ANGLICO's back, ready for more

13 Jul 2003 | Lance Cpl. Christopher J. Ohmen

Second Marine Liaison Element reactivated as 2nd Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company in a ceremony July 11 in front of the II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Building.

It took ANGLICO several years to get approval for reactivation, but when Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Michael W. Hagee signed the reactivation papers, all the Marines in the unit were excited.

"Being called ANGLICO again is a big thing for former and current Marines in the unit; it is a big source of pride," said Gunnery Sgt. Daniel K. Brown, acting sergeant major, 2nd ANGLICO.

In 1998 then Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Charles C. Krulak disbanded 1st ANGLICO, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune's 2nd ANGLICO because he didn't see a need for them, according to Lt. Col. John M. Owens, commanding officer, 2nd ANGLICO, II MEF.  The two units then became 1st and 2nd Marine Liaison Element.

The next commandant, Gen. James L. Jones, reviewed ANGLICO's mission and what it had done in the past and decided it was valuable enough to bring back, according to Owens. 

The mission of ANGLICO is to provide Marine Air Ground Task Force commanders a liaison capability with foreign area expertise to plan, coordinate, employ and conduct radio communications for air, sea and land support fire for joint, allied and coalition forces.

Marines in this unit give the ground commanders they are attached to immediate access to aircraft, artillery and naval gunfire from the company to the division level, said Owens, most often in joint operations 

"All of the coalition forces know ANGLICO and what the unit does, and (they) have a lot of respect for what it does," said Owens.

In Operation Iraqi Freedom, the former 2nd Marine Liaison Element Marines supported coalition forces with men and equipment to call for close air support.

They also supported the Army's 3rd Infantry Division and the British Royal Marine's 3rd Commando Brigade with the ability to call in more than 17 sections of aircraft, including F-14s, F-18s, A-10s, British GR-4s and British Lynx/Gazelle pairs.  Their support resulted in the destruction of multiple light-skinned vehicles, artillery pieces, tanks and bunkers.

"The success ANGLICO had during the war in Iraq was due to the extensive training done with units from the other armed forces," said Owens.