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NEWS | Jan. 27, 2023

Developing the Force of the Future: ‘Marine Littoral Regiment Training Exercise’ Set to Begin

By Gunnery Sgt. Steve Cushman 3rd Marine Division

OKINAWA, Japan -- This large-scale, service-level exercise is designed to train, develop, and experiment with the 3d Marine Littoral Regiment (MLR) as part of a Marine Air-Ground Task Force, led by 3d Marine Division, operating as a Stand-in Force that is geographically distributed across a maritime environment contested by a peer-level adversary.

“This will be the eighth exercise the MLR has participated in since re-designating last year,” said Col Timothy S. Brady, 3d Marine Littoral Regiment Commanding Officer. “We’ve progressed from wargaming Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations in a classroom to now conducting EABO at a service-level training exercise operating as a Stand-in Force under a Division headquarters. MLR-TE gives us a chance to train hard, refine tactics and procedures, and continue to rapidly develop this force of the future.”

The training, which involves approximately 5,500 Marines and Sailors, will enable 3d MLR and 3d Marine Division to exercise lethality and command and control while enhancing survivability in a realistic force-on-force exercise simulating crisis and conflict scenarios.

“Within 3d Marine Division, we work alongside our allies and partners on a routine basis to rehearse similar concepts and mission sets that will be expected of our MLRs,” said Maj. Gen. Jay Bargeron, 3d Marine Division Commanding General. “As part of III Marine Expeditionary Force, we already operate as a Stand-in Force in the First Island Chain. The continued progress of 3d MLR, through exercises such as MLR-TE, will strengthen our ability to continue to do that effectively as well as inform the development of similar formations and concepts of employment in the future.”

Upon the conclusion of the exercise, the 3d MLR will take its refined tactics and procedures to the Philippines in April 2023, where it will train alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines during Balikatan 2023 to further enhance its combined capabilities with an important and strategic ally.
The MLR will contribute to deterrence and conflict by providing a fast, lethal, and low-observable force that can deliver immediate response options from within the range of adversary sensors and weapons systems.

“MLR-TE will challenge us, sharpen us, and ultimately make us a more lethal fighting force,” said Brady. “We’re excited to get to work. We’ve come a long way since re-designating, but we will never be complacent. We train as we fight. Our number one priority is, and will always be, warfighting.”


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