2nd Battalion, 4th Marines History
The long and illustrious history of the Second Battalion, Fourth Marines began in April 1914 during WWI when it was activated as one of the three battalions of the Fourth Marine Regiment. Shortly after being activated, the battalion deployed to Mexico for expeditionary duty. Internal political strife in Mexico had become very tense and the safety of U.S. citizens in Mexico was in question. The presence of American forces offshore proved to be sufficient enough pressure on the Mexican government to act to end the threat to Americans.
In 1916 civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic and the Dominican Government was unable to end the strife. President Woodrow Wilson dispatched American forces, which included 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, to protect American lives and bring stability to the Caribbean nation. Unlike its deployment to Mexico, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines went ashore in the Dominican Republic and, after several clashes with rebel forces, successfully put down the revolution. Occupation duty followed pending the establishment of an elected government. The battalion departed the Dominican Republic in August 1924 for San Diego, California.
During October 1926 the Federal government directed the Marine Corps to furnish units to guard the mail because the postal service had experienced several robberies. The battalion was directed to safeguard mail transported by rail and truck west of the Mississippi river. The robberies promptly stopped.
April 1927 found the battalion en route to Tientsin, China to once again protect American lives. Their mission was to reinforce American forces already in place against rebelling Chinese nationalist forces. Eventually the threat to the international settlement eased and this caused a reduction in strength of the Fourth Marine Regiment. On 4 October 1927, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was re-designated as Second Battalion, Twelfth Marines. With this re-designation 2d Battalion, 4th Marines’ lineage and honors were transferred to 2/12. A new 2d Battalion, 4th Marines would be activated in the future, but for lineage and honors purposes it would in no way be connected with the old 2d Battalion, 4th Marines.
On 18 September 1932 in Shanghai, China the new 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was activated. This began the lineage of the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines we know today. The battalion supported the American sector of Shanghai after fighting nearby had broken out between Chinese and Japanese forces. The battalion’s presence deterred a Japanese takeover of the settlement after they had driven Chinese forces from the surrounding area.
Deteriorating relations between the United States and Japan caused 2d Battalion, 4th Marines to be withdrawn from China in November 1941. The battalion transferred to Subic Bay, Republic of the Philippines and was given the task of protecting the Olongapo Naval Station (later known as Subic Bay Naval Station, which closed in December of 1991). The battalion was ordered to move to the island fortress of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila bay after the attack on Pearl Harbor. After unrelenting bombardment the Japanese launched an amphibious assault on the island in May 1942. Though under-equipped and outnumbered, the Fourth Marine Regiment fought valiantly; they were eventually forced to surrender on 6 May 1942 under orders from Major General J. M. Wainwright, U.S. Army.
On 1 February 1944 the battalion was reactivated on Guadalcanal with the Marines from Fourth Battalion, First Raider Regiment. The battalion’s first assignment was to take part in the assault on Emirau Island. The objective of this operation enabled the construction of airfields on the island so American planes could bomb the large Japanese base at Rabaul. The landing and seizure was unopposed.
During the remainder of WWII the battalion saw action in both Guam (2d Battalion, 4th Marines were the first ashore) and Okinawa. On Okinawa, the battalion was involved in the fighting for the Motobu Peninsula, the capture of Naha and the assault on the Oruku Peninsula. Once organized resistance ended the battalion was redeployed to Guam to prepare for the assault on mainland Japan.
Following the surrender of Japan, General Shepherd (Commanding General, 6th Marine Division) selected the Fourth Marines to seize and occupy the large naval base at Yokosuka in Tokyo Bay. This gesture was designed to avenge the capture of the “Old Fourth” on Corregidor. The Marines of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines were the first American combat troops to set foot in Mainland Japan, landing on Futtsu Cape. They were sent ashore to ensure the approaches to Tokyo Bay were secure. During the latter part of 1945 the battalion maintained perimeter defense for the Yokosuka Naval Base, provided an interior guard for the base, and continued disarming the Japanese forces. On 1 January 1946 the battalion was relieved of all duties in Japan and sailed for Camp Pendleton, California. In February, as part of the demobilization, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was deactivated.
2d Battalion, 4th Marines was reactivated on 8 March 1946 in Tsingtao, China. Its first mission was to assist in repatriation of Japanese civilian and military personnel, as well as provide security for the American Naval base at Tsingtao. The battalion was relieved of this mission and sailed for Camp Lejeune, North Carolina in September 1946. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was again deactivated on 18 November 1947.
The battalion was reactivated on 2 September 1952 for the Korean conflict; however, they did not see action because of the end of hostilities. The battalion arrived in Japan as part of the Fourth Marines on 24 August 1953 and was assigned the mission of defending southern Japan. To maintain its combat readiness the battalion trained in amphibious operations on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The Fourth Marine Regiment was transferred to Hawaii in 1953 and here the battalion became part of the First Marine Brigade. The battalion then settled down for a ten year tour of duty.
2d Battalion, 4th Marines was once again committed to ground combat operations, this time in Vietnam. In May of 1965 the battalion landed at Chu Lai. Initial contact with the enemy was minimal; however, this soon changed as the battalion took part in more aggressive offensive operations. The first major engagement for the battalion was Operation STARLITE (the first regimental sized battle for American forces since the Korean War) in August 1965. It was a combined amphibious/helicopterborne assault on enemy fortified positions of the Van Tuong Peninsula, 15 miles south of the Chu Lai airstrip. Six days after the operation had begun; the 1st Viet Cong Regiment was decisively defeated. During operation STARLITE, Lance Corporal Joe C. Paul (Hotel Company) became the battalion’s first Medal of Honor recipient: Paul placed himself between the enemy and his fellow wounded Marines until they could be evacuated. Although mortally wounded, he remained in the battle until he collapsed. His actions saved the lives of many of his fellow Marines.
In 1966, combat operations measurably increased as several significant battles characterized by assaults upon well-fortified enemy positions occurred in March. The battalion had two major encounters with the enemy near Quang Ngai City that month during Operations UTAH (4-7 Mar) and TEXAS (20-25 Mar). Because of the threat of infiltration across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and enemy build up in that area, the Marines launched Operation HASTINGS, a coordinated Marine/South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) search and destroy mission, on 7 July near the DMZ. The battalion played a significant role in frustrating the North Vietnamese Army’s (NVA) attempt to penetrate the area in force. HASTINGS was immediately followed by Operation PRAIRIE I. After the NVA’s defeat during HASTINGS they mistakenly assumed that the Americans would not move back into the Quang Tri Province area. PRAIRIE I originally began as a force reconnaissance operation but was later expanded. During Operation PRAIRIE I, Captain Howard Vincent Lee, Commanding Officer, Echo Company, became the battalion’s second Medal of Honor recipient.
The next major confrontation between 2d Battalion, 4th Marines and the enemy came during the siege of Con Thien in 1967. The battalion, along with 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, was involved in stopping the enemy’s attempt to overrun the American outpost. During a month of bloody fighting Sergeant Paul Hellstrom Foster (Headquarters and Service Company attachment) and Lance Corporal Jed Colby Barker (Fox Company) were awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously) for their actions during the battle. The 1968 TET OFFENSIVE resulted in an increase in tempo of combat activity for 2d Battalion, 4th Marines. Bitter clashes between the battalion and NVA broke out near Dong Ha. In this area, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines moved forward to seize the fortified village of Dai Do. After three days of bloody fighting, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, with the assistance of reinforcements, artillery and naval gunfire, was able to secure the enemy stronghold. Though the cost was high for both sides; the enemy lost nearly 600 killed, while 2d Battalion, 4th Marines suffered 80 dead and 256 wounded. The list of wounded included the Battalion Commander, Lieutenant Colonel William Weise. Two more Medals of Honor were awarded as a result of the fighting; Captain James E. Livingston, Echo Company Commander, and Captain M. Sando Vargas, Golf Company Commander received medals for their actions.
Contact with the enemy tapered off during the fall of 1968, but picked up again in December. The battalion was involved in a series of violent clashes near the DMZ and, with the aid of artillery and air strikes, they were able to overrun a massive bunker complex. Late in 1969, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines were withdrawn to Okinawa as part of the United States policy of gradually turning the war over to the South Vietnamese.
In the early 1970’s 2d Battalion, 4th Marines participated with other units from the 3d Marine Division in providing Battalion Landing Teams as part of the Special Landing Force (SLF) off the coast of Vietnam. During the 1972 EASTER OFFENSIVE, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines actively supported Vietnamese Marines, U.S. Army Rangers and U.S. advisors ashore, from nearby amphibious ships.
During the summer of 1972 the battalion participated in a massive disaster relief effort, Operation SAKLOLO conducted in the northern part of the Philippines. In April 1975, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines took part in Operation EAGLE PULL, the evacuation of Americans from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Less than 15 days later they took part in Operation FREQUENT WIND, the evacuation of Saigon, followed, a short while later, by the recovery of the USS MAYAGUEZ. The battalion moved to Camp Lejeune to join the Second Marine Regiment in October 1981; they began participating in the Unit Deployment Program (UDP). During the late 1980s, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was reassigned to the 8th Marine Regiment to participate in the dedicated Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU), now called the Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), rotation to the Mediterranean.
The battalion was once again called upon for a real-world contingency mission during the summer of 1990. The West African nation of Liberia was experiencing a civil war. The battalion, as the Ground Combat Element (GCE) for the 22d MEU special operations capable (SOC), set sail from Toulon, France on 27 May, arriving on station 3 June for Operation SHARP EDGE. On 5 August, the battalion was committed to go ashore to take defensive positions at the U.S. Embassy to protect U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. The Marines embarked on amphibious shipping on 21 August after having successfully completed a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation of 1,650 Americans and foreign nationals.
In late December 1990, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed by air to Al Jabayl, Saudi Arabia for Operation DESERT SHIELD. During Operation DESERT STORM the battalion fought as a Mechanized Infantry Armor Task force (Task Force Spartan) during the Second Marine Division’s attack into Kuwait. After the cease fire the battalion remained in Kuwait with Eighth Marines and conducted security and contingency operations west of Kuwait City. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was the last Marine infantry battalion to withdraw from Kuwait, arriving in the U.S. on 15 May 1991.
July 1991 became a flurry of activity as Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic was tasked to provide MEUs with Special Operations Capabilities for contingency operations in the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf simultaneously. On 12 July, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines officially formed as Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2d Battalion, 4th Marines. BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, as part of the 24th MEU SOC, officially chopped from Second Fleet to Sixth Fleet on 17 December, arriving in Rota, Spain the next day. After embarking 7 Officers and 120 Spanish Marines from the Infanteria De Marina, the Mediterranean Amphibious Ready Group (MARG) set sail for Sierra De Retin to conduct the Spanish Philippine Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) on 19 and 20 December. The bilateral exercise, designed to exercise a portion of the MEU’s Landing Plan, consisted of a heliborne assault by the Spanish Infantry Company and a turn-away surface landing by Echo Company (reinforced). In early October, the MARG was directed to proceed to a position off the Island of Vieques, Puerto Rico in support of possible contingency operations in the Republic of Haiti. While establishing a presence in Haiti, the BLT conducted training with Combat Rubber Raiding Craft (CRRC) and AAVs in conducting raid exercises. The BLT also tested its Landing Plan in executing a simultaneous surface/helicopter assault. The situation in Haiti remained stable for the remainder of the year.
At the conclusion of the Christmas and New Year holiday the MARG departed Spanish ports enroute to the port of Toulon, France. Over the next eleven days, the 780 man force rotated through live fire ranges, and conducted bilateral training and a “force on force” exercise with the 21st Regiment of the French Marines. On 19 January, BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines embarked for several ports throughout the Mediterranean, to include integrating with the French infantry officer course, a platoon conducting cold weather training in Italy, and numerous amphibious raids in Portugal. After several months of rigorous training, the MARG left Portugal on 17 March and sailed to the southern coast of France for port visits in Villa-France, Cannes and Marseille, France. With liberty and community relations complete, the MARG sailed to the southern coast of Italy for the conduct of an Italian PHIBLEX. The bilateral training exercise consisted of two major objectives to include a combined air and surface assault at Pian de Spielle and Monte Romano, Italy. The battalion’s final multi-national NATO exercise while deployed was Exercise DRAGON HAMMER 92. On 7 May, BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines integrated with British forces in the conduct of an air and amphibious assault. Upon the successful completion of this final exercise, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines returned to Camp Pendleton 4 June 1992.
June 1993 was a proud month for 2d Battalion, 4th Marines as it was detached from 6th Marine Regiment and returned to its parent unit, 4th Marine Regiment, at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan. The battalion continued its aggressive training schedule which included swim qualification, jungle patrolling, platoon operations, and live firing. During August, a myriad of aggressive training was conducted to include: three battalion Field Exercises (FEX), a company Situational Training Exercise (STX), company conditioning hikes, as well as grenade, .50 cal machine gun, Dragon, and 81mm ranges. October consisted of basic and annual training, while November focused on preparations to redeploy. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines redeployed to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina during the first week of December.
From June to August 1994, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines participated in Operation SEA SIGNAL. The humanitarian operation in the Caribbean was in response to an influx of Cuban and Haitian migrants seeking asylum in the United States. Throughout the deployment, over 2,500 Haitian immigrants were processed aboard the USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), CMV Ivan Franco, and CMV Griuzy. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines also provided security for refugee camps aboard the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo bay, Cuba during this operation.
In September 1994, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines is reassigned from 6th Marines in Camp Lejeune to 5th Marines in Camp Pendleton.
On 6 February 1995, BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines embarked for Okinawa in support of the 31st MEU. Once 2d Battalion, 4th Marines reached Okinawa it was augmented by a Light Armored Reconnaissance (LAR) platoon, a Combat Engineer platoon, an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) platoon, a reconnaissance platoon, and an Artillery Battery. On 10 March, 313 Marines and Sailors from BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines embarked aboard the USS Germantown and 62 aboard the USS Dubuque for a six day deployment to Iwo Jima, in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the battle. MEU (Exercise) EX IV was conducted during the fourth week in March. Echo Company’s missions included the tactical recovery of aircraft and personal (TRAP) at landing zone (LZ) Phoenix, a night destruction raid at Ie Shima airfield and the planning portion of a long range Non-combatant Evacuation Operation (NEO) to Iwakuni MCAS, Japan. Golf Company provided security for MEU Service Support Group (MSSG)-31 as they executed a NEO to combat town in the Central Training Area (CTA). Patrolling exercises were conducted in Singapore in the first week of May, along with rock climbing, rappel and sniper training at the Commando Center of the Singaporean Royal Marine Corps (SRMC). On 15 May, Weapons and Echo Companies provided a Mobile Training Team (MTT) for the Royal Thai Marine Corps (RTMC) for instruction on the MAC concept. BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines dedicated its final month to maintenance, turnover and other preparations for redeployment. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines returned to Camp Pendleton on 10 August 1995.
On 2 November 1996, the Magnificent Bastards of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines began their six month deployment with the first elements departing CONUS for Okinawa. In late November BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines conducted MEUX I. MEUX I encompassed Golf Company conducting an amphibious landing exercise in AAVs, Echo Company conducted a TRAP mission and Fox Company conducting an amphibious raid in their CRRCs. In mid-December 2d Battalion, 4th Marines executed MUEX II. Weapons Company executed a Noncombatant Evacuation Operation via a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) insertion. Echo executed a TRAP mission in conjunction with the NEO. Golf and Fox were able to expose their Marines to the difficulties encountered when launching and recovering their respective crafts aboard amphibious shipping. December closed out with a battalion run and shoot competition created to motivate Marines through the holidays. From 17 to 19 February the MEU (-) executed SOC missions utilizing fully integrated rapid response planning process (R2P2) in order to certify the Maritime Special Purpose Force (MSPF). During the exercise, Fox Company executed several amphibious missions to include Inextremis Hostage Rescue (IHR), Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), and Emergency Assault Operations. Following a successful certifying exercise (CERTEX), the USS Dubuque and USS Germantown (LSD-42) returned to port in Okinawa to join the remainder of the Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG). During the first two weeks in March 2d Battalion, 4th Marines tailored its sustainment training to prepare for their role in Exercise TANDEM THRUST. TANDEM THRUST is a U.S./Australian joint exercise designed to improve U.S. and Australian combat interoperability. BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines closed out April 1997 with basic training to keep the Marines sharp while redeploying back to Camp Pendleton at the end of April.
The battalion deployed from White Beach, Okinawa, on 10 November 1998. The battalion set in the defense outside of Kuwait City in order to prevent Iraq from taking the city again, over Christmas in 1998. The battalion did not see any action, but was awarded: The Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, Navy Unit Citation, and Meritorious Unit Citation.
From September through December 2001 2d Battalion, 4th Marines served as the Quick Reaction Force during Operation Noble Eagle for the western half of the United States, in response to the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Deploying shortly after this mission for the 31st MEU in Okinawa, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was called upon to give humanitarian aid to East Timor and served in country from October through November 2002.
In February 2004, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, the provincial capital of the Al Anbar Province, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Battle of Ramadi was pivotal for coalition operations in the Al-Anbar province. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, along with the 1st BDE, 1st ID engaged insurgent forces in Ramadi in early April 2004.
The battle began at midmorning when Marine patrols fanned out across Ramadi to provide security and search for roadside bombs. Three squads from Third Platoon, Golf Company, 2d Battalion 4th Marines set off on separate routes. They worked their way west from a Combat Outpost to the government center, 2 miles away, where they would link-up and stand guard.
During this movement a squad was ambushed and the adjacent squads came under fire while attempting to rescue the ambushed squad. Insurgents armed with small-arms and RPGs continued to battle the Marines for nearly 2-hours before the Marines could be effectively reinforced. It was one of the deadliest days of the war, but the Magnificent Bastards showed the insurgents that they were a far superior fighting unit.
Marines and Army soldiers killed an estimated 250 rebels from 6 to 10 April in fighting that shattered the insurgent offensive. 13 Marines were killed and 25 were wounded in the battle on 6 April. Another 4 were killed over the next four days. The battalion conducted support and stability operations (SASO) within the city and served with distinction while engaging insurgent forces in Iraq. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines returned to Camp Pendleton in September 2004.
The battalion then served as part of the Unit Deployment Program tour in Okinawa, Japan, and the Philippines from April to December 2005. In early 2006, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was designated the Battalion Landing Team for the 15th MEU. In November 2006, the battalion arrived in Iraq again as part of the 15th MEU. From late 2006 through late spring 2007, Fox and Echo Company conducted operations in Ar Ramadi, while the BLT main body operated out of the Haditha area.
From January to July 2008, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed to Okinawa, Japan, as the BLT for the 31st MEU. BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines spent time in the Philippines for Balikatan 2008, while Fox Company conducted training exercises in Indonesia. In May 2008, the 31st MEU supported Operation RESPONSE off the coast of Burma, due to the Cyclone Nargis making landfall in the Irrawaddy Delta.
BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed in December 2009 as the ground combat element of the 11th MEU. Weapons, H&S and Echo Companies went ashore to train in East Timor while Fox and Golf Companies conducted training in Indonesia. Following these stops, the majority of the battalion was held offshore of Yemen for four months during 2010 as a reaction force for U.S. Central Command. Weapons, H&S and Echo Companies also conducted training in Djibouti while Fox and Golf Companies conducted training and exercises in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Upon return from the 11th MEU, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines provided elements of Fox and Echo Companies for deployment to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province for three months each. Fox Company Marines provided base security at two large forward operating bases (FOB) while one of their platoons participated in combat operations near the village of Sangin. Echo Company also provided a FOB security detachment while the majority of the company participated in combat operations near the village of Marjeh.
Following the battalion’s return from the 11th MEU, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In September 2011, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines assumed command of the largest battle space in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, covering Musa Qal’ah and Now Zad Districts. At the extreme northern end of Regional Command (Southwest)’s area of operations, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines was tasked with providing security to the local population, expanding the influence of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and training and mentoring partnered Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). To this end, the battalion conducted its operations under the name of POMEGRANATE WARS, in which Marines partnered with the Afghan National Army (ANSF) took the fight to the Taliban in their safe areas while mentoring ANSF closer to the population centers.
In October 2011, Golf and Fox Companies conducted Operation OPENING GAMBIT, in which Golf Company engaged Taliban forces in the village of Lwar Julji in order to allow Fox Company and ANSF to establish an Afghan police post in the village of Sya Chaw. The operation allowed the villagers of Sya Chaw to return to their village following over a year of Taliban occupation. In November, in Operation SOUTHERN GAMBIT, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines again took the fight to the Taliban as Fox Company reinforced with tanks engaged Taliban near the village of Regay in order to allow Echo Company and ANSF to establish a police post in the village of Juz Ghoray. Later that month during Operation WESTERN GAMBIT, Echo Company disrupted enemy forces as Weapons Company established a police post in the Now Zad village of Kurghay. During the operation, an Afghan National Army platoon seized an independent objective under the command of Echo Company, marking the first time in RC (SW) battle space that an ANSF unit had seized on objective un-partnered with U.S. or British forces.
At the beginning of January 2012, Echo, Fox and H&S Companies conducted Operation DOUBLE CHECK, an operation to expand GIRoA influence south of the Musa Qal’ah District Center by an additional 12km. The operation saw 2d Battalion, 4th Marines successfully seize the villages of Regay and Mosulmani, which prior to 2012 had been Taliban safe havens for planning, supplying and conducting operations in Musa Qal’ah, Sangin and Kajaki Districts. During the course of the two week operation, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines seized over 1,000lbs of homemade explosives (HME) and enough material to construct over 100 improvised explosive devices while helping to establish six Afghan police posts. In February the battalion conducted one final operation in Kajaki District to disrupt Taliban forces already reeling from defeats in the Sangin River Valley. On the opening night of Operation ALEKHINE’S GUN Taliban forces suffered a major defeat after engaging Marines near the village of Shah Karez. The enemy was forced to abandon the area along with over 1,000lbs of HME and at least two IED manufacturing sites with their associated materials.
In late May 2013, 2d Battalion 4th Marines deployed to Okinawa, Japan as the BLT of the 31st MEU. In late June 2013, BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines embarked on ships from Task Force 76 and began a three month patrol in the western Pacific Ocean. During the patrol, the battalion participated in two major exercises in Australia: Exercise TALISMAN SABRE in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area and Exercise KOOLENDONG in the Bradshaw Field Training Area. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines returned to Okinawa in late September and redeployed to camp Pendleton in November 2013.
In January 2014, Marines and Sailors of 2d Battalion, 4th Marines’ Fox Company traveled to Singapore to conduct bilateral training with Singapore guardsmen. During the exercise they participated in live fire training, conditioning hikes, and exchanged tactics.
In October 2014, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed as a BLT in support of the 31st MEU. From 4-7 March, the ARG reconfigured to include the USS Bonhomme Richard, Green Bay (GBY) and Ashland (ASH). With the BLT 2d Battalion, 4th Marines at full force, the battalion successfully completed Amphibious Integrated Training (AIT II) followed by CERTEX, making the battalion and MEU fully mission capable. While embarked, Company G served as both the heliborne and mechanized company; fulfilling the vertical assault and mechanized mission sets for the 31st MEU. The battalion was subsequently transported to South Korea to participate in the Korean Military Exchange Program (KMEP). KMEP provided the battalion with an opportunity to conduct bilateral training with the Republic of Korea (ROK) military. Fox Company trained as the small boats company where they spent a majority of the deployment conducting amphibious raids. The battalion returned to Camp Pendleton, CA in May, 2015.
May 2016, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed to Camp Hansen, Okinawa in support of the 31st MEU. In August, while battling inclement weather due to a typhoon, the battalion embarked as an ARG in support of the MEU on the USS Green Bay and USS Bonhomme Richard. Echo Company integrated with Philippine Marines to focus on heliborne operations to include a vertical assault of Ie Shima Island. Golf Company trained as a mechanized force in AAVs where they participated in numerous splashes off ship to conduct amphibious landings on the local islands. Fox Company spent the majority of the deployment detached from the company as a boat company specializing in amphibious raids. Fox Company participated in bilateral training with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force. In September, the battalion sailed to Guam to participate in Operation VALIANT SHIELD. The battalion returned to Camp Pendleton, CA in November 2016.
In April 2017, 3rd platoon and a squad of Machine Guns of Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 4th Marines, deployed to the United Kingdom in support of Exercise WESSEX STORM. The month long bilateral exercise saw the platoon integrating within Delta Company, 40 Commando, British Royal Marines, where an emphasis was placed on night heliborne raids. The blank-fire, force on force exercise was used to validate training for various Commando units in order to rotate into their deployment cycle.
2d Battalion, 4th Marines deployed in April 2018, in support of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 18.2. In early May 2018, Fox and Golf companies detached from the Battalion to train in various training areas throughout Eastern Australia. Fox Company participated in exercise BATTLEGROUP WARFIGHTER, HAMEL, and DIAMOND STRIKE in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. Of note, was the bilateral training occurring during Exercise HAMEL, which occurred during the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Hamel in WWI. Golf Company participated in four significant exercises to include, SOUTHERN JACKAROO, CARABAROO, GREEN STRIKE, and GREEN JOKER. Golf Company also completed Jungle Warfare Training in Tully, Australia. Fox Company returned to Darwin, Australia to join Echo and Weapons Company in the conduct of Exercise KOOLENDONG in the Mount Bundey Training Area. 2d Battalion, 4th Marines returned to California in October 2018.
From 26 February to 15 May 2019, Echo and Golf Companies deployed to the US-Mexico border and conducted security operations in support of the United States Border Patrol. In a combined effort, the SPOT reports and multi-agency coordination from both companies led to the apprehension of over 4,000 illegal immigrants.
The battalion is currently preparing for a 2020 deployment as the Ground Combat Element of the 31st MEU.