An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 16, 2024

3rd MLR Concludes Balikatan 24, Transitions to ACDC

By 1st Lt. Anne Pentaleri, 3rd Marine Division

3rd Marine Littoral Regiment concluded their participation in the 39th iteration of Balikatan, an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military, on May 10, 2024. At the request of the Philippine government, instead of returning to their home base in Oahu, Hawaii, 900 U.S. Marines and Sailors from 3rd MLR will remain in Luzon, Philippines, to continue conducting unit-level training and subject matter expert exchanges with their Philippine Marine Corps counterparts under the Archipelagic Coastal Defense Continuum. ACDC is a series of bilateral exchanges and training opportunities between U.S. Marines and Philippine Marines aimed at bolstering the Philippine Marine Corps’ Coastal Defense strategy while supporting the modernization efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In support of this year’s Balikatan exercise, from April 15 to May 10, U.S. Marines and Sailors with 3rd MLR and its three subordinate battalions – 3rd Littoral Combat Team, 3rd Littoral Anti-Air Battalion, and 3rd Littoral Logistics Battalion – spread out across nine training areas on Luzon. Alongside Philippine Marines with 4th Marine Brigade and the Coastal Defense Regiment, 3rd MLR conducted bilateral training designed to strengthen interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences. Key events labeled as Combined Joint All-Domain Operations incorporated elements of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps, as well as the Philippine Army and Marine Corps. These events enabled the combined force to exercise and demonstrate the very capabilities 3rd MLR is built to perform, such as Maritime Key Terrain Security Operations and Counter-landing Live Fire.

“3rd MLR is postured in the Philippines as a ready, capable, and credible fighting force focused on preserving Philippine territorial integrity and supporting our PMC partners’ Archipelagic Coastal Defense Concept,” said U.S. Marine Col. John Lehane, commanding officer, 3rd MLR. “BK24 demonstrated how the U.S. Marines with 3rd MLR can integrate into any command-and-control node in the Indo-Pacific theater to conduct Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, support maritime domain awareness, attack enemy maritime targets, conduct expeditionary strike, and support operations in the information environment in order to enable the Combined and Joint Forces.”

Although May 11 marked 3rd MLR’s transition from BK24 to ACDC, 3rd MLR remains focused on enhancing interoperability with the PMC to advance their Archipelagic Coastal Defense Concept and modernization efforts. This month-long exercise block will include bilateral training with the PMC’s 4 MBDE and CDR designed to build upon and refine the tactics, techniques, and procedures practiced during BK24. Littoral Reconnaissance Zone Cobra, the primary CJADO event taking place during ACDC, will integrate elements of 3rd MLR, 4 MBDE, and the CDR to assist the Combined and Joint Forces with sea control and power projection in Northern Luzon.

“Maritime sensing and surveillance are key components of providing commanders, as well as the U.S.’s Allies and Partners, with the situational awareness required to posture forces and deter aggression in the Indo-Pacific theater,” said Lt. Col. John Strange, an operations officer with 3rd MLR. “The ability to provide and enhance multi-domain maritime awareness is one of 3rd MLR’s unique value propositions to the Combined and Joint Forces that will be demonstrated during ACDC.”

By collaborating closely, 3rd MLR and the PMC enhance their collective operational effectiveness, ensuring that the PMC is better equipped to address regional security challenges and contributing to a more stable and secure maritime environment.




Readout of Assistant Secretary Ratner's Call With PRC Office of International Military Cooperation Director
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 16, 2024 - Dr. Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, spoke by video teleconference today with People's Republic of China (PRC) Major General Li Bin, Director of the Central Military Commission...

18th MEDCOM Commanding General at LANPAC 24: Remote robotic surgeries to save lives on future battlefields?
18th Medical Command Commanding General Paula Lodi discusses Army Medicine in the Indo-Pacific Region during Land Forces Pacific 2024 in Honolulu, Hawaii, May 14, 2024. 18th MEDCOM sets the Joint theater for medical operations while increasing its strategic posture by synchronizing and coordinating health service support and medical logistics across its more than 4,000 square mile area of responsibility.
May 15, 2024 - What does it take to win in the complex Indo-Pacific region? Spanning over 4,000 miles and consisting mostly of the air and maritime domain, as well as densely populated land masses, the Indo-Pacific creates logistical...

Enhancing communication capabilities with the Philippine Air Force
U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Quincy Brooks, 644th Combat Communication Squadron client systems technician, briefs Philippine Air Force 1st Lt. John Mangaoang, assistant director for command and control capability for the office of the assistant chief of Air Staff, about the Harris PRC-152A line of sight radio capabilities during Cope Thunder 24-1 at Basa Air Base, Philippines, Apr. 12, 2024. Cope Thunder 24-1 enables the U.S. and the Philippines to integrate capabilities and technologies to enhance interoperability at all levels. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady)
May 15, 2024 - Bilateral exercises such as Cope Thunder 24-1 underscore the importance of allied and partner nations coming together to enhance interoperability between participating forces. One key aspect of this collaboration is ensuring...

U.S. Navy Destroyer Conducts Freedom of Navigation Operation in the South China Sea
SOUTH CHINA SEA (May 10, 2024) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97) conducts routine underway operations in the South China Sea, May 10, 2024. Halsey is forward-deployed and assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ismael Martinez)
May 15, 2024 - On May 10, USS Halsey (DDG 97) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the South China Sea near the Paracel Islands, consistent with international law...

Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the U.S.-PRC Talks on AI Risk and Safety
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 14, 2024 - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Technology and National Security Tarun Chhabra and Department of State Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies Seth Center will lead an...