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U.S. Marines and Sailors from the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force and elements of the U.S. 7th Fleet conducted Noble Jaguar, an integrated naval exercise in and around Japan, September 27-30.

While closely monitoring simulated adverse activities, these forces were ordered to mobilize quickly and immediately began to move.

Concealed through the blanket of darkness and a small footprint on the electromagnetic spectrum, the Marines with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines quickly reached a nearby port where they loaded several high mobility artillery rocket system launchers and seized are prepared for embarkation on the USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6), an expeditionary rapid transport vessel.

“The first half of the exercise was all about mobility… working with the Navy to ensure we could embark and disembark efficiently,” said Captain Nathaniel Wasik, HIMARS platoon commander with 3/12.

“We combine these strikes – air, land and sea. “ Lt. Col. Joshua Montero, 12th Marine Operations Officer

While putting HIMARS on board Navy ships is not a new concept, expeditionary rapid transports provide a unique platform that can support a wide variety of military objectives.

“Missions such as Noble Jaguar are important because they provide the opportunity to experiment with different configurations and capabilities and enable the onboard forces and the ship’s crew to better realize the full potential of the mission,” said Andy Peretti, captain of USNS Brunswick. “The more we practice boarding and using the ship, the more prepared we will be to respond effectively to any eventuality.”

Once at their destination, the HIMARS settled into hidden positions, ready to pounce on the firing points of an advanced expeditionary base in Okinawa.

Meanwhile, the Marines took advantage of detection capabilities, such as ground-to-air task oriented radar, and connections with Link 16 to share targeting data with the USS Carl Vinson (CVN70) and USS Howard (DDG83), sailing in the Philippine Sea, and F / A-18 with Marine Aircraft Group 12 operating in the surrounding airspace. This information sharing and networked command and control have enabled joint strikes against sea and land targets.

Ready to shoot
Photo by Lance Cpl. Kree Laing

“The power of joint targeting is that you can mobilize multiple resources at a single point,” said Lt. Col. Joshua Montero, operations officer for 12th Marines. “We combine these strikes – air, land and sea. “

Simultaneously, the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines prepared for a long-range insertion via MV-22B Ospreys to seize and hold key maritime terrain over 600 miles. After traveling from Okinawa to Camp Fuji, nearly 200 US Marines enlisted and quickly defeated a mock enemy force. During follow-up operations, 2/3 established an additional EAB and continued to deny critical terrain thus allowing maritime maneuver.

“Noble Jaguar has demonstrated the 3rd Marine Division’s ability to connect an array of sensors from across the Joint Force, forming a seamlessly integrated elimination chain,” said Major Brian Spillane, future 3rd Division operations officer of marines. “This integrated network can have lethal effects in any area, anywhere in the theater.”

By simultaneously employing forward expeditionary operations across multiple distributed locations, III MEF has demonstrated how it can integrate with the joint force to conduct counter-landing operations and anti-surface warfare missions in multiple areas. The III MEF and 7th Fleet executed these actions during Noble Jaguar to maintain readiness and display U.S. resolve to preserve regional security.


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