III-MEF

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A Philippine Marine provides security in anticipation for the landing of U.S. Marine CH-53E Super Stallions assigned to Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 during Air Assault Support Exercise 2015-2 at Crows Valley, Philippines, July 22, 2015. The Philippine Marines participated in two weeks of bilateral training alongside U.S. Marines to improve readiness and strengthen interoperability between both forces. HMH-462 is attached to Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force through the Unit Deployment Program. The Philippine Marines are with Marine Battalion Landing Team 1, 1st Battalion, Philippine Marine Corps.

Photo by Cpl. Tyler S. Giguere

On the ground of intersecting highways, join hands with your allies.

U.S. Marine Maj. Terry Heichelbech, left, shakes hands with New Zealand Army Pvt. George Poa during the opening ceremony for exercise Joint Assault Signals Company Black, at Camp Linton, New Zealand. Poa is a weapons troop with 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment. Heichelbech is from Louisville, Kentucky, and an artillery officer with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF. 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo and article by Cpl. Isaac Ibarra, 11 AUG 2015. Title quote from “The Art of War,” by Sun Tzu.) 

CAMP LINTON, New Zealand - A battery of New Zealand Army Soldiers closes in on a company of U.S. Marines. The soldiers halt, and the two sides face off.

A hole in the pack of Soldiers opens, making way for three spear-wielding Maori warriors wearing nothing but shorts. In the 40-degree weather, their feet are chilled red. Shaking their spears and shouting viciously, they posture up to the Marines. One of them offers the official challenge: A small branch lain at the feet of the Marines.

Called a Wero, the branch is a peace offering. To accept peace, the visitor must pick up it up; otherwise, he is a foe.
Kiwi Soldiers with 161 Battery, 16th Field Regiment peacefully welcomed the U.S. Marines with this Powhiri ritual during the opening ceremony for exercise Joint Assault Signals Company Black, at Camp Linton, New Zealand, Aug. 11, 2015.

Afterwards, the Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, sang the Marine Corps Hymn to give the Kiwis a taste of Marine Corps tradition.

Exercise JASCO Black presents the opportunity for the U.S. and New Zealand to strengthen their partnership, exchange training techniques and share knowledge.

“This exercise will not only increase our interoperability, but also create new friendships throughout the training,” said Maj. Anthony Robinson, the acting commanding officer for 16th Field Regiment.

The partnership between U.S. and New Zealand traces back to World War II and continues to support to security and partnership in the Pacific region, according to Capt. Ryan Von Rembow, a UH-1Y pilot/forward air control officer with 5th ANGLICO.

“If we actually have to go to the fight, we will have a solid understanding and trust in each other to accomplish the mission,” said Von Rembow, from Fayetteville, Arkansas.