CAMP SMEDLEY BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan --Marines and Sailors with Combat Logistics Regiment ( CLR) 3, 3d Marine Logistics Group experimented with future warfighting and force-design concepts while conducting distributed operations across Okinawa during exercise Valiant Workhorse II, September 20-24, 2021.
This latest iteration in CLR-3’s “Workhorse” exercise series provided ample opportunities for the regiment to test new concepts directly related to the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps’ Planning Guidance.
“The Workhorse exercise series is focused on perfecting the tactics, techniques, and procedures to command and control tactical logistics units in a distributed environment. CLR-3 is using this exercise series to continue to innovate and experiment with task-organized, multi-functional logistics forces, emergent capabilities, and new concepts to operate as the stand-in force inside the enemy’s weapons engagement zone. A significant ‘first’ during this evolution included low-signature Forward Refueling Points in conjunction with Marine aircraft,” explained Col. Chris Haar, CLR-3’s commanding officer.
CLR-3 executed essential training as well as innovative refueling methods in the Central Training Area on Okinawa, with elements of 3d Transportation Battalion and Combat Logistics Battalion 4 conducting convoy operations, counter-improvised explosive device training, and a live-fire machine gun range.
Valiant Workhorse also showcased CLR-3’s newest capability, with Marines from Energy Company working directly alongside Marines from Marine Aircraft Control Squadron (MACS) 4 to establish a low-signature forward refueling point capable of thwarting simulated adversary targeting efforts while supporting a persistent combat air patrol against simulated enemy targets.
“This exercise was an outstanding opportunity to get Energy Company operating shoulder-to-shoulder for the first time with MACS-4 and adjacent CLR-3 units in a training environment. As Energy Company begins to experiment with distributed and low-signature operations, the Marines are more prepared to increase the operational tempo, learn how to communicate quickly and clearly, increase the lethality and reach of III MEF units, and persist as the stand-in force. The operations we are training to at distributed sites across the company validate and refine energy concepts, allow Marines to become more multi-functional at the individual-level, and provide energy support to III MEF from a unit that is more than the sum of its parts.” said Capt. David Bunting, the CLR-3 Energy Company commander.
With command nodes established throughout Okinawa on Camp Courtney, Naha Military Port, the Central Training Area, and Camp Foster, the exercise served as the first opportunity for CLR-3 to practice distributed command and control since Haar took the helm in June.
“Ultimately, the continued Workhorse exercise series and experimentation with our MAGTF and Joint partners help shape the combat mindset of our Marines and Sailors and prepare them to rapidly deploy and execute command and control and sustainment operations across the Indo-Pacific.”
3d MLG, based out of Okinawa, Japan, is a forward deployed combat unit that serves as III Marine Expeditionary Force’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone for operations throughout the Indo-Pacific area of responsibility.