Photo Information

U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade Alert Contingency Marine Air Ground Task Force, secure gear and equipment to pallets during an ACM drill on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, June 8, 2022. 3RD MEB is III Marine Expeditionary Force’s Fire Brigade, ready to respond to a wide range of crisis events throughout the Indo-Pacific region as a command-and-control node or as the nucleus of a Joint Task Force, from delivering humanitarian assistance during natural disasters to combat operations. This ACM drill showcased the 3RD MEB’s readiness and validated its ability to rapidly activate and deploy a Forward Command Element.

Photo by Cpl. Francesca Landis

III MEF Marines in Okinawa complete ACMEX

16 Jun 2022 | Cpl. Francesca Landis The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

U.S. Marines with 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 3rd Marine Division, and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing conducted an exercise to test their ability to rapidly mobilize, respond, and assist in crisis scenarios throughout the Indo-Pacific Command’s area of operations, June 8-9, 2022.

The exercise, known as Alert Contingency Marine Air-Ground Task Force Exercise, consists of rapidly mobilizing a Forward Command Element, supplemented by scalable follow-on forces from across III Marine Expeditionary Force, in a simulated mission.

The ACMEX was conducted as a no-notice, integrated, rapid-response event to prepare III MEF personnel to react quickly to a crisis, counter potential threats, and assist allies and partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region in maintaining regional stability.

“We are holding this ACM exercise to bring our team together and facilitate a discussion about the situations faced in a response..." Maj. Alex Butta, 3RD MEB future operations planner

“From a non-kinetic standpoint, INDOPACOM has tasked III MEF with humanitarian assistance and to be ready for any type of disaster,” said Maj. Jeff Adusei, an operations officer for 3RD MEB. “Historically, we have dealt with kinetic fires. This ACMEX was the first time in a long time that we have rehearsed non-kinetic fires. It was a Herculean effort.”

Rehearsing non-kinetic fires meant that the Marines conducted all of the ACMEX actions without actually firing any weapon systems. In the event of a disaster, III MEF’s goals will be to respond and assist in a non-kinetic way as long as the situation permits.

The Marines enhanced their warfighting mindset and preparedness through command and control, integrated logistics, synchronization of fires and effects, and battle rhythm working groups and discussions. They also integrated critical advanced warfighting technologies and capabilities in order to enhance response command and control.

While there are many other organizations that could respond to humanitarian or international crises, U.S. military forces support the U.S. Agency for International Development when unique capabilities are needed to cover a gap in host nation response efforts, such as aviation assets or logistics expertise.

“It’s important to be ready constantly,” said Maj. Alex Butta, 3RD MEB future operations planner. “We are holding this ACM exercise to bring our team together and facilitate a discussion about the situations faced in a response, what the ACM is all about and how each team member plays an intricate role in its employment. Crisis could come in multiple forms; some have indications and warnings, and some do not. That is why it is critical that each team member maintain a constant state of readiness and level of resiliency.”

Through this exercise, Marines personally impact III MEF’s ability to remain a resilient, ready and relevant warfighting organization to enable joint operational success, support strategic power projection, and deliver decisive combat power across all domains and warfighting functions, throughout the Indo-Pacific region.