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III MEF General Issues Safety Stand-down

1 Nov 2016 | Cpl. Carl King III Marine Expeditionary Force

A water safety stand-down has been issued by Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force, for all service members in Okinawa, Japan, for the next 96 hours, following the deaths of two U.S. Marines in Okinawa.

The stand-down enforces that all service members are prohibited from participating in any water-related activities for 96 hours, beginning Tuesday, November 1, 2016.

“I appreciate the efforts of all our commands and service component teammates - US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, and US Marine - to execute a 96 hour pause on all water activities [in order to] stand-down, reset the force and ensure we are learning from the tragic losses and saving lives moving forward for our focused efforts this week,” said Nicholson.

Lt. Gen. Nicholson wants U.S. service members to remember that if they plan to participate in water-related activities, they should plan ahead and be safe. The common theme among recreational water mishaps is a lack of risk management.

Service members should be conservative. If they are uncomfortable with the situation, they should trust their gut and stay out of the water.

Service members should also think about the surrounding area in which they intend to perform recreational activities. The weather may change rapidly. They should get out of the water if unsafe conditions develop. Remember: alcohol and recreational water activities do not mix.

For updated information on the current sea conditions, visit

"As leaders we have a solemn obligation to do everything possible to take care of and protect our great Marines, Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen," said Nicholson.

If service members get into any trouble or emergency situations they should contact emergency responders immediately. For emergencies on base, call 911. For emergencies off base, call 098-911-1911. Dial 098-934-5911 for service members on Kadena Air Force Base, Okuma, Camp Shields, and Torii Station.