Building Out the MEU: Lt. Col. Boniface on the Way Ahead

2014-02-12 Lt. Col “Spinner” Boniface recently relinquished command of VMM 266 and is preparing for his next assignment.

He has significant experience in the Mediterranean and the Middle East having been involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn and recently with the 26th MEU which was in the Mediterranean during the Syrian crisis.

During his most recent deployment, he lead the VMM squadron to fly to Stuttgart in a well publicized visit to Germany in the snow.

In this video excerpt from an interview conducted on February 10, 2014 at New River Marine Corps Air Station, “Spinner” talks about the evolution of the ARG-MEU and the need to address the logistics challenges facing a disaggregated ARG-MEU force.

Earlier we published a piece on the Stuttgart event:

04/10/2013: In coordination with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa, the community of U.S. European Command, U.S. Africa Command, and USAG Stuttgart had “hands-on” experience with the MV-22B Osprey during a capabilities exercise on Patch Barracks, Kelly Barracks, and Stuttgart Army Airfield, March 28.

The MV-22B Ospreys are visiting from the Marine Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Reinforced), 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, II Marine Expeditionary Force, based out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. Part of the event was to introduce the MV-22B Osprey, which is a recent addition to the Marine Corps’ aviation inventory, to the EUCOM and AFRICOM combatant commands.  

“The MV-22B brings new capabilities to the EUCOM theater. It’s important that our team understands the nuances of these capabilities as we begin to integrate this versatile aircraft into contingency and response plans,” said Vice Adm. Charlie Martoglio, U.S. European Command deputy commander.

“These aircraft will be a tremendous asset as we work to protect American and allied interests,” he added.

For the exercise, three MV-22B Ospreys flew from an aircraft carrier on the Atlantic Ocean, past Rota, Spain, to Stuttgart, Germany, two days ago without having to land; a total of 1,400 nautical miles.

“I think it’s the future of how we’re going to provide medium-lift assault support in many ways,” said Lt. Col. Chris J. Boniface, the commanding officer of VMM-266, 26th MEU, II MEF. “It’s very important that we demonstrate this capability that the Marine Corps brings to the commands in the assault-support realm,” said Boniface, the Enterprise, Ala., native.

 Credit:7th US Army Joint Multinational Training Command:3/28/13

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