CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command welcomed a new commander Friday.
Maj. Gen. Paul Lefebvre took command during a morning ceremony in front of MarSOC’s new headquarters building at Stone Bay. He replaces Maj. Gen. Mastin Robeson, MarSOC’s second commander, who retired after 34 years in the Corps.
“I am stunned at how far and how fast [MarSOC] has come,” Robeson said.
MarSOC was activated at Camp Lejeune in February 2006 and has grown to more than 2,200 Marines and sailors, reaching nearly 85 percent of its 2,600-person capacity. The command has Marines operating in countries throughout the world, including areas in western Afghanistan, where companies have conducted missions since 2007. Earlier this month, MarSOC sent its first special operations task force into Afghanistan, where it commands spec ops units within a region.
MarSOC will stay busy, said Adm. Eric Olson, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, one of the dozens of brass at the change of command.
“The missions of MarSOC Marines are clear,” he said. “Our nation will ask a lot of you.”
The command recently moved into its new 151,000-square-foot headquarters building. Three new barracks will open to MarSOC Marines next year and the command’s education facility is being expanded.
Construction of more than 40 MarSOC facilities will be completed around the time Lefebvre will have served his first full year as MarSOC commander.
Lefebvre, who was the deputy commander of II Marine Expeditionary Force at Lejeune before moving to MarSOC, was commissioned in April 1977. He has led various units throughout his career, including Lejeune’s 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit. He was awarded the Leftwich Trophy in 1987.