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Air Contingency MAGTF

In the event of a fast-breaking crisis, an Air Contingency MAGTF (ACM) may be the first MAGTF on the scene. Air contingency forces may be dispatched to respond to fast-developing crises. An air contingency MAGTF is an on-call, combat-ready task organization that can begin deployment by strategic airlift within 18 hours of notification. The fixed wing aircraft of the air contingency MAGTF will normally self-deploy. Both Marine Corps Forces Atlantic and Marine Corps Forces Pacific maintain air contingency MAGTFs in a continuous state of readiness.

The ACM is composed of regular MEF combat and support forces on standby. As long as no crisis exists, they continue normal operations. However, if a crisis erupts and the call "Send in the Marines" is sounded, the forces form as a cohesive MAGTF and prepare for the mission at hand.

Unlike the MEU(SOC), which has the ability to force its way ashore in the face of armed opposition, ACMs require a secure airfield to which to deploy. Given this, an ACM can be precisely sized for the mission and available airlift, ranging in size from a reinforced rifle company with a small combat service support element, up to a regimental size force, complete with headquarters, aviation, and combat service support elements. As such, they can be employed for a variety of independent conventional missions, or reinforce other first-on-the-scene Marine or joint forces.

An air contingency MAGTF can deploy independently or in conjunction with a Marine expeditionary unit (special operations capable), maritime prepositioning force, or other expeditionary force. Unlike maritime prepositioning force troops who deploy without most of their organic equipment in anticipation of marrying up in theater with that from the maritime prepositioning squadrons, air contingency forces must deploy to the theater with all of the organic equipment they require. Also unlike maritime prepositioning forces, air contingency forces do not have an organic sustainment capability.

The the movement of the Fly-in Echelon (FIE) of the Air Contingency MAGTF is conducted from the Continental United States or Okinawa. The III MEF Air Contingency MAGTF (Marine Air-Ground Task Force) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit can respond to many contingencies (small-scale contingencies in particular) within the Asian-Pacific Area of Responsibility more readily than can units in the continental United States.

On the 1st of May, 2000, the Third Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment assumed the duties as the Ground Combat Element of the Air Contingency MAGTF (ACM). After thorough and extensive preparation and inspections, Kilo Company assumed duties first. Responsibilities were rotated through the Battalion's Companies on a two week basis through the 7th of July. Fortunately for the Marines and Sailors of 3/6 they did not have to respond to any real world contingencies during this period.




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