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NEWS | Oct. 4, 2023

Pacific Marines Exercise Stand-In-Force Operations

By Capt. Miraquel Ridenhour U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

Pacific Marines from U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific along with forces from I Marine Expeditionary Force, III MEF, U.S. Pacific Fleet, and the Hawaii Air National Guard demonstrated Stand-in-Force capabilities during Force Design Integration Exercise, Sept. 25-28, 2023.  

FDIE took place on and around the Hawaiian Islands of Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island as Pacific Marines conducted distributed operations and rehearsed their ability to occupy expeditionary advanced bases.  

During FDIE, Pacific Marines operated across jungle, coastal, and mountainous environments and developed their ability to conduct operations in challenging and austere maritime environments. Units exercised key Stand-in-Force capabilities, including reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance, integrated targeting with the joint force, and securing contested key maritime domain. 

“The overall scenario for Force Design Integration Exercise was developed to test our ability to coordinate across all domains – sea, air, land, space, and cyberspace – with various platforms currently employed by the joint force in the Indo-Pacific theater,” said Lt. Gen. William Jurney, commander, MARFORPAC. “The strength of the joint force really becomes clear when you bring all the components together to see it work in real-time.” 

By bringing together different units and stressing their command-and-control systems, FDIE demonstrated the ability of Pacific Marines to integrate with the joint force and enhance its ability to sense and make sense of a complex operating environment. 

"This exercise provided an invaluable opportunity for 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment to rehearse alongside the Navy and the joint force in a realistic environment." Col. John Lehane, commanding officer, 3rd Marine Littoral Regiment

 “We were able to rapidly distribute combat credible forces across the Hawaiian Islands, set up our systems, effectively control our assigned area of operations and associated airspace, and deliver effects within the exercise scenario.” 

The exercise required Marines to refine their ability to use multiple Force Design related platforms. This includes systems like the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle, and F-35B Lightning II, which allow Marines to sense enemy forces and share information with the joint force across a distributed battlespace and provide precision fires.  

“Force Design Integration Exercise demonstrates Pacific Marines’ ability, right now, to effectively integrate within the joint targeting cycle,” said Lt. Gen. Jurney. “We will continue to develop and innovate in our ability to conduct distributed operations while forward as that joint force enabler.” 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific is the largest operational command in the Marine Corps and the Nation’s expeditionary force-in-readiness in the Indo-Pacific. Pacific Marines serve alongside the joint force and like-minded Allies and partners to preserve and maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific region. 

For additional information on Force Design Integration Exercise, please contact marforpaccommstrat@usmc.mil. 

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