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U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Nicholas Davis, left, presents Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Col. Hiroji Yamashita with a plaque, Dec. 12, during the closing ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at Camp Kita Kumamoto in Kumamoto, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light is a routine, semi-annual exercise designed to enhance the U.S. and Japan military partnership, solidify regional security agreements and improve individual and unit-level skills. Davis is the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. Yamashita is the commanding officer of the 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released) - U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Nicholas Davis, left, presents Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Col. Hiroji Yamashita with a plaque, Dec. 12, during the closing ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at Camp Kita Kumamoto in Kumamoto, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light is a routine, semi-annual exercise designed to enhance the U.S. and Japan military partnership, solidify regional security agreements and improve individual and unit-level skills. Davis is the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. Yamashita is the commanding officer of the 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released)

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sgt. 1st Class Yatsuka Ikeda, left, helps U.S. Marine 1st Sgt. Timothy Babcock set up the American flag Dec. 1 before the opening ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light demonstrates the continued commitment of the U.S. and Japan to increase interoperability of our armed forces and maintain a strong partnership to protect Japan from external aggression. Ikeda is with 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. Babcock, from Port Austin, Michigan, is company first sergeant with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released) - Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Sgt. 1st Class Yatsuka Ikeda, left, helps U.S. Marine 1st Sgt. Timothy Babcock set up the American flag Dec. 1 before the opening ceremony for Forest Light 15-1 at the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. Forest Light demonstrates the continued commitment of the U.S. and Japan to increase interoperability of our armed forces and maintain a strong partnership to protect Japan from external aggression. Ikeda is with 42nd Regiment, 8th Division, Western Army, JGSDF. Babcock, from Port Austin, Michigan, is company first sergeant with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released)

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonas G. Dewald works with a fellow Marine to don his ghillie suit Dec. 2 in the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. The concealment training is part of Forest Light 15-1, a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and field training events conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to enhance the U.S. and Japan military partnership, solidify regional security agreements and improve individual and unit-level skills. Dewald, from Wilson, North Carolina, is a machine gunner with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, under the unit deployment program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released) - U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonas G. Dewald works with a fellow Marine to don his ghillie suit Dec. 2 in the Oyanohara Training Area in Yamato, Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. The concealment training is part of Forest Light 15-1, a semi-annual, bilateral exercise consisting of a command post exercise and field training events conducted by elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to enhance the U.S. and Japan military partnership, solidify regional security agreements and improve individual and unit-level skills. Dewald, from Wilson, North Carolina, is a machine gunner with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently attached to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF, under the unit deployment program. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Drew Tech/Released)

Lance Cpl. Ronald Hinson from Heath Springs, South Carolina, competes in the push up challenge portion of the Shanghai Commanders’ Cup Nov. 14 at Camp Schwab. The meet tested the Marines in nine categories, ranging from fun events like softball and sumo wrestling to pull-up and push-up competitions. Every event was performed in a team setting further reinforcing camaraderie and cohesion. Hinson is a cyber-network operator with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program. - Lance Cpl. Ronald Hinson from Heath Springs, South Carolina, competes in the push up challenge portion of the Shanghai Commanders’ Cup Nov. 14 at Camp Schwab. The meet tested the Marines in nine categories, ranging from fun events like softball and sumo wrestling to pull-up and push-up competitions. Every event was performed in a team setting further reinforcing camaraderie and cohesion. Hinson is a cyber-network operator with 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force, under the unit deployment program.

Marines attack their objective Nov. 2 during exercise Blue Chromite 15 in the Central Training Area. Blue Chromite demonstrates the Navy and Marine Corps’ expeditionary capabilities from the sea. Marines rode in assault amphibious vehicles in a ship-to-shore assault from the USS Germantown to Oura Wan Beach. After securing their first objective Marines advanced inland to the CTA. The Marines are with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marines Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Abbey Perria/Released) - Marines attack their objective Nov. 2 during exercise Blue Chromite 15 in the Central Training Area. Blue Chromite demonstrates the Navy and Marine Corps’ expeditionary capabilities from the sea. Marines rode in assault amphibious vehicles in a ship-to-shore assault from the USS Germantown to Oura Wan Beach. After securing their first objective Marines advanced inland to the CTA. The Marines are with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marines Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Abbey Perria/Released)

Erin Vasselian holds a Bronze Star Medal following a ceremony where her husband, Sgt. Daniel Vasselian, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Oct. 13, in front of the American Legion’s Lewis V. Dorsey Post 112 War Memorial in Abington, Mass. Daniel was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for combat actions while on his third deployment to Afghanistan. Erin Vasselian, and parents, Karen and Mark Vasselian, each were presented with medals during the ceremony. Daniel was killed in action Dec. 23, 2013 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. Richard Blumenstein) - Erin Vasselian holds a Bronze Star Medal following a ceremony where her husband, Sgt. Daniel Vasselian, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Oct. 13, in front of the American Legion’s Lewis V. Dorsey Post 112 War Memorial in Abington, Mass. Daniel was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for combat actions while on his third deployment to Afghanistan. Erin Vasselian, and parents, Karen and Mark Vasselian, each were presented with medals during the ceremony. Daniel was killed in action Dec. 23, 2013 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. Richard Blumenstein)

Col. Matthew G. St. Clair, commanding officer, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, presents 1st Lt. Benjamin Sheldon, platoon commander, Company A, GCEITF, with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat "V" distinguishing device at the task force headquarters, Oct. 10, 2014. Sheldon was awarded for actions during a deployment to Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, from September 2013 to May 2014. From October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez/Released) - Col. Matthew G. St. Clair, commanding officer, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, presents 1st Lt. Benjamin Sheldon, platoon commander, Company A, GCEITF, with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with combat "V" distinguishing device at the task force headquarters, Oct. 10, 2014. Sheldon was awarded for actions during a deployment to Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, from September 2013 to May 2014. From October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez/Released)

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