5th Battalion 11th Marines (5/11) is a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System HIMARS battalion of four Firing Batteries and a Headquarters Battery. The battalion is stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. It is the first active duty HIMARS Unit in the Marine Corps. They fall under the command of the 11th Marine Regiment and the 1st Marine Division. This is the only battalion in the 11th Marine Regiment not using the M777A2 lightweight howitzer.
Provide direct support of the 1st Marine Division and the Marine Expeditionary Units in time of conflict. That support may come in the traditional fashion of artillery support to maneuver forces, or by providing batteries to serve as provisional rifle companies. They also have the secondary mission of being the primary providers of civil-military operations (CMO). CMO is defined as the activities of the commander that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military organizations, Government and civilian organizations and the civilian populace.Headquarters Battery – "HQ"
Battery R – "Romeo,"
Battery S - "Sierra,"
Battery T - "Tango,"
Battery Q - "Quebec,"
5th Battalion 11th Marines was activated on 1 May 1942 at New River, North Carolina. In June of that year they deployed to Wellington, New Zealand. They were re-designated on 1 January 1943 as the 4th Battalion, 11th Marines. During the war they participated in the following campaigns:Battle of Guadalcanal
Eastern New Guinea
Battle of Peleliu
Battle of Okinawa
Following the surrender of Japan, the battalion was deployed to Tientsin, China as part of the occupation of northern China from October 1946 to January 1947. In January they returned to the United States to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California and were reassigned to the 3rd Marine Brigade. The battalion was deactivated on 17 February 1947. Later that year they were again activated on 16 July only to be deactivated again on 30 September.
The battalion was reactivated on 4 August 1950 at MCB Camp Pendleton and were assigned to the 1st Marine Division. In August they deployed to Kobe, Japan and fought in the war until the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on 27 July 1953 . They participated in the following campaigns:Inchon/Seoul Campaign
Battle of Chosin Reservoir
Following the war the battalion remained in Korea and participated in the occupation of the Korean Demilitarized Zone from August 1953 until March 1955 when they relocated to MCB Camp Pendleton
The battalion was relocated to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. In February 1966 the battalion deployed to the Republic of Vietnam as part of the 1st Marine Division. They fought in Vietnam Until October 1970 operating from Chu Lai and Danang. They returned to the MCAGCC Twentynine Palms and were deactivated on 15 November 1974.
The 4th Battalion, 11th Marines was reactivated on 15 February 1979 at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, California from units that had comprised the 1st Field Artillery Group. They were redesignated as 5th Battalion, 11th Marines on 1 October 1984.
The regiment participated in Operation Desert Storm from August 1990 until March 1991. During July and August 1994 the battalion helped fight major forest fires in the western United States.
The battalion participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and has made subsequent deployments to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During the 2003 invasion (OIF I), 5/11 participated on every major battle including the siege of Baghdad, Al Kut and Tikrit (Saddam Hussein's home town). The battalion fired more artillery rounds and drove further in less time than any artillery battalion in history during the invasion, and set the bar as the only artillery unit involved in Task Force Tripoli. In July 2006, Marines from Tango and Siera Batteries were deployed as part of the 15th MEU (Marine Expeditionary Unit, Special Operations Capable) to the Al Anbar province of Iraq. In August 2004, Marines from Romeo Battery participated in the Battle of Najaf.
In 2010, Battery T, attached to 1st Marine Division's 1st MEF deployed to Camp Leatherneck, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. They returned in early August 2010. June 2011-Feb 2012 romeo battery Helmand province
In 2012, Sierra Battery deployed to Now Zad
In 2014, Tango battery deployed to Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. 5/11 has been presented with the following awards: