Throughout the month of July, approximately 6,000 U.S. Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force are dispersed across Australia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Republic of Palau as they participate in a wide range of exercises, community projects, key leader engagements, and subject matter expert exchanges.

Unique to this year, I MEF has a forward command and control element led by a general officer. 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Assistant Wing Commander, Brig. Gen. Robert Brodie, is serving as the I MEF (Forward) commander from Australia, overseeing more than 4,000 personnel participating in Marine Aviation Support Activity 23, exercise Northern Edge 23.2, and bilateral training with the Australian Defence Force.

“Real systems talking to real people generate friction points that a synthetic environment simply cannot stress test,” Brodie said. “While all training is valuable, we are learning unprecedented lessons as we speak. The speed and accomplishment of commanders, staff, Marines, and Sailors across this area of operations is extremely impressive.”

In the Philippines, I MEF (Fwd) Marines from 3rd MAW, 1st Marine Division, and 1st Marine Logistics Group, alongside Marines from 1st MAW, and 3rd Marine Division, participate in Marine Aviation Support Activity 23 with their Philippine Marine Corps counterparts. The training continues to improve interoperability and refine tactics through live-fire events, bilateral air assaults and airfield seizures, joint forward arming and refueling, and other aviation support operations.

In Australia, I MEF (Fwd) and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 are conducting bilateral training with Royal Australian Air Force No. 3 squadron across multiple disciplines of fixed-wing aviation between the two F-35 variants (A and C). Training includes maintenance, ordnance operations, launching, refueling, and catching aircraft, and in-flight tactics including advanced air-to-air training, core air-combat skills, defensive counter-air proficiency, and simulated strikes.

Alongside I MEF (Fwd) operations in the region, other I MEF Marines are participating in Task Force Koa Moana and the 12th iteration of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, further enhancing I MEF’s presence in the region.

I MEF Marines assigned to MRF-D are conducting multilateral exercises with the Australian Defence Force and other allies and partners. The training, command and controlled primarily by Marines from 1st Marine Regiment, 1st MARDIV, includes live-fire ranges focused on fire and maneuver tactics, non-combatant evacuation operations, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training to enhance a shared capacity for responding in times of crisis in the Indo-Pacific region.

I MEF provides the Marine Corps a globally responsive, expeditionary, and fully scalable MAGTF, capable of generating, deploying, and employing ready forces and formations for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations, and campaigns.