Photo Information

U.S. Navy Seabees with Underwater Construction Team 2, dive from a Marine Corps Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft during exercise Poseidon’s Watchtower off the coast of Ukibaru Island, Okinawa, Japan, June 9, 2021. Marines with 3rd Marine Logistics Group and Sailors with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4 and UCT-2 conducted a reconnaissance of the island to hone their skills in assessing terrain for suitability of supporting maritime operations. NMCB-4 is forward deployed throughout the Indo-Pacific region and United States, ready to support major combat operations, theater security, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. UCT-2 provides a capability to support a Fleet Marine Force amphibious assault, subsequent combat service support ashore, and construction, inspection, repair and maintenance of ocean facilities in support of Navy and Marine Corps operations.

Photo by Sgt. Hailey Clay

Neptune Forager | 3rd Landing Support Battalion hones mobile command and control capabilities on Ukibaru Island

20 Sep 2021 | 1st Lt. Jonathan Coronel 3rd Marine Logistics Group

Marines and Sailors with 3rd Landing Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group are conducting landing support operations in support of future force concepts during exercise Neptune Forager, September 20-24 on Ukibaru Island off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.

During Neptune Forager, 3rd LSB will integrate elements of 9th Engineer Support Battalion, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, and U.S. Army 10th Support Group to execute an amphibious landing on Ukibaru, rehearsing core mission essential tasks and sharpening their ability to establish a littoral transition point in support of maritime operations, according to Maj. Zander Carbajal, 3rd LSB’s operations officer.

“Neptune Forager builds on exercise Poseidon Watchtower. We are taking data collected by 9th ESB’s littoral engineer reconnaissance teams and hydrographic surveys conducted by Navy divers from Underwater Construction Team 1 to determine where we can bring a small force ashore on Ukibaru — a first for U.S. forces,” explained Carbajal.

“This is going to be a dynamic evolution for this landing support-focused task force in terms of getting ashore without the benefit of experience coming ashore here previously," said Carbajal.

"We are grateful to have such a great relationship with our Japanese Ground Self Defense Force counterparts who have helped make this training possible.”  Maj. Zander Carbajal, 3rd LSB’s operations officer

Once the 3rd LSB-led task force arrives ashore from the 10th Support Group landing craft utility 2000, the Marines will establish a mobile combat operations center, evading simulated adversary targeting while transmitting information back to the 3rd LSB command located at Naha Military Port.

Neptune Forager builds on 3rd LSB’s previous success executing operations on Ukibaru Island during earlier exercises Poseidon’s Watchtower and Task Force Ukibaru, but is the first time 3rd LSB arrived on the island via surface vessel, according to Lt. Col. Jeremy Nelson, 3rd LSB’s commanding officer.

“3rd LSB, as part of a concerted effort throughout III MEF, will continue to push toward the type of complex environment that Ukibaru offers to prepare for executing landing support tasks in support of expeditionary advanced base operations,” explained Nelson.

“We will continue to rely on our JGSDF allies as we move forward with rigorous testing of the components that will lead to a clearer implementation of EABO,” said Nelson.

3rd MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward deployed combat unit that serves as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.