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Naval Amphibious Force, TF 51-5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade


Naval Amphibious Force, TF 51-5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade

Naval Support Activity Bahrain
TF 51/5 holds Change of Command Ceremony

By Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Arnold | TF 51/5 | July 3, 2018


MANAMA, Bahrain (July 3, 2018) – Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (TF 51/5) held a change of command ceremony today at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

Brig. Gen. Matthew G. Trollinger relieved Brig. Gen. Francis L. Donovan, who served as the commanding general of TF 51/5 since July 2016, formerly known as 5th MEB, where his legacy is synonymous with the unit’s transition into a fully-integrated Navy and Marine Corps team.

“Gen. Donovan leads the largest, most significant and dynamic task force that has the most Sailors and Marines under his command,” said Vice Adm. Scott A. Stearney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/ U.S. 5th Fleet/Combined Maritime Forces and guest speaker at the ceremony. “I’ve had the great pleasure of Frank working for me for the last two months however, these months have gone by fast because as soon as we put one crisis to bed, we’re posturing for another event across this theater.”

Lt. Gen. William D. Beydler, commander of U.S. Marine Forces, Central Command and guest speaker at the ceremony, echoed Stearney’s comments regarding naval integration.

Through this change of command, we are further solidifying naval integration like nowhere else in the Navy and Marine Corps,” said Beydler. “Gen. Donovan continued the great Navy and Marine Corps tradition. Through his superb leadership, understanding of history and understanding the responsibility of that history, he’s taken a vision and locked it down.”

During his two-year tenure at TF 51/5, Donovan led a combined 30,000 U.S. and coalition Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and civilians who were entrusted with rapidly aggregating crisis response capabilities and positioning Navy and Marine Corps forces throughout the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility to ensure command and control of forces at sea, from the sea and ashore.

During Donovan’s speech, he expressed his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of those under his charge who operated under a unified command structure to form a robust and capable crisis response force.

“To the Marines and Sailors - thank you very much for what you do,” said Donovan. “Our success is on your shoulders and I couldn’t be more proud to be part of this team. As Task Force 51/5, we never do it by ourselves. We are always in support of others whether it is Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command or the Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit teams at sea and ashore, it is our combined efforts across the task forces that enables us to offer the best military advice to our bosses.” 

Trollinger, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and a graduate Old Dominion University, expressed his readiness to lead TF 51/5 across the full spectrum of conflict in order to provide combatant commanders immediate and effective crisis response options in the region.

“TF 51/5 has made great achievements under Gen. Donovan’s leadership and I’m looking forward to pressing ahead and meeting the challenges that will come our way,” said Trollinger.

Trollinger joins TF 51/5 after serving as the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command’s director of Operations Division, Plans, Policies and Operations.  

Donovan will assume a senior leadership position at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

For more information about TF 51/5 visit our website www.TF515.marines.mil, Facebook at www.facebook.com/TF51.5 or DVIDS site at www.dvidshub.net/unit/5MEB. Contact TF 51/5 Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Arnold at sandra.arnold@me.usmc.mil or Marine Capt. Monica Witt at monica.witt@me.usmc.mil.