Donovan assumes command of 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade

Marines and sailors of the staff and units of the 5th Marine Expeditionary stand at attention in front of their outgoing and incoming commanders, Maj. Gen. Carl E. Mundy III and Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, at the end of a change-of-command ceremony, Thursday, June 23, 2016. Chris Church/Stars and Stripes


By CHRIS CHURCH | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 24, 2016

MANAMA, Bahrain —  Brig. Gen. Francis Donovan took over command of the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Commander Task Force 51 on Thursday from Maj. Gen. Carl Mundy III.

Mundy took control of two distinct commands, Marine Corps Forces Central Command Forward and Commander Task Force 51, in September 2014.

While MARCENT FWD provided a service component in the Middle East, it was decided to have a tactical headquarters in the region, Mundy said. That decision led in 2015 to the redesignation of MARCENT FWD to the 5th MEB.

Since then, 5th MEB has begun merging Commander Task Force 51, the Navy unit responsible for amphibious ships and their attached Marine Expeditionary Units in the Middle East, into its command. This allowed for the brigade to operate with a single force in the air, on land and at sea.

“The organizations are both tailored to be crisis response organizations,” Mundy said. “It allowed me to take both of those similar organizations and blend them together.”

Fifth MEB and CTF 51 have proved this concept during security operations off the coast of Yemen this spring and in exercises such as PHIBLEX 16, off the coast of Kuwait, and Eager Lion in Jordan.

“And that will be Gen. Mundy’s legacy,” Donovan said. “Our responsibility is to continue what he started.”

The future is to continue integrating CTF-51 into 5th MEB and to reach full operational capability at the end of this year.

“It’s not just a date on a calendar,” Donovan said. “What it is is that we achieve the level of integration that our Marines and sailors deserve, so that we have whatever they need to prosecute whatever mission we are given.”

Donovan recently completed a tour in the Pentagon.

Twitter: @CChurchStripes


Outgoing 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade commander Maj. Gen. Carl E. Mundy takes a few moments to single out some Marines and sailors in the command during a change-of-command ceremony, Thursday, June 23, 2016. Chris Church/Stars and Stripes

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