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News from CNREURAFCENT

VMM-364 (REIN) transfers mission to VMM-261 (REIN)

03 October 2023

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rion Codrington

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (October 1, 2023) – Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364 reinforced (VMM-364) handed off their mission as the Aviation Combat Element in the Horn of Africa to VMM-261 (REIN) following a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Oct. 1.
Both squadrons are forward deployed to Camp Lemonnier to provide 24/7 crisis response in support of Combine Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa in order to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, deter conflict, and protect U.S. and partner force interests.

“Every one of you play an integral role in the success of our mission here,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. “It is your collective efforts, determination, and unwavering commitment to one another that we can overcome all obstacles.”

During their deployment, VMM-364 executed 2,300 flight hours, supporting the transportation of over 2 million pounds of cargo, and thousands of passengers in multiple named operations.

“Not only have the Purple Foxes made a difference here in theater, but helped provide an important layer of defense and deterrence for freedom and democracy around the world,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. John Miller, commander of VMM-364.

VMM-261 has a history in providing humanitarian aid, and assault support for amphibious and shore operations such as Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada.

"Since our inception in 1951, the Raging Bulls have an impressive metric of success, giving our superiors what they need, when they need it,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Benjamin Weiss, executive officer of VMM-261.

With the turnover finalized, VMM-261 hopes expand of the successes of VMM-364, said Weiss.

“As the successors to VMM-364, we aim to improve upon their foundation and maintain or exceed their capacity to support the joint force.” said Weiss. “It is our intent to set the standard and support CLDJ, it’s tenants commands and the region.”

CLDJ is an operational installation that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where and when they are needed to ensure security in Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia.
 

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