News

New I MEF commander visits Al Asad

18 Sep 2004 | Cpl. Joel A. Chaverri

Information was exchanged and insights were gained when the new commanding general of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force visited troops here Sept. 18.

Since assuming control of I MEF recently at a change of command ceremony in Fallujah, Iraq, Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler has been traveling throughout the country to evaluate the operations of his new unit.

During his visit, Sattler received intelligence briefs from various units in order to get a full assessment of the mission and tempo of the air base.

Shortly after taking command, Sattler assured his predecessor, Lt. Gen. James T. Conway, that he would do everything in his power to protect the troops.

"Gen. Conway, I accept the challenge and I promise to take care of your Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen," said Sattler.

According to Sattler, it's important that a leader know the pulse of his troops, which is why his visit to Al Asad came so soon following his appointment as I MEF CG. 

Despite maintaining a hectic schedule during his visit here, Sattler still took the time to visit with individual Marines serving aboard the air base. Climbing to the top of a perimeter guard tower here, he greeted Marines standing post, as well as spoke to Marines working at the flight line later in the day.

In accordance with Sattler's philosophy on waging the war on terror, it's important that he know as much as possible about what goes on within his area of responsibility.

"We will continue to turn the heat up on those thugs, criminals and terrorists who must use intimidation and murder to accomplish their goals because they can't accomplish them legally," he noted in Fallujah during the I MEF change of command ceremony.

Despite maintaining a hectic schedule during his visit, Sattler was still able to take time to visit with individual Marines serving aboard the air base. Climbing to the top of a perimeter guard tower here, he greeted Marines standing post, as well as spoke to Marines working at the flight line.

According to Pvt. Daniel J. Lookner, expeditionary airfield systems technician, Marine Wing Support Squadron 472, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, having the commanding general visit was a unique experience.

"I've only been here for a month," said the 19-year-old native of Princeton, N.J., "and I've already had the opportunity to shake the hand of the (I MEF) commanding general."

The general's trip here may not be the last time the young Marine gets to see the I MEF CG according to Sattler, who plans to revisit Al Asad periodically in the future to spend time with his warriors.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing