Photo Information

U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp man the rails of the Wasp as it leaves Port Everglades, Fla., May 10 at the conclusion of Fleet Week 2015. Marines and Sailors of the MEU, from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, participated in Fleet Week Port Everglades May 4-10. The purpose of Fleet Week was to showcase the strength and capabilities of the Navy and Marine Corps team through tours, static displays and community relations events, and to provide the public the opportunity to meet and interact with Marines and Sailors.

Photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard

22nd MEU, USS Wasp conclude Fleet Week Port Everglades 2015

11 May 2015 | Sgt. Austin Hazard The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy Sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit departed Port Everglades, Florida, May 10 aboard the USS Wasp concluding Fleet Week 2015.

Throughout the past month, the MEU has traveled from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, to New Orleans for Navy Week 2015 and then to Florida for Fleet Week 2015.

“I had a good time,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Austin White, MEU field radio operator. “I was really surprised how friendly people were with us. It was humbling to see how much people appreciate us as Service members. I really admired the hospitality of the American people at both Navy Week and Fleet Week. They really made us feel welcomed.”

Throughout the month, the Marines and Sailors participated in numerous community outreach events, to include fishing, veterans’ home visits, an American Legion reception, and several community enrichment projects, such as home construction and park cleanups.

“The purpose was to show the community the different types of equipment we use to train and deploy with, and to give us an opportunity to give back to the country,” said Gunnery Sgt. Nelson Morgan, an ammunition chief with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. “The local people are supporting us, so we want to support them.”

“I’m glad we helped the community through these different events, rather than just walking around, enjoying the city,” said White. “It allowed us to impact the community beyond our presence alone. I feel like we accomplished what we set out to do, both on and off the ship.”

Additionally, the Wasp was open to the public for free tours, which included displays for various weapons systems, tactical vehicles and aircraft. Thousands of visitors toured the ship, including veterans groups, Boy Scout troops and school field trips.

“My family never had a chance to come to any military bases or see what I do as a Marine. So it was really cool to bring the Marine Corps to my home town for my family,” said Morgan, a native of New Orleans. “They thought it was really exciting and said they would definitely do it again if we came back.”

To wrap up the monthlong experience, the MEU and Wasp hosted an award ceremony for several World War II veterans. Members of the French government presented the veterans with the Legion of Honor Medal, France’s highest military distinction. 

The MEU participated in Navy Week New Orleans from April 23-29 and in Fleet Week Port Everglades from May 4-10.