NEWS | June 6, 2018

III Marine Expeditionary Group Welcomes New Commander

By Cpl. Deseree Kamm III Marine Expeditionary Force

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Col. Brian M. Howlett passed command of III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group (MEF) to Col. Larry Jenkins, June 1, at the Camp Hansen theater.

Howlett, who has spent the last 25 years leading Marines, will move on to become the chief of staff for U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii.

In June 2016, Howlett became the commanding officer of III MEF Headquarters Group, which was later reorganized and renamed to III MIG. Under Howlett’s charge, III MIG provided administrative, training and limited logistics support to the III MEF command element.

During Howlett’s tour, III MIG operated in as many as 10 countries simultaneously, supporting exercises across the Indo-Pacific region. Some of those exercises included Balikatan, Key resolve, Cobra Gold, Blue Chromite, Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Marine Rotational Force Darwin.

During his remarks at the ceremony, Howlett credited his Marines for III MIG’s success.

“It’s certainly a team effort here,” Howlett said. “All the great things that have happened have been because of teamwork.”

III MEF Commanding General Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson said the positive qualities he’s observed will enable Howlett’s continued success at his next duty station.

“I know that you’re headed to Hawaii and you’re going to be the chief of staff at U.S. Marine Forces, Pacific, and I know that job will come with different challenges,” said Nicholson, “but I know that if you attack that position with the same energy and enthusiasm and great sense of humor, all will be well in the Pacific area of operations.”

Nicholson then enthusiastically welcomed Jenkins aboard.

“If you have to find an intelligence officer that is perfectly suited to come in there to continue the incredible work of team Howlett, I think we found him,” Nicholson said.

Jenkins, the former 1st Marine Aircraft Wing intelligence officer, said he looks forward to working with the Marines at III MIG.

“I want to thank Col. Howlett and the staff at the MIG for all that they have done to make this transition as smooth as possible,” he said. “It’s apparent all the hard work they put in.”