An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Aug. 11, 2022

Marines Commemorate Battle for Guadalcanal 80th Anniversary

By Chuck Little U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii -- Gen. Steven Rudder, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific (MARFORPAC), traveled to Honiara, Solomon Islands, as part of a U.S. interagency delegation led by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman from Aug. 7-9. The delegation, which also included U.S. Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy and other senior U.S. military officers, participated in several events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, and further strengthened long-standing partnerships between the United States and the nations in attendance: Solomon Islands, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Rudder was joined on the trip by other senior U.S. military officers, including fellow Marines Lt. Gen. Stephen Sklenka, deputy commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Lt. Gen. George Smith, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force; and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Watson, commanding general, 1st Marine Division. The delegation included U.S. military officers from units that also heroically fought during the battle: Vice Admiral Andrew Tiongson, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area; Rear Adm. Jeffrey J. Kilian, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Pacific/director, Fleet Civil Engineer, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Navy; and Maj. Gen. Joseph Ryan, commanding general, 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

On Sunday, Aug. 7, the United States hosted a memorial ceremony on Skyline Ridge, the site of the World War II Guadalcanal American Memorial. The hour-long ceremony, which started at 7 a.m., was largely planned and executed by MARFORPAC Marines. The ceremony was the first time a joint service color guard marched on Guadalcanal, carrying the national ensign and flags from each of the military services that fought in the battle: the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Coast Guard. A quintet from the 1st Marine Division provided music for the event. In his remarks, Rudder highlighted the important impact of the battle.

“So we’re here to remember those sacrifices that were made; it changed the history of the Solomon Islands, and it changed the history of our nation,” Rudder said. “I do not want to pass up the opportunity to show my dear appreciation for the Solomon Islanders. They were instrumental in everything we did and they endured hardships that we can't imagine.”

“But it makes no sense to remember those sacrifices without looking to the future; and we pledge from Indo-PACOM and the United States Marine Corps, that we will look forward.”

Other speakers at the ceremony included American Battle Monuments Commissioner Mr. Bud Pettigrew and Deputy Secretary of State Mrs. Wendy Sherman.

Sherman, whose Marine father fought and was wounded on Guadalcanal, spoke of the impact of the battle on both the military and Solomon Islanders. “With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy for us gathered here today to recognize the Battle of Guadalcanal as a turning point in the Pacific theater, and indeed in the Second World War. But for the Marines patrolling the dense and humid jungle, who had to be wary of both enemy snipers and crippling disease; for the sailors who fought terrifying night battles in the seas around these islands; for the airmen who engaged in countless dogfights in the skies above, the future was unknown and unknowable. And in many of those places - like here in Solomon Islands - civilians saw their world upended as well, as bombs and mortars fell on their towns and villages, destroying the lives of innocents.”

During the ceremony, Sklenka and Rudder placed a wreath at the base of the monument on behalf of all U.S. service members.

Immediately following the U.S. ceremony, the Solomon Scouts and Coast Watchers (SSCW) Trust hosted a memorial event at the SSCW monument. At this ceremony, during which Ambassador Kennedy spoke, MARFORPAC provided a color guard at the request of the event organizers. Sklenka and Rudder laid a wreath at this ceremony on behalf of all U.S. service members.

Following the SSCW ceremony, the U.S. delegation traveled to the Point Cruz Yacht Club to attend a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Coast Guard, honoring Medal of Honor recipient Douglas Albert Munro. Afterward, the U.S. delegation traveled to the Japanese War Memorial Peace Park for a ceremony hosted by the Government of Japan. At both ceremonies, Sklenka and Rudder laid a wreath on behalf of all U.S. service members.
On Monday, Aug. 8, the U.S. delegation attended the fifth and final ceremony, which was hosted by the government of Solomon Islands. The event took place at the Bloody Ridge National Peace Park, which was named after an important battle fought by U.S. Marines in September 1942.

Throughout the seven-month battle for the island, American forces fought side-by-side with Allies from the Solomon Islands, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, the Kingdom of Tonga, and Fiji. The bravery, determination, and commitment of the Allied forces was critical to ensuring the strategic victory that marked a turning point of the war in the Pacific.

In her remarks at the Skyline Ridge ceremony, Deputy Secretary of State Sherman reflected on what came out of the battle for Guadalcanal 80 year ago. “Today - as we have been every day since the war ended - former combatants are united here as partners in peace. We have built schools and clinics together, conducted scientific research together, shared vaccines to combat the pandemic together. We have helped each other recover from natural disasters, protected each other from the impacts of climate change. We have celebrated and mourned and grown together. And above all - forged in the experience of the Second World War and made deeper with each passing year - we have built profound and enduring ties with each other, as one Pacific family.”

- 30 –

Imagery from the event can be found on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System here:
https://www.dvidshub.net/download/imagegallery/7357822
Video package can be found here:


Lt. Gen. Rudder’s remarks and B-roll can be found here:

Media queries can be directed via e-mail to marforpaccommstrat@usmc.mil

CONNECT WITH USINDOPACOM

ENGAGE & CONNECT MORE WITH PACOM

                                                 

IN THE USINDOPACOM NEWS
Forging a Lifeline: U.S. and Philippine Medical Leaders Enhance Blood Programs through Collaboration
240515-N-N0132-1002 The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Surgeon Office and the Armed Forces of the Philippines—Health Service Command (AFP-HSC), held the first blood program subject matter exchange between the U.S. military and the Philippines from May 13-15 in Manila.
June 21, 2024 - The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) Surgeon Office and the Armed Forces of the Philippines—Health Service Command (AFP-HSC), held the first blood program subject matter exchange between the U.S. military and the...

MRF-D 24.3 U.S. Marines, Sailors, ADF concludes amphibious operations during WADER aboard HMAS Adelaide
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Josue RobleroGonzalez, a motor transport operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 5 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, drives a HMMWV from a Royal Australian Navy Landing Craft assigned to HMAS Adelaide (L01) on to Cowley Beach for an amphibious ship-to-shore operation during the Wet and Dry Exercise Rehearsal at Cowley Beach Training Area, QLD, Australia, June 16, 2024. During WADER, elements from the MRF-D Marine Air-Ground Task Force will conduct MV-22B Osprey deck landing qualifications, a live-fire deck shoot, medical subject matter expert exchanges, enhance amphibious fires, command and control, and initiate a ship-to-shore movement in order to set conditions for future operational tasking. RobleroGonzalez is a native of North Carolina. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Kassie McDole)
June 20, 2024 - U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D) 24.3 concluded the Wet and Dry Exercise Rehearsal (WADER) aboard HMAS Adelaide (L01) from June 2 - 20...

U.S.-Philippine bilateral airfield operations: MWSS-371 conducts FARP operations with Philippine Sailors at Laoag
U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 371, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and Philippine Sailors refuel a KC-130J Super Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd MAW, during forward arming and refueling point operations at Laoag International Airport, Laoag, Philippines, June 15, 2024. The FARP supported aircraft with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport (VMGR) 352, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd MAW, and 1st Special Operations Squadron during Marine Aviation Support Activity 24. MASA is an annual Philippine-U.S. military exercise focused on mutual defense, strengthening relationships, and rehearsing emerging aviation concepts. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Nikolas Mascroft)
June 20, 2024 - U.S. Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, strengthened ties with their Philippine counterparts by conducting bilateral forward arming and refueling point operations during Marine Aviation Support Activity 24, at...

U.S. 7th Fleet, Blue Ridge Team Conduct Maneuvering Exercise with French Navy
240614-N-PH222-1064
PHILIPPINE SEA (June 14, 2024) - U.S. Navy 7th Fleet Flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), left, conducts a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655) in the Philippine Sea during Valiant Shield 2024, June 14, 2024. Exercises such as Valiant Shield allow the Indo-Pacific Command Joint Forces the opportunity to integrate forces from all branches of services and with our allies to conduct precise, overwhelming multi-axis, multi-domain effects that demonstrate the strength and versatility of the Joint Force and our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners to preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan M. Breeden)
June 17, 2024 - Sailors assigned to both U.S. 7th Fleet and the 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) conducted a maneuvering exercise with the French Navy Aquitaine-class frigate FS Bretagne (D 655), during Valiant Shield 2024, June...

Hawaii Air National Guard Hosts Sentry Aloha Joint Exercise
An A-10 Warthog and F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center, an F-16 from the 177th Fighter Wing, an F-35A Lighting II from the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, and an F-22 Raptor, operated by the 199th and 19th Fighter Squadrons, assemble during exercise Sentry Aloha 24-2 June 6, 2024, above the island of Hawaii. This iteration of the exercise involved approximately 1,060 participants and more than 40 aircraft from nine states,  operating out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and Onizuka Kona International Airport, Keāhole.
June 17, 2024 - The Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing concluded the latest iteration of its ongoing fighter exercise, Sentry Aloha 24-2, June 12 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam...