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The mission of the 3d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which was reactivated by the Marine Corps in 1999, is to rapidly project combat power into an area. Once in the area, the MEB can be operationally ready for combat within 10 days. The MEB is capable of sustaining operations for 30 days with approximately 16,000 Marines and 900 Sailors. The official 3d MEB command element stood up January 2000.

The Tandem Thrust/Freedom Banner Exercise allowed the MEB to test its ability to conduct Maritime Prepositioning Force operations during the Freedom Banner portion. The equipment and supplies off-loaded from one MPF ship and two Military Sealift Command ships were then used in support of Tandem Thrust, the field training portion of the exercise. The items off-loaded from the ship included 5-ton trucks, artillery weapons, Light Armored Vehicles, AAVs and other field equipment.

The MEB successfully deployed over 3,500 Marines, Sailors and civilians from Okinawa, mainland Japan, Hawaii and CONUS into Australia to conduct this exercise. During the exercise, units from the reserve also participated. The 3d MEB integrated Marine reserve units into the operation, once again validating the total force concept. It then off-loaded 312 footprint items off the MPF ship, 750 items of rolling stock and 322 containers from the MSC ship, combined with 4 rail operations of over 200 vehicles to get the equipment and supplies to the SPMAGTF to participate in the field training exercise. The 3d MEB logged almost 100,000 miles of convoy operations during the off-load. That equipment then got a tremendous workout during Tandem Thrust.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:24:15 Zulu