Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 7, 2022

Marines Rehearse Defending Key Maritime Terrain from Assault

By Sgt. Micha Pierce 3rd Marine Division

OKINAWA, Japan -- Holding camouflaged defensive positions in the jungles of northern Okinawa, U.S. Marines readied to repel an attack from an opposing force aiming to seize the island during a combat rehearsal, dubbed the “Counter Assault Exercise,” from May 9 to May 12, 2022.

The Counter Assault Exercise, which took place amid days of unrelenting rain storms, was a force-on force training evolution between Marines with 3d Battalion, 2d Marines (3/2) and 1st Battalion, 3d Marines (1/3). Marines from both battalions utilized the opportunity to strengthen their abilities to seize or defend key maritime terrain from an aggressor force and to operate across some of the most challenging terrain of the Indo-Pacific region.

The exercise started with the Marines of 3/2 acting as part of stand-in forces responding to a regional threat by seizing key terrain through a joint vertical assault and immediately preparing to defend it from a counter assault by an adversary of numerically superior force. The plan called for the Marines insert via MV-22B Ospreys along with Marine Corps and Navy helicopter support, demonstrating the ability to move forces rapidly from island-to-island or from ship-to-shore.

“One of the key outcomes of this exercise is that we were able to validate and refine our capabilities and our techniques to both employ Marines as stand-in forces in the Western Pacific, as well as rely on joint assets for aviation support and communications,” said Lt. Col. Charles Nash, commanding officer of 3/2.

The exercise forced 3/2 to insert into a dense double-canopy jungle, identify advantageous defensive positions, and swiftly respond to and successfully defend an advance from an opposing force. It also offered an additional challenge of maintaining communications in a difficult environment while employing signature management techniques.

"One of the great advantages of training in the Northern Training Area of the Okinawa jungle is that it gives us an opportunity to rehearse our long-range, low-emissions communications … to mask both our physical signature and our electromagnetic signatures,” stated Nash.

The training focusing on the lethality of small, distributed units of Marines operating as stand-in forces in the first island chain.

“One of the things we enjoy about training in northern Okinawa,” Nash continued, “is that this environment resembles much of the terrain within the first island chain … through the course of rehearsals and very tough realistic training, we are able to not just survive but thrive in and compete in this environment.”

Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. INDOPACOM announces establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill
220630-N-BD629-1009 CAMP H.M. Smith, Hawaii (June 30, 2022) Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John C. Aquilino addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill. JTF Red Hill, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii, will oversee the safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, demonstrating DoD’s commitment to remove fuel as quickly as possible, in a safe and informed manner, and with full transparency to regulators, intergovernmental partners, and with the people of Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith/Released)
July 1, 2022 - CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, announced the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF Red Hill) on June 30.The Secretary of Defense directed the standup of JTF...

Rim of the Pacific 2022 Officially Begins
Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 participants network at the Southern California opening ceremony. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Navy -- Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the...

Chief of Naval Operations, Japanese Chief of Staff Meet to Discuss Maritime Security
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets with Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai during an office call at the Pentagon, June 28. The two leaders discussed maritime security and ongoing efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
June 30, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted the Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai in Washington, D.C., for an office visit, June 28.The two leaders discussed...

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- Good afternoon, everyone! And thank you for joining us for this celebration of the 246th anniversary of U.S. independence. Independence Day in America is a day of red, white, and blue; a day of...

The U.S. Provides Immediate Assistance to Respond to Drought in Kiribati
US $500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across Kiribati
June 30, 2022 - SUVA, U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu -- The U.S., through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing US$500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across...