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Chronologies - 2000

 

___Jan - Marine jumpers and the V-22 Osprey teamed up for the first parachute operation from a tiltrotor aircraft. Marines from the 2d Reconnaissance Battalion, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, participated in the developmental testing as the first personnel to deploy from an Osprey in free fall from 10,000 feet. 
 
1 Jan - The strength of the U. S. Armed Forces was 1,367,838 of whom 171,154 were U. S. Marines. 
 
1 Jan - The 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade activated on this date at Camp Courtney, Okinawa. It was formerly active as the 3d Marine Amphibious Brigade during 1965 and 1971, and participated in the war in Vietnam. 
 
5 Jan - After flying for four months, the U.S. flag was lowered in a ceremony at the U.S. Forces, International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) compound, and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit departed for Okinawa. The ceremony marked the turning over of the compound to Australian forces. The U.S. role in INTERFET was to assist other nation's military forces involved in Operation Stabilize primarily by providing helicopter support for the humanitarian mission. 
 
6 Jan - General Leonard F. Chapman, Jr., USMC (Retired), the 24th Commandant of the Marine Corps, died at the age of 86 in Fairfax, Virginia. He served as Commandant from 1968 to 1971 during the peak of the Vietnam conflict. In addition to his leadership prowess in combat, he is best known for guiding the Marine Corps through the social upheaval and anti-military atmosphere that characterized the late 1960s and early 1970s. 
 
6 Jan - The Colonel Charles Waterhouse Historical Museum, located in Toms River, New Jersey, officially opened with more than 95 paintings and two bronze sculptures on display. Colonel Waterhouse, USMCR (Retired) was the first and only named Marine Corps artist-in-residence. He served with the Marine Corps during World War II, and with the reserves from 1972 to 1992. 
 
15 Jan - Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, were the first in the Pacific to receive the new Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) pack. The new pack would replace the All Purpose Light Weight Individual Carrying Equipment (ALICE) pack. The Department of Defense started looking to replace the ALICE pack in 1994. 
 
27 Jan - Brigade Service Support Group One was activated at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California, to support the recently reactivated 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. 
 
31 Jan - The Clinton administration persuaded Puerto Rico to let the Navy resume training on its firing range at Vieques. The administration offered $90 million in aid, nearly $10,000 for each of the 9,300 people who live on the small island of Vieques. The deal resolved a dispute that disrupted training for the Atlantic fleet since April 1999, when a wayward bomb killed a civilian security guard and protesters occupied the lush hillsides and beaches where the Navy and Marine Corps have practiced invasions for nearly 60 years. 
 
___Feb - President Clinton submitted his fiscal year 2001 budget to Congress which began the several months of congressional deliberations and reviews before a final budget bill was drafted in the fall. The $277.5 billion dollar budget was up almost $10 billion from last year, increased military pay 3.7 percent and appropriated $60 billion for weapons procurement. The Marine Corps' share of the Department of Defense budget was $12.16 billion, with an additional $5.4 billion in the U.S. Navy budget for Marine aviation. 
 
18-20 Feb - More than 400 veterans representing the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard met in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 55th anniversary of the battle for Iwo Jima. The reunion was sponsored by the Combat Veterans of Iwo Jima and brought together veterans in a series of events in the Capital area. Due to the age of its members, the veterans passed leadership of the organization to their children. The Department of Defense estimated that as many as 45,000 World War II veterans die each month.
 
21 Feb - Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Thomas J. McHugh, USMC (Retired) died in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at the age of 80. He served as the third Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps from 1962 to 1965. He was a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. 
 
6 Mar - Major General Paul R. Tyler, USMC (Retired) died at Easton, Maryland, at the age of 86. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He became the 20th Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps before retiring in 1969. 
 
23 Mar - 4 Apr - Marines of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Dynamic Response 2000 in Macedonia and Kosovo. The exercise tested NATO's ability to reinforce allied forces in Kosovo. Units from the U.S., Argentina, the Netherlands, Poland, and Romania participated in the exercise. Dynamic Response 2000 coincided with the anniversary of NATO's air campaign to end ethnic cleansing inside Kosovo. 
 
25 Mar - The U.S. Navy christened its newest amphibious assault ship, Iwo Jima (LHD 7) at Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding, Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Iwo Jima became the second amphibious warship named to honor the enduring legacy of the February 1945 battle. The first ship named for the battle, Iwo Jima (LPH 2), was the lead ship of the LPH class. It was built in the 1960s and decommissioned in 1993. 
 
31 Mar - Major Robert H. Dunlap, USMCR (Retired), a Medal of Honor recipient for heroism during the battle for Iwo Jima, died in Monmouth, Illinois, at the age of 79. 
 
31 Mar - Marine Barracks, 8th and I Streets, S.E., Washington, D.C. celebrated its bicentennial. The unit was activated on 31 March 1800 when a detachment of Marines from Baltimore, Maryland, established the barracks in Washington, D.C. Since 1801, the barracks has been home to the "President's Own", U.S. Marine Corps Band. 
 
31 Mar - On this date, two Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, battalions merged. The 2d Landing Support Battalion and the 8th Motor Transport Battalion merged to form the 2d Transportation Support Battalion. 
 
7 Apr - A ceremony at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, marked the establishment of a permanent memorial to Lieutenant General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller, USMC (Deceased). General Puller attended VMI where he would have graduated with the Class of 1921 if he had not enlisted in the Marine Corps in World War I. 
 
8 Apr - One of the Marine Corps' five MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crashed during training operations near Tucson, Arizona, killing all 19 Marines on board. The Osprey was part of a group of four flying from Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, to carry out a nighttime noncombatant evacuation exercise. The $37 billion MV-22 program had its share of difficulties since its inception in 1981. The latest crash was the third crash in its history and the second one to have fatalities. Despite safety and budget concerns, the Corps maintained that the MV-22 would be essential as a replacement for the aging CH-46 helicopters and for its doctrine of operational maneuver from the sea. 
 
14 Apr - Fifty-five years after the end of World War II, Marines from the 6th Marine Division dedicated a memorial to their legacy at Quantico National Cemetery, Quantico, Virginia. More than 400 members of the 6th Marine Division Association and their families attended the event. The "Striking Sixth" was formed on Guadalcanal in 1944 and participated in the Battle for Okinawa. 
 
29 Apr - This date marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. On 29 April 1975, thousands of U.S. personnel, foreign nationals, and "at-risk" Vietnamese were evacuated in Operation Frequent Wind from the U.S. Embassy by CH-46 helicopters in what would be the largest helicopter evacuation in history. Marine Security Guards Corporal Charles McMahon, Jr. and Lance Corporal Darwin Judge killed earlier in the day at the Defense Attache office compound at Tan Son Nhut, were the last U.S. service members to die as a result of enemy fire in Vietnam. It was 21 years after the first advisors arrived in Vietnam and nearly three years after the last combat troops withdrew from that country. 
 
___May - The U.S. Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $93.7 million contract for the engineering and manufacturing development of the newest unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for the Navy and Marine Corps. Called the "Fire Scout", the vertical takeoff and landing tactical UAV, or VTUAV, would replace the current Pioneer UAV system. 
 
4 May - Lieutenant General Ernest T. Cook, Jr. died at the age of 65 in South Carolina. A veteran of the Vietnam War, General Cook served as Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command/Commanding General, Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia, before retiring in 1991. 
 
5 May - Marine Aviation Training Support Group (MATSG) at Pensacola, Florida, dedicated Building 52, the MATSG headquarters, in honor of the late Major General Marion E. Carl. General Carl was murdered on 28 June 1998 at his home in Roseburg, Oregon, while defending his wife from an intruder. 
 
5 May - Lieutenant General Michael J. Williams was nominated by President Clinton for the rank of general to serve as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps to replace General Terrence R. Dake. 
 
9 May - Captain Daniel M. Sullivan, commanding officer of Weapons Company, 3d Battalion, 8th Marines, and a native of Huntington, New York, was selected as the 1999 Leftwich Trophy recipient. The trophy, named after Marine Lieutenant Colonel William G. Leftwich, had been awarded annually since 1979 in recognition of outstanding leadership by a Marine captain serving with ground forces in the Fleet Marine Force.
 
9 - 23 May - Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit participated in Exercise Cobra Gold 2000 in Thailand. The 19th annual joint/combined military exercise, involved approximately 13,000 U.S. forces as well as forces from Thailand and Singapore. The exercise was designed to improve combat readiness and interoperability, and demonstrate the U.S.'s resolve to support the security and humanitarian interests of its allies in that region. 
 
13 May - A letter to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen from Republic of Korea Defense Minister Seong Tae Cho formally announced that his government would provide the Republic of Korea War Service Medal to eligible U.S. veterans of that conflict, or to their surviving next of kin. The medal was initially offered in 1951 to United Nations forces serving in Korea and adjacent waters, but was never issued.
 
16 May - Major General John R. "Russ" Blandford died at the age of 82 in Seabrook, South Carolina. He was a veteran of World War II and spent 30 years in the Reserve. He was chief council of the House Armed Services Committee before retiring in 1976. 
 
19 May - The remains of six Marines, listed as missing in action from the Mayaguez incident in Southeast Asia 25 years ago, were identified and returned to their families for burial in the United States. The 15 May 1975 incident involved the attempt to rescue an American cargo ship and its crew on a small island near Cambodia. It was considered the last battle of the conflict in Southeast Asia. 
 
19 May - 6 Jun - Approximately 15,000 men and women representing the armed forces of 14 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries participated in Exercise Dynamic Mix 2000 in Greece. It was the largest NATO exercise of the year and involved more than 4,500 Marines of the newly formed 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade. 
 
30 May - 6 Jul - Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 3 participated with naval forces from six neighboring Pacific countries in the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise in the waters off Hawaii. It was the 17th in a series of RIMPAC exercises held since 1971. It was intended to enhance the tactical proficiency of participating units in a variety of combined operations at sea. Over 22,000 service members participated in what was considered the world's largest naval exercise. 
 
1 June - The first new Maritime Prepositioning Force (Enhanced) (MPF(E) ship, USNS 1stLt Harry L. Martin was launched from Jacksonville, Florida. The ship was named in honor of a Marine Medal of Honor recipient from the battle for Iwo Jima. The MFP(E) ships added a new dimension to prepositioning operations as they could contain enough supplies for a fleet battalion hospital and construction equipment for a complete expeditionary airfield. 
 
3 Jun - The U.S. Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center in Richmond, Virginia, was officially named the Lance Corporal Troy L. Gregory U.S. Naval Marine Corps Reserve Center to honor a Reserve Marine. In 1991, Lance Corporal Gregory was killed in action during the Persian Gulf War. 
 
12 Jun - On this date, 100 years ago, a battalion of Marines commanded by Colonel Robert L. Meade and Major Littleton W. T. Waller landed at Tangku, China, to restore order and protect Americans, foreigners, and Chinese citizens from the outrages of the Boxers, an anti-Christian, anti-Western Chinese sect. The Marines were part of an international relief effort in the Boxer Rebellion that culminated during the late summer of 1900. 
 
14-23 Jun - More than 18,700 service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces along with military forces from Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Canada, participated in Exercise Roving Sands. The exercise was the world's largest joint theater air and missile defense exercise. It was conducted at training ranges and sites throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada. 
 
17 Jun - General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was the first passenger on board an MV-22 Osprey since it was grounded after a crash that killed 19 Marines near Tucson, Arizona, on 8 April. The flight was based from Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California. Six days later, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Michael E. Ryan, flew on board an Osprey with General Jones at the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland. 
 
21-29 Jun - Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined seven other NATO countries to participate in Exercise Cooperative Partner in Odessa, Ukraine. The simulated combined peacekeeping exercise included soldiers and Marines from Bulgaria, Ukraine, France, the United Kingdom, Romania, Turkey, and Greece. It was designed to improve understanding of peace support operations doctrine and training, and practice interoperability of maritime and amphibious forces. 
 
25 Jun - President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker for the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Opening Ceremony in Washington, D.C. Thousands of veterans and their families gathered at the Korean War Memorial for ceremonies commemorating the start of the war. Numerous events were held in conjunction with the anniversary including the opening of a Korean War exhibit at the Marine Corps Museum in the Washington Navy Yard. 
 
28 Jun - MARADMIN 322/00 announced the establishment of the Kosovo Campaign Medal and Streamer to recognize the accomplishments of military service members and units that participated in, or were in direct support of, the Kosovo operations. 
 
4 Jul - President Clinton announced that the Navy would honor the late Admiral Elmo R. "Bud" Zumwalt, Jr. by naming its 21st century land attack destroyer (DD 21) after him. Zumwalt, who became the youngest man ever to serve as Chief of Naval Operations in 1970, died in Durham, North Carolina, on 2 January. 
 
12 Jul - The crash of an AV-8B Harrier II at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, on 21 June resulted in the Naval Aviation (NavAir) Systems Command grounding of over 100 aircraft in the inventory. NavAir began an investigation of the Harrier's Rolls Royce F402-RR-408 engine, citing problems with its No. 3 bearing assembly. Harriers were also grounded on 17 February, 24 March, and 22 June of this year for various deficiencies. The last grounding marked the 28th time since 1991 that NavAir has issued such a standdown.
 
17-25 Jul - The Marine Corps Rifle Team stood up to the toughest shooting competition in the military at the 39th Annual Interservice Rifle Championship Matches at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia. Members of the Marine Corps team won six of the 14 matches that made up the interservice championships. Four wins were in individual matches and two were in team competitions. 
 
19 Jul - About 200 Marines from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, set sail for South America to participate in a series of combined amphibious exercises in order to promote interoperability and cultivate closer ties with South American forces. The four-month Unitas cruise would land in eight countries on both sides of the continent. 
 
21-23 Jul - President Clinton attended a Group of Eight (G-8) summit on Okinawa. About 26,000 of the 47,000 American service members stationed in Japan were based on Okinawa. Prior to the summit, curfews and other restrictions on all military personnel serving on Okinawa were enforced as a result of a series of incidents involving U.S. service members and local residents. 
 
28 Jul - Major General Jonas M. Platt died at the age of 80 in Sterling, Virginia. The decorated veteran participated in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He served in the Marine Corps for 30 years before retiring from active duty in 1970. 
 
___Aug - The Marine Corps began to test the new Year Out Program designed to give mid-level career officers (majors) an opportunity to see how corporations and businesses would deal with significant issues. The selected majors, three for the initial testing, would spend 12 months observing and participating with senior management in fields such as international finances, corporate leadership, long-range planning, integration of information technology, and logistical problems. 
 
5 Aug - More than 500 Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, arrived in Salmon-Challis National Forest, Idaho, to battle wildfires that would burn more than 156,000 acres. Upon arriving in Idaho, the Marines joined with Army units from Fort Hood, Texas, and National Guardsmen to fight the fires. Marines with Task Force Wildfire would fight fires for four weeks in what was called the largest wildfire in the country since 1988. 
 
17 Aug - Chaplain Lou Iasiello was frocked to the rank of rear admiral making him the first flag officer to serve as the Chaplain of the Marine Corps. Dual-hatted, Rear Admiral Iasiello was also the Deputy Chief of Chaplains. Since 1959, only Navy captains held the position of Chaplain of the Marine Corps. 
 
19 Aug - The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer DDG 79, named in honor of Marine Private First Class (PFC) Oscar P. Austin, was commissioned. PFC Austin was an African-American Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in Vietnam in August 1969. 
 
20 Aug - Medal of Honor recipient, Major Douglas T. Jacobson, USMC (Retired), died at the age of 74 in Port Charlotte, Florida. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the battle for Iwo Jima. After World War II, he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in both the Korean War and Vietnam War before retiring as a major in 1967. 
 
20 Aug - During an August afternoon, 200 summers ago, Marine bandsmen mustered on a hill overlooking the Potomac River and began an enduring musical tradition. That first concert was conducted by Drum Major William Farr. The Marine Corps Band became known as "The President's Own" during the time of President Jefferson. To rave reviews, the band would continue to perform concerts for U.S. presidents, dignitaries, and the general public. 
 
22 Aug - President Clinton signed the Fiscal Year 2001 Defense Appropriations Act. The budget of $288 billion included a 3.7 percent pay raise for service members, effective 1 January. During the budget briefings, the Commandant of the Marine Corps emphasized the importance of readiness of the Operating Forces and the Marine Air Ground Task Force as the Corps' highest priority. 
 
25 Aug - The Marine Corps issued suspension orders for three models of aircraft after officials discovered unrelated problems with each type of aircraft. All 11 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the CH-53E Super Stallion assault support helicopter, and the AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter were temporarily grounded. The groundings were the first of the year for the 165 Super Stallions and 198 Cobras which were among the Corps' safest aircraft. The most significant of the three actions was the grounding of the Super Stallions because it would likely take longer to get them back in the air. 
 
2 Sep - A Molly Marine statue was unveiled at Quantico, Virginia, during a ceremony attended by more than 750 people, many of whom were members of the Women Marines Association who held their annual convention in Arlington, Virginia, over the weekend. The ceremony featured many guest speakers including Major General John Cronin, Commanding General of Marine Corps Base, Quantico, and retired Lieutenant General Carol Mutter, the highest ranking woman Marine in the history of the Corps.
 
7 Sep - The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Terrence R. Dake, retired from the Marine Corps at a ceremony at Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. General Dake was retired after 34 years of service by General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, who presented him with the Distinguished Service Medal.
 
7 Sep - A study released by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. examined the substances that were of greatest concern to Persian Gulf War veterans. The panel found no firm evidence linking battlefield toxins to long-term health problems. The panel's chairman suggested that future studies should examine the effects of battlefield stress on veterans. He noted that symptoms associated with Gulf War illnesses have been documented in the aftermath of every major U.S. conflict since the Civil War. 
 
8 Sep - Marine Colonel Terrence Wilcutt of Louisville, Kentucky, commanded the Space Shuttle Atlantis which left on its return flight to the International Space Station (ISS). Colonel Wilcutt, a former F/A-18 pilot, and the seven-man crew on STS-106 would dock at the ISS to transfer supplies for the first permanent residents when they arrive in November.
 
8-11 Sep - The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory conducted Millennium Dragon 00 as part of the Joint Forces Command's Millenium Challenge 00 joint experiment. Held in the Gulfport area of Mississippi, the exercise was conducted to continue the refinement of operational maneuver from the sea and ship-to-objective maneuver. 
 
13 Sep - The bodies of two Marine Corps aviators were recovered in the wreckage of an F/A-18D Hornet jet fighter that collided with another Hornet in the 
skies over Yuma, Arizona. The Marines died while conducting aerial combat maneuver training. The crashed Hornet was from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 242 based at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California.
 
14-16 Sep - More than 600 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and Tarawa Amphibious Ready Group deployed to East Timor to assist in the medical, dental, and logistics efforts with Australian peacekeepers. 
 
18 Sep - The Boeing X-32A Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) concept aircraft conducted its first flight and flew 20 minutes from Palmdale to Edwards Air Force Base, California. The second flight took place on 23 September and lasted 50 minutes. The X-32A is the conventional take-off and landing version of Boeing's entry in the JSF competition. It would attempt to meet Marine Corps requirements for short takeoff and vertical landing by testing the X-32B variant of the JSF model in early 2001. 
 
21-24 Sep - The Marine Corps Aviation Association held its symposium in Washington, D.C. Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 265 was named the Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron of the Year. Lieutenant Colonel Andrew W. O'Donnell, Jr., commanding officer of HMM-265, was awarded the Alfred A. Cuningham Aviator of the Year Award. 
 
5 Oct - On this date, 18 AV-8B Harrier jets were grounded after four Engine Variable Inlet Control System (EVICS) failures were recorded. These 18 represented half of the total Harriers cleared after another problem was rectified. The Marine Corps asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff to remove all Harrier jets from Marine expeditionary units for a year due to the various maintenance problems. 
 
12 Oct - Congress approved a $309.8 billion defense budget that included a 3.7 percent all-ranks pay raise, targeted raises for mid-grade noncommissioned 
officers and petty officers, increases in basic allowance for housing, and major health-care improvements for retirees. 
 
12 Oct - The USS Cole (DDG 67) was disabled following a terrorist explosion that killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 while refueling in the harbor of Aden, Yemen. The ship was in transit from the Red Sea to Bahrain. Marines of the 2d Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) were deployed to the Cole to assist in securing and investigating the area. The USS Cole was named after Sergeant Darrell Samuel Cole, USMC, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in World War II. 
 
13 Oct - The Marine Corps announced that the V-22 Osprey was judged operationally effective and operationally suitable for land-based operations, validating eight months of comprehensive evaluation and moving the tilt-rotor aircraft a major step closer to full-rate production. The report stopped short of declaring the aircraft suitable for ship-based operations, pending additional evaluation of the blade-folding mechanism. 
 
17 Oct - Marines landed on the beaches of Vieques, Puerto Rico, for the first time in 18 months. More than 1,000 Marines from the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit made an amphibious landing on the island for a supporting arms coordination exercise.
 
21 Oct - The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived off the coast of Pohang, Republic of Korea, to participate in Exercise Foal Eagle 2000. The two-week exercise was the 39th annual joint-combined exercise conducted between the Republic of Korea and U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula. It was designed to test rear area protection operations and major command, control, and communication systems. 
 
21 Oct - The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation annual awards dinner was held in Washington, D.C. Mr. James Bradley was this year's recipient of the General Wallace M. Greene, Jr. Award for best nonfiction book pertinent to Marine Corps history for his book Flags of Our Fathers. 
 
22 Oct - The Marine Corps Marathon celebrated its silver anniversary with a record number of 21,000 runners plus 2,500 Marines, sailors, civilian employees, and volunteers who provided support to the "People's Marathon" in the Washington, D.C. area. Richard Cochrane, a 27-year-old member of the U.S. Navy, was the overall winner of the marathon finishing with a time of 2:25:50. 
 
24 Oct - The Lockheed Martin entry in the Joint Strike Fighter program, the X-35A concept demonstrator, made its first flight in Palmdale, California. The X-35A, the conventional takeoff and landing variant, reached a height of 10,000 feet, where it performed various maneuvers at 250 knots. 26 Oct - The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit completed the second and final phase of NATO's Exercise Destined Glory 2000, ending the unit's largest training evolution since its Mediterranean deployment began. The multi-national exercise was designed to improve joint amphibious operations in the southern Mediterranean region. 
 
1 Nov - Marine Corps officials announced that they were trying to reach about 10,000 former residents of on-base housing at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, who may have been exposed to contaminants in the water supply prior to 1985. The effort was made to support the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to determine if exposure to drinking water may be related to specific health concerns in children that were conceived during the time of exposure. 
 
3 Nov - Marine Corps Security Force Command Center in Bangor, Washington, was dedicated Fulton Hall. Brigadier General James R. Battaglini, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp Pendleton, California, was the guest of honor for the commemorative ceremony for the building named in honor of the late Lance Corporal Jeffrey Scott Fulton who was killed during a training exercise in 1989.
 
9 Nov - A statue of Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune was dedicated at the traffic circle on Holcomb and McHugh Boulevards at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Various dignitaries attended the ceremony including Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Michael J. Williams and Lejeune's grandson, retired Colonel James Blair Glenn. The statue was funded by former Marine Corporal Patrick F. Taylor who also funded a similar statue that stands in Lejeune's hometown of New Roads, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. 
 
10 Nov - On this date the Marine Corps celebrated its 225th birthday. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, stated in his birthday message, " This year is especially meaningful. Fifty years ago, the free nations of the world united to stem aggression in Korea; 25 years ago, the long war in Vietnam drew to a close; and a short decade ago, America and her allies liberated Kuwait." 
 
11 Nov - This date marked the groundbreaking ceremony for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. President Clinton, former Senator Bob Dole, and Defense Secretary William S. Cohen joined with World War II veterans to begin the process of building the $140 million structure. It will honor the 
16 million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during World War II, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort at home. 
 
15 Nov - The 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L. Jones, released the new vision and strategic goals for the Marine Corps called "Marine Corps Strategy 21". He promised Marines an overarching operational concept that would touch every aspect of the institution and would be reflected in doctrine, structure, training and education, and acquisition programs.
 
20 Nov - The Marine Corps' newest attack helicopter, the AH-1Z, was rolled out in a ceremony at Bell Helicopter Textron's Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. The AH-1Z was part of the H-1 Upgrade Program to remanufacture about 100 UH-1N transport helicopters and 180 AH-1W Super Cobra 
attack helicopters with common engines and flight dynamic components. 
 
25 Nov - Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit participating in Exercise Slunj 2000 in Croatia launched the first Javelin Missile ever overseas. The $90,000 missile was able to photograph its target and use that image to find and destroy the object. General Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps, was there to observe the Javelin shoot. 
 
29 Nov - The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) Program was approved by the Department of Defense Acquisition Board for entry into the next phase of its development, known as engineering and manufacturing development. Engineered by General Dynamics, the AAAV was on schedule to be delivered to Marine operating forces by fiscal year 2006, giving commanders longer range and more protection during amphibious operations. 
 
30 Nov - The Marine Corps announced that the remains of 19 World War II Marines killed in action on Butaritari Island (Makin Atoll) and listed as missing since August 1942 were recently identified and would be returned to the U.S. for burial. The Marines were with the 2d Raider Battalion and were killed during the 17-18 August 1942 raid on Japanese-held Butaritari Island. Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson commanded the Raiders during the raid and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's son, Captain James Roosevelt, was the operation's second-in-command. 
 
7 Dec - A national commemorative ceremony was held at Camp Pendleton, California, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Korean War and the Chosin Reservoir Campaign. The site was selected since Camp Pendleton had been home to the 1st Marine Division, which fought in Korea, and because it was accessible to several thousand Chosin veterans who attended the 50th anniversary reunion of the Chosin Few in San Diego during that week. The Commandant of the Marine Corps was host to many prominent speakers, Medal of Honor recipients, government leaders, other dignitaries, and Korean War veterans. 
 
11 Dec - Four Marines from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 were killed when an MV-22 Osprey aircraft crashed while on a night training mission near Jacksonville, North Carolina. This marked the fourth incident involving the Osprey since 1991. The first took place in June 1991; the second occurred at Quantico in July 1992 killing all seven on board; and the most serious incident occurred during April this year when 19 Marines were killed. 
 
27 Dec - Lieutenant General Herman Nickerson, Jr., decorated combat veteran of three wars, died at the age of 87 in Maine. The general served in the Marine Corps for 35 years, and commanded the III Marine Amphibious Force in Vietnam before retiring in 1970. 
 
31 Dec - The strength of the U.S. Armed Forces was 1,372,352 of whom 171,676 were U.S. Marines. 
 
Reference Branch
USMC History Division