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III Marine Expeditionary Force
IIIMEFLogo.jpg
III MEF insignia
Active October 1, 1942 - June 10, 1946
May 7, 1965 - present
Country United States
Branch USMC
Type Marine Air-Ground Task Force
Role Expeditionary combat forces
Size 17,000
Part of Marine Forces Pacific
Garrison/HQ Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan
Engagements Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Commanders
Current
commander
LtGen Terry G. Robling

The III Marine Expeditionary Force is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force of the United States Marine Corps that is forward-deployed and able to deploy rapidly and conduct operations across the spectrum from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to amphibious assault and high intensity combat. III MEF maintains a forward presence in Japan and Asia to support the U.S. – Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and other alliance relationships of the United States. III MEF also conducts combined operations and training throughout the region in support of the National Security Strategy for Theater Security Cooperation.

Contents

Mission

III Marine Expeditionary Force, as the Marine Corps’ forward-deployed Air-Ground-Logistics-Base Team, is a force in readiness able to deploy rapidly by any and all means and conduct operations from Special Purpose MAGTF through MEU, MEB and MEF, across the spectrum from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to amphibious assault and High Intensity Combat. III MEF maintains a forward presence in Japan and Asia to support the U.S. – Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and our other alliance relationships. III MEF conducts combined operations and training throughout the region in support of our National Security Strategy for Theater Security Cooperation.

History

The old III MAF insignia.Courtesy of www.military-graphics.com.

The III Marine Expeditionary Force is a descendant of the I and III Marine Amphibious Corps, activated during World War II.[1]

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World War II

The III Amphibious Corps was originally activated as the I Marine Amphibious Corps on 1 October 1942. Consisting of the 3rd Marine Division, the 37th Infantry Division of the United States Army, and a brigade of the 3rd New Zealand Division, it conducted the invasion of Bougainville. It was renamed the III Amphibious Corps on 15 April 1944 and as such took part in fighting against the Japanese Empire in the Pacific theater during World War II. It fought in some of the bloodiest battles, including the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign and Okinawa. Following the termination of hostilities, it occupied northern China, where it was deactivated on 10 June 1946.[1]

Vietnam War

The force was reactivated to serve in the Vietnam War in 1965. From 1966 to 1970, III MEF was renamed III Marine Amphibious Corps (III MAF) and consisted of the 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Division and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. The MAF's area of operations was in the northern I Corps Tactical Zone.[2] Redeployed to a permanent forward base on Okinawa in 1988, the III Marine Expeditionary Force helps to fulfill the 1952 United States treaty obligation to defend Japan.

Post-Cold-War Period

Since the end of the Cold War, III MEF has served in 1990 Operation Desert Shield to help protect Saudi Arabia. More recently the Marines have also engaged in humanitarian work, such as evacuating civilians in the Philippines following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, and providing disaster relief in the Japanese city of Kobe following a devastating earthquake in January 1995.

More recently III MEF elements provided the headquarters of Joint Task Force 536, later redesignated Combined Support Force 536, which was established at U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield in Thailand in the aftermath of the the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the 'Asian Tsunami.'[3]

Structure

Structure of the 3rd MEF

Units

References

  1. ^ a b "History of the III Marine Expeditionary Force". III MEF, United States Marine Corps. http://www.iiimef.usmc.mil/history.html. Retrieved 2007-11-02.  
  2. ^ Willard Webb. "The Single Manager" (pdf). Joint Forces Quarterly (1993-1994). http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/jfq_pubs/jfq1703.pdf. Retrieved 2006-11-30.  
  3. ^ Stephen F. McCartney, Combined Support Force 536: Operation Unified Assistance, Military Medicine

External links


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