The Marines and Navy recently conducted a series of training events in the Philippine Sea, during which participants demonstrated the ability to integrate full-mission actions simultaneously in deep- and shallow-water environments.
In a first, the exercise proved the services could project sustained combat power flexibly across an expanse of territory that stretched from Guam to Okinawa.
“The capstone exercise focused on full mission profiles from the air, land and sea – rehearsing and demonstrating lethal power projection in both the blue water and littoral operations,” said Col. Robert Brodie, commander of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The unit took part in the exercise with the Navy’s Amphibious Squadron 11.
One exercise, conducted June 27, entailed Marines conducting a mechanized insert at Camp Schwab on Okinawa. They used a HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicles and Joint Light Tactical Vehicles that were deployed from the amphibious transport dock Green Bay. F-35B fighters provided air support, demonstrating their ability to provide long-range fires.
“The exercise allowed us to demonstrate how we could use HIMARS in support of MEU maneuver elements,” Maj. Brock Lennon, the 31st MEU fires officer, said. “Being able to strike with long-range precision fires gives the MEU commander another lethal capability at his disposal when looking to respond to crisis in the region.”
The exercise concluded with a vertical assault raid into a live-fire range, allowing forward elements to manage their command and control.