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Marines expand intelligence gathering in joint exercise

US Marine Corps News

By Sgt. Rebekka S. Heite, Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Marines with 3rd Intelligence Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, recently returned from U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Republic of Korea, where they participated in Operation Winter Surge 2011, a combined, joint event conducted by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and ROK and U.S. Marines.

“This was an important deployment for the Marines of 3rd Intelligence Battalion and the intelligence organizations we work with in the Republic of Korea,” said Lt. Col. Mike Lindemann, the battalion’s commanding officer.

“Besides the unique opportunity to practice our skills while performing a variety of real-world intelligence tasks, the Marines gained invaluable experience in the logistics, communications and systems challenges in being an expeditionary intelligence force-in-readiness for III MEF,” he added.

This is the third consecutive year 3rd Intelligence Bn. has deployed in support of Winter Surge as a battalion. This year, approximately 190 U.S. Marines, 30 ROK Marines, and various U.S. Army and Air Force personnel participated in the exercise.

While in Korea, Marines lived and worked in tents.

“Despite the unusually cold temperatures, morale stayed high and improved as the U.S. forces acclimatized and got into a battle rhythm with the ROK Marines,” said 1st. Lt. Casey Munroe, adjutant with 3rd Intelligence Bn.

During the operation, participants performed multi-discipline intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, said Lindemann.

The 3rd Intelligence Bn.’s support also contributed to the development of the ROK Marine Corps intelligence capabilities and proficiency, he said.

“The Marines fully embraced this opportunity to integrate the ROK Marines into our operations and work closely with sister-service intelligence units; we learned a lot from them while reinforcing our own sense of what makes us unique as Marines,” he said.