Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune[1] (/ləˈʒɜːrn/)[2] is a 246-square-mile (640 km2)[3] United States military training facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The base's 14 miles (23 km) of beaches make it a major area for amphibious assault training, and its location between two deep-water ports (Wilmington and Morehead City) allows for fast deployments.

The main base is supplemented by six satellite facilities: Marine Corps Air Station New River, Camp Geiger, Stone Bay, Courthouse Bay, Camp Johnson, and the latest addition to the facility, the Greater Sandy Run Training Area.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
Onslow County, in Jacksonville, North Carolina
Seal of MCB Camp Lejeune
MCB Camp Lejeune Insignia
Coordinates34°35′N 77°20′W / 34.583°N 77.333°WCoordinates: 34°35′N 77°20′W / 34.583°N 77.333°W
TypeMilitary base
Site information
Controlled byUnited States Marine Corps
Site history
Built1941
In use1941–present
Garrison information
GarrisonII Marine Expeditionary Force
Marine Special Operations Command

Resident commands

History

Marine trucks
Marine motor detachment, New River Barracks, 1942

In April 1941, construction was approved on an 11,000-acre (45 km2) tract in Onslow County, North Carolina. On May 1 of that year, Lt. Col. William P. T. Hill began construction on Marine Barracks New River. The first base headquarters was in a summer cottage on Montford Point, and then moved to Hadnot Point in 1942. Later that year it was renamed in honor of the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, John A. Lejeune.

One of the satellite facilities of Camp Lejeune served for a while as a third boot camp for the Marines, in addition to Parris Island and San Diego. That facility, Montford Point, was established after Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802. Between 1942 and 1949, a brief era of segregated training for black Marines, the camp at Montford Point trained 20,000 African-Americans. After the military was ordered to fully integrate, Montford Point was renamed Camp Gilbert H. Johnson and became the home of the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools.

Photograph of Three Marine Corps Women Reservists, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 10-16-1943 - NARA - 535876
American Indian Women Reservists at Camp Lejeune during 1943
Betty Grable at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune (1942)
Betty Grable at the New River, 1942

MCB Camp Lejeune can help to prepare warfighters for combat and humanitarian missions abroad. Camp Lejeune takes advantage of 156,000 acres, 11 miles of beach capable of supporting amphibious operations, 32 gun positions, 48 tactical landing zones, three state-of-the-art training facilities for Military Operations in Urban Terrain and 80 live fire ranges to include the Greater Sandy Run Training Area. Military forces from around the world come to Camp Lejeune on a regular basis for bilateral and NATO-sponsored exercises.

USMC Camp Lejeune-Bermuda Regiment & USMC CH-46 Sea Knight
Royal Bermuda Regiment soldiers board a USMC CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter at Camp Lejeune, 1994
Defense.gov News Photo 080508-N-4236E-168
Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune, 2008
Barack Obama speaks at Camp Lejeune 2-27-09 1
Barack Obama at Camp Lejeune, 2009

Camp Lejeune was featured in the hit CW network drama One Tree Hill in late 2006.

Pollution

From at least 1957 through 1987, Marines and their families at Lejeune drank and bathed in water contaminated with toxins at concentrations 240 to 3400 times permitted by safety standards, and at least 850 former residents filed claims for nearly $4 billion from the military. The Multi-District Litigation was dismissed on North Carolina statute of repose grounds on December 5, 2016, and the appeal to the 11th Circuit is ongoing. Straw, et. al. v. United States, 16-17573 (11th Cir.). Straw has appealed this case to the U.S. Supreme Court twice, with one currently pending in the Supreme Court docket. Disability activist Andrew U. D. Straw is also pursuing claims based on implied contract and Fifth Amendment Takings theories at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, stating that the U.S. Marine Corps' UCMJ responsibilities imply a contract to protect U.S. Marine Corps family members. Straw v. United States, 1:17-cv-00560 (U.S. COFC). This case was dismissed and denied on appeal also. Straw has also advocated for legislative reform to avoid the legal arguments of the Department of Justice.[4] The main chemicals involved were trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreaser, perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning solvent, and benzene; however, more than 70 chemicals have been identified as contaminants at Lejeune.[5]

A 1974 base order required safe disposal of solvents and warned that improper handling could cause drinking water contamination. Yet solvents were dumped or buried near base wells for years.[6]

The base's wells were shut off in the mid-1980s, but were placed back online in violation of the law.[5] In 1982, Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were found to be in Camp Lejeune's drinking water supply.[7] VOC contamination of groundwater can cause birth defects and other ill health effects in pregnant and nursing mothers. This information was not made public for nearly two decades when the government attempted to identify those who may have been exposed.

An advocacy group called The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten was created to inform possible victims of the contamination at Lejeune. The group's website includes an introduction with some basic information about the contamination at Lejeune, including that many health problems various types of cancer, leukemia, miscarriages and birth defects, have been noted in people who drank the contaminated water. According to the site, numerous base housing areas were affected by the contamination, including Tarawa Terrace, Midway Park, Berkeley Manor, Paradise Point, Hadnot Point, Hospital Point, and Watkins Village.[8]

On March 8, 2010, Paul Buckley of Hanover, Massachusetts, received a 100%, service connected disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs for cancer (Multiple Myeloma), which was linked to toxic water exposure on Camp Lejeune. This is believed to be the first time the government has admitted the link between the contamination and illnesses.[9]

In 2007, Jerry Ensminger, a retired Marine master sergeant, found a document dated 1981 that described a radioactive dump site near a rifle range at the camp. According to the report, the waste was laced with strontium-90, an isotope known to cause cancer and leukemia.[5] According to Camp Lejeune's installation restoration program manager, base officials learned in 2004 about the 1981 document.[5] Ensminger served in the Marine Corps for 24 and a half years, and lived for part of that time at Camp Lejeune. In 1985 his 9-year-old daughter, Janey, died of cancer.[5]

On July 6, 2009, Laura Jones filed suit against the US government over the contaminated water at the base. Jones previously lived at the base where her husband, a Marine, was stationed. Jones has lymphoma and now lives in Iowa.[10]

Twenty former residents of Camp Lejeune—all men who lived there during the 1960s and the 1980s—have been diagnosed with breast cancer.[11]

In April 2009, the United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry withdrew a 1997 public health assessment at Camp Lejeune that denied any connection between the toxins and illness.[12]

As many as 500,000 people may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune over a period of 30 years."[11]

Janey Ensminger Act

On 18 July 2012 the US Senate passed a bill, called the Janey Ensminger Act in honor of retired Marine Master Sergeant Jerry Ensminger's daughter Janey who died of cancer at age 9, authorizing medical care to military and family members who had resided at the base between 1957 and 1987 and developed conditions linked to the water contamination. The measure applies to up to 750,000 people.[13] The House approved the bill on 31 July 2012.[14] President Obama signed the bill into law on 6 August 2012.[15]

The bill applies to 15 specific ailments believed to be linked to the contamination, including cancer of the esophagus, lung, breast, bladder or kidney; leukemia; multiple myeloma; myleodysplasic syndromes; renal toxicity; hepatic steatosis; female infertility; miscarriage; scleroderma; and/or neurobehavioral effects or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Department of Veterans Affairs is assigned by the bill to provide the medical care. To fund the medical care, the bill extends higher fees for VA home loan guarantees to 1 October 2017.[16]

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June 2014 potentially curbs groundwater contamination lawsuits by families at Camp Lejeune.[17] Federal law, which imposes a two-year statute of limitations after the harm is discovered, would pre-empt North Carolina's 10-year "statute of repose" law. State law makers are trying to eliminate the state prohibition on lawsuits being filed 10 years after the last pollution occurred or from the time a polluted property was sold.[17]

Marine Corps Brig

The military prison at Camp Lejeune has been in operation since 1968 and currently has a maximum capacity of 280 inmates who are incarcerated between 30 and 90 days.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommended in 2005 that the brig be closed and the Secretary of Defense has to implement the commission's recommendations by a date still unknown. A new brig was built at Camp Allen in Norfolk, Virginia with a small detention facility built at Camp Lejeune to hold detainees awaiting court martial. A new Brig was constructed at Camp Lejeune finishing in the early fall of 2012. The old brig was decommissioned and demolished in the late fall of 2012.

See also

References

This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps.
  1. ^ Pronouncing The 'R' In Camp Lejeune "One of the Marine Corps' biggest bases is Camp Lejeune (luh-JUNE) in Jacksonville, North Carolina. But for years, many people have been mispronouncing the base's name. The family of Lt. Gen. John Lejeune, whom the base was named for, says luh-JERN. Now there's quiet move the military to correct the pronunciation."
  2. ^ Lejeune, Lejern, and How to Say It - Leatherneck Magazine
  3. ^ "Camp Lejeune History". Lejeune. United States. Archived from the original on 2012-10-14. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  4. ^ "E. Texas man seeks congressional help for illness caused by toxic water". KLTV. KLTV. January 27, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e Thompson, Estes (2007-07-10). "EPA investigating whether radioactive waste was buried at pollution-plagued Camp Lejeune". ABC News, Associated Press. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  6. ^ Camp Lejeune residents blame rare cancer cluster on the water For three decades, dry-cleaning chemicals and industrial solvents laced the water used by local Marines and their families. Mike Partain and at least 19 others developed male breast cancer.
  7. ^ Coverage of what happened at Camp Lejeune
  8. ^ The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten. 2008-02-04. Access date 2008-02-06
  9. ^ Sawyer, Diane, and Steve Osunsami, "Toxic Water", ABC World News, March 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Contaminated Water At Base Spurs Suit July 7, 2009
  11. ^ a b Male breast cancer patients blame water at Marine base
  12. ^ ATSDR Withdraws Scientifically Flawed Public Health Document
  13. ^ Ordonez, Franco, (McClatchy), "Senate Passes Lejeune Water-Contamination Bill", Raleigh News & Observer, 19 July 2012
  14. ^ Ordonez, Franco, "Congress Helps Camp Lejeune Families Hurt By Tainted Water", McClatchy, 1 August 2012
  15. ^ Ordonez, Franco, and Barbara Barrett, (McClatchy), "Obama Signs Law Giving Health Care To Lejeune Tainted-Water Victims", Raleigh News & Observer, 7 August 2012
  16. ^ Philpott, Tom, "'First step of justice' for ailing Camp Lejeune vets, families", Stars and Stripes, 9 August 2012
  17. ^ a b Jarvis, Craig (June 14, 2014). "Lawmakers rush bill to protect Lejeune, Asheville residents in pollution cases". Charlotte News & Observer (NC). Retrieved 18 June 2014.

External links

2nd Battalion, 10th Marines

2nd Battalion 10th Marines (2/10) is an artillery battalion of the United States Marine Corps comprising four firing batteries and a headquarters battery. The battalion is stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and its primary weapon system is the M777A2 howitzer with a maximum effective range of 30 km. They fall under the command of the 10th Marine Regiment and 2nd Marine Division.

2nd Battalion, 8th Marines

2nd Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8) is an infantry battalion in the United States Marine Corps based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina consisting of approximately 900 Marines and Sailors. Nicknamed "America's Battalion," they fall under the 8th Marine Regiment and the 2nd Marine Division.

2nd Combat Engineer Battalion

2nd Combat Engineer Battalion is a combat engineer battalion of the United States Marine Corps . They are based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and fall under the command of the 2nd Marine Division and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

2nd Dental Battalion

2nd Dental Battalion (2nd Den Bn) is unit of the United States Navy that supports United States Marine Corps forces. The battalion includes ten dental clinics and annexes spread throughout North Carolina. The unit is based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and falls under the command of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

2nd Maintenance Battalion

The 2nd Maintenance Battalion is a battalion of the United States Marine Corps that provides intermediate-level maintenance for the II Marine Expeditionary Force’s tactical ordnance, engineer, motor transport, communications electronics and general support ground equipment. They are based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and fall under the command of Combat Logistics Regiment 25 and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

2nd Marine Logistics Group

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group (2nd MLG) is a logistics unit of the United States Marine Corps and is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. 2nd MLG was formerly known as 2nd Force Service Support Group (FSSG), reorganized with its sister FSSGs into Marine Logistics Groups in 2005. The 2nd MLG is composed of approximately 8,000 Marines and Sailors.

2nd Medical Battalion

The 2nd Medical Battalion (2D MED BN) is a medical support unit of the United States Marine Corps and that is headquartered at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The unit falls under the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (2nd MLG).

2nd Supply Battalion

The 2nd Supply Battalion is a battalion of the United States Marine Corps that specializes in distributing and warehousing military goods and equipment. They are based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and they fall under the command of Combat Logistics Regiment 25 and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

Camp Geiger

Camp Geiger is a United States Marine Corps base. Although not geographically connected, Camp Geiger is part of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune complex, and is home to the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry East for all Marines recruited through the Eastern Recruiting Region. Located off U.S. Route 17 about 10 miles south of Camp Lejeune, it shares the main gate of Marine Corps Air Station New River. It trains approximately 20,000 Marines every year.

Combat Logistics Battalion 26

Combat Logistics Battalion 26 (CLB-26) is a logistics battalion of the United States Marine Corps. They are part of Combat Logistics Regiment 27 and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group. The unit is based out of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and is in direct support of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) .

Combat Logistics Battalion 8

Combat Logistics Battalion 8 (CLB-8) is a logistics battalion of the United States Marine Corps. They are part of Combat Logistics Regiment 2 and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group. The unit is based out of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Combat Logistics Regiment 2

Combat Logistics Regiment 2 (CLR 2) is a logistics regiment of the United States Marine Corps. The unit is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and falls under the command of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (2nd MLG) and the II Marine Expeditionary Force (II MEF).

Combat Logistics Regiment 25

Combat Logistics Regiment 25 (CLR 25) is a logistics regiment of the United States Marine Corps. The unit is based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and falls under the command of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group and the II Marine Expeditionary Force.

Command element (United States Marine Corps)

In the United States Marine Corps, the command element (CE) is the command and control force of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF). It provides C3I for the MAGTF.

Courthouse Bay

Courthouse Bay is a subdivision of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and is home to the Marine Corps Engineer School and the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion. Located near Camp Lejeune's southwestern Sneads Ferry gate and 6 miles from the mainside amenities, the sub-camp is largely self-sufficient, in that it has its own messhall, post exchange (PX), MWR recreation facilities and water supply

Hubert, North Carolina

Hubert is an unincorporated community in the eastern portion of Onslow County, North Carolina, United States, near the city of Swansboro. Hubert is part of the Jacksonville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The community is on the northeast side of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Hubert's zip code is 28539.

Julian C. Smith Hall

The Julian C. Smith Hall is a historic building located on Julian C. Smith Drive, on Hadnot Point in Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, North Carolina. It currently serves as the headquarters building for the II Marine Expeditionary Force and the 2d Marine Division. It is named after Lieutenant General Julian C. Smith, former commanding general of the 2d Marine Division during World War II. The Camp Lejeune address is Building H-1.

Onslow Beach

Onslow Beach is a 12 km stretch of undeveloped beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, North Carolina. It has been used at various times for practice amphibious landings by the U.S. Navy. Presently, it is used as a recreational area by the Camp Lejeune community.

The Globe (Camp Lejeune)

The Globe is a weekly newspaper published for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune - (pronounced LUH JERN by some) community. In addition to its military staff and correspondents, The Globe carries a civilian bureau, employed by Fayetteville Publishing.

The Globe has been the official publication of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune since Feb. 23, 1944, when Maj. Gen. Henry Louis Larsen, commanding officer, saw the need for a larger newspaper to replace The New River Pioneer.

The mission of The Globe is to provide robust support to the base and its tenant commands.

The Globe is published on a weekly basis and keeps the Marines, sailors, and the surrounding community in touch with what's happening on base and what the Corps is accomplishing locally and worldwide.

The Globe newspaper is the official DOD publication that supports MCB Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River and MCAS Cherry Point with a combined economic impact of $6.12 billion.

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