In preparation for distributed operations and the Corps' future fight against China it is bringing back its landing support battalions, first created to aid with the island hopping campaign of World War II.

On Oct. 15, 1st Landing Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, was stood up on Camp Pendleton, California. The next day, 2nd Landing Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, was stood up again on Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps.

The 3rd Landing Support Battalion is expected to be stood up in Okinawa, Japan, in early November, under the command of Lt. Col. Jeremy Nelson, 1st Lt. Jonathan Coronel told Marine Corps Times in an email.

Marines who are 0481 landing support specialists and support personnel will be coming from the Marine Logistics Groups they already are a part of. It is unclear if that military occupational specialty will grow, and if so how many more 0481s would be coming in the pipeline.

The 2nd Landing Support Battalion was first activated on Nov. 17, 1941, at Camp Elliott, California, and was first designated as Shore Party Detachment, 2nd Marine Division, according to a Marine Corps press release from the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

The 1st Landing Support Battalion was originally activated as the 1st Pioneer Battalion on Feb. 7, 1942, according to a release from the 1st Marine Logistics group.

Both units saw extensive use in World War II, where the distinctive red patch on the utility uniform was first developed.

No, the patch does not actually indicate a Marine has tested positive for HIV or AIDS, as many young Marines hear when they first hit the fleet.

The patch was created after the Guadalcanal campaign in the Solomon Islands, where Marines who were part of the shore party were confused with infantry Marines preparing to go patrol inland.

“This confusion was so apparent, by accounts, that some landing support Marines headed inland with the infantry and some infantrymen stayed behind on the beach,” a 2nd MLG press release said.

The solution was to have the landing party Marines stitch red patches onto their trousers, blouses and covers to make it clear to even the most gung-ho noncommissioned officer looking for Marines that their job was to unload equipment on the beach.

“To the future Marines and Sailors of LSB, what an honor it will be to walk and serve with you as we form this battalion,” Lt. Col. Peterson, commanding officer of 1st Landing Support Battalion, said in the 1st MLG press release.

“I’m really looking forward to bringing back the legacy of Landing Support Battalion," he added.

The modern landing support battalions are meant to bring all the red-patched landing support specialists under one roof as an aid to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s plan to fight China with a light, fast moving force spread out on the islands and atolls of the Pacific.

“The re-establishment of 2nd Landing Support Battalion comes during a time of significant transformation within the Marine Corps," Lt. Col. Randall L. Nickel, commanding officer of 2nd Landing Support Battalion, said in the 2nd MLG press release. "Small landing support elements will be vitally important to enable throughput and sustainment of distributed forces,”

“Whether this is accomplished in the littorals via amphibious ships or via aerial delivery, landing support to the Fleet Marine Force is essential to ensure mission accomplishment," Nickel added.

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