Last month the rumor mill was bursting with stories of a Marine (or several) with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, who set fire to part of their battalion HQ. Though Task & Purpose received multiple messages and emails from Marines claiming to be with the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based battalion, not much could be confirmed by Corps officials, due to an ongoing Naval Criminal Investigative Services investigation into what we, and other publications, quaintly referred to as a "mystery fire."
Now, we can shed a little more light on what happened. For starters, the Feb. 11 fire is officially "suspicious," according to an NCIS bulletin posted to Camp Lejeune's official Facebook page, as Marine Corps Times' Shawn Snow first reported.
It also caused an estimated $100,000 in damage.
In the early morning on Feb. 11, Marine Corps Base Fire Department personnel responded to a "water alarm" originating from building HP-111, where 1st Battalion, 6th Marines is headquartered, reads the bulletin. When they arrived, they found the source of the alarm was — judging by the NCIS photos — a pretty significant fire.
The blaze took place in what appears to be the unit's command deck, based on this reporter's hazy memories of what it looked like when he was an attachment there, pre-scorching, and what Marines in the unit have told Task & Purpose.
Though the fire was put out, it caused significant damage, estimated at more than $100,000, including "several years of command memorabilia," according to the bulletin.
No one was injured as a result of the fire, and no motive for the alleged arson has been officially confirmed by the Marine Corps, or NCIS.
When the news first broke in February, Task & Purpose was contacted by Marines from the base claiming it was the act of one (or several) disgruntled members of the battalion, allegedly upset over the tempo of training exercises, while others told Task & Purpose that it was due to frustrations with their command.
Due to the "suspicious nature" of the fire, the NCIS investigation is still ongoing and they've gotten support from Jacksonville's Public Safety Crime Stoppers program, which is offering a reward for information on how the fire began, who did it, and, well, the usual details you want when solving a crime.
"Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards up to $2,500 for information deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement," reads the note on Camp Lejeune's Facebook page. "Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their identities and rewards are provided through a code system."
The U.S. Coast Guard Legend-class maritime security cutter USCGC Bertholf (WMSL 750) pulls into Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawii, U.S. to support the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012 exercise in this June 29, 2012 handout photo. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jon Dasbach via Reuters)
The United States sent Navy and Coast Guard ships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the military said, as the United States increases the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.
The voyage risks further raising tensions with China but will likely be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from Washington amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.
U.S. President Donald Trump departs on travel to Palm Beach, Florida from the White House in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2019. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election did not find that any U.S. or Trump campaign officials knowingly conspired with Russia, according to details released on Sunday.
Attorney General William Barr sent a summary of conclusions from the report to congressional leaders and the media on Sunday afternoon. Mueller concluded his investigation on Friday after nearly two years, turning in a report to the top U.S. law enforcement officer.
Read Barr's letter to congressional leaders below:
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
CARACAS (Reuters) - Two Russian air force planes landed in Venezuela's main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defense official and nearly 100 troops, according to a local journalist, amid strengthening ties between Caracas and Moscow.
A flight-tracking website showed that two planes left from a Russian military airport bound for Caracas on Friday, and another flight-tracking site showed that one plane left Caracas on Sunday.
If the Marine Corps is serious about getting ready to take on a near-peer enemy like China in the future, then it's time to fold its 13-year-old special operations command and apply those resources elsewhere.
At least that's the argument one retired Marine officer made this week while presenting ways the service can better prepare for large-scale naval operations – and it's causing quite a stir in the Marine Corps special operations community.