III Marine Expeditionary Force


III Marine Expeditionary Force

Forward. Faithful. Focused.

III MEF in the Media

 III MEF bids farewell to Nicholson, welcomes Smith as new commanding general

Stars and Stripes | August 3, 2018

Lt. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson (right) and Lt. Gen. Eric M. Smith briefly hug after Nicholson's speech at a III Marine Expeditionary Force change of command ceremony, Aug. 2, 2018, at the parade deck aboard Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan. Nicholson relinquished his duties as the III MEF commanding general to Smith. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Matthew J. Bragg)


 III MEF Band performs concert in Guam

Star and Stripes | July 21, 2018

Marines with the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band, perform in front of a crowd at The Senator Antonio M. Palomo Guam Museum and Chamorro Educational Facility, July 18, 2018 in Guam. Marines are in Guam to celebrate Guam’s 74th Liberation Day on July 21, 2018. The 3rd Marine Division was instrumental in the liberation of Guam during World War II.

Secretary of the Navy, US Forces Japan, III MEF leadership visit Iwakuni

Star and Stripes | July 13, 2018

Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen Lawrence D. Nicholson, commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Mahoney, deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan, and other high ranking U.S. military staff visited Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, July 12, 2018.


77th 1st MAW birthday

Star and Stripes | July 9, 2018

Lt. Col. Donald McCowan briefs Marines during formation at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, July 6, 2018. Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 1 conducted a formation to celebrate the 77th birthday of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.


‘I only know my father through story’: Thousands gather to remember lives lost in Battle of Okinawa

Star and Stripes | June 23, 2018

Haruko Arakaki was only a year old when her civilian father went out during the Battle of Okinawa and never returned.


III MIG welcomes new commander

Stars and Stripes | June 11, 2018

Brig. Gen. Daniel Conley ceremoniously passed command of 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force to Col. Ronald Braney during a transfer of command ceremony June 1, 2018 at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.

III MEF Unit News


Robotics Autonomous By Pfc. Terry Wong | August 9, 2018
III MEF commanding general change of command ceremony By Lance Cpl. Harrison Rakhshani | August 3, 2018
U.S. Marines and Army conduct fuel experiment during RIMPAC By Lance Cpl. Adam Montera | July 24, 2018
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III MEF provides the United States with a forward-deployed force in readiness in the Pacific Theater, as a globally responsive, expeditionary, and fully scalable Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF), capable of generating, deploying, and employing forces for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations, and campaigns.

A Glance at 75 Years in III MEF History

Early Years

III MEF was established as I Marine Amphibious Corps on Oct. 1, 1942. It was renamed III Amphibious Corps, April 15, 1944, and contributed to noteworthy military campaigns, such as the Solomon Islands campaign, the Mariana and Palau Islands campaign, and the Battle of Okinawa, during World War II.


In September 1945, III AC redeployed to Tientsin, China, and supported the occupation of Northern China before being deactivated June 10, 1946.


III AC was reactivated on May 6, 1965 in Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam, and redesignated III Marine Amphibious Force on May 7, 1965. III MAF, which consisted of 1st Marine Division, 3rd Marine Division and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, operated in Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam, Quang Tin, and Quang Ngai from May 1965 to April 1971 during the Vietnam War.


Current Role

III MAF was redesignated as III Marine Expeditionary Force on Feb. 5, 1988 and has since supported military operations throughout the world. In the Middle East, III MEF supported Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. III MEF elements also played a vital role in Operation Sea Angel, in Bangladesh, from May-June 1991; Operation Fiery Vigil, in the Philippines, during June 1991; and Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope, in Somalia, from December 1992 to March 1994.

Today, III MEF supports a wide range of military operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. III MEF provided HADR assistance during Super Typhoon Megi in the Philippines during 2010; earthquake-relief efforts in Japan during March 2011; Operation Tomodachi, a tsunami-relief effort in Japan during May of the same year; flood-relief efforts in Thailand during October-November 2011; typhoon-relief efforts in the Philippines during December 2012 and November 2013; earthquake-relief efforts in Nepal during 2015 and in Kumamoto, Japan, in 2016.

III MEF, currently headquartered in Okinawa, Japan, maintains a forward presence in support of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the U.S. and Japan, and other regional allies of the U.S. III MEF also conducts combined operations and training throughout the region in support of the National Security Strategy for Theater Security Cooperation.


III MEF subordinate units include the 3rd Marine Division, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group.

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