Ground Task Force is realized though the coordination of individual actions across the entire formation. This coordination is the responsibility of the command element. From administration and logistics, to intelligence, operations, and communications, Marines and Sailors within this element work tirelessly to ensure MAGTF operations are efficient and effective. For the first time in MRF-D’s eleven year history, these command element responsibilities will be fulfilled by a standing regimental headquarters from 1st Marine Division.

“We are proud of the history of our Division, and our Regiment, and look forward writing the next chapter of that history side-by-side with our Australian Allies." Colonel Chris Steele, MRF-D 22 commanding officer

"When we look back on our shared past, we see that we have always found success – together, regardless of the threat or circumstance. The tough and realistic training we’ll conduct together over the next few months will set conditions for our future success. Whether we’re responding to a natural disaster or a man-made crisis, we’ll be ready to go tomorrow because of the work we’re doing together today,” said Colonel Chris Steele, the commanding officer for MRF-D 22.

5th Marines’ reputation for tenacity was first earned during World War I, and was also evidenced during the battles of Guadalcanal and New Britain. This fighting spirit has been reaffirmed time and again in places ranging from Chosin and Pusan, to Hue City, Al Anbar and Sangin.

“We have a strong core staff, and had no shortage of volunteers wanting to join our team prior to this deployment. The opportunity to come to Australia is one that everyone wants. These augments were a welcomed addition, and have given us the depth required to compete on the modern battlefield,” said Lieutenant Colonel Tim Kronjaeger, the operations officer for the MAGTF.

The MRF-D 22 command element is built to command and control air and ground forces across extended ranges and in the most austere environments. Prior to their arrival in Australia, and in preparation for their pending deployment, members of the MRF-D command element participated in a large scale exercise that afforded them the opportunity to partner with elements of the U.S. Navy’s 3rd Fleet and advance their capability to execute expeditionary operations in support of naval warfighting.

“Our headquarters Marines and Sailors combine to form an advanced and versatile team, and provide our subordinate commands vital support across all warfighting functions,” said Captain Joseph DiPietro, the Headquarters Company Commander. “I am constantly impressed with what these kids can do and how they compete against increasingly challenging adversity.”