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II Marine Expeditionary Force

Readiness. Standards. Core Values.

Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
13th MEU begins Exercise Iron Fist 2013

By Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan | | January 23, 2013

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MARINE CORPS CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – (Right) Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, deputy commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force and (Center) Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, welcome Col. Matsushi Kunii after the Exercise Iron Fist 2013 opening ceremony, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan/Released)

MARINE CORPS CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – (Right) Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, deputy commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force and (Center) Col. Christopher D. Taylor, commanding officer of 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, welcome Col. Matsushi Kunii after the Exercise Iron Fist 2013 opening ceremony, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan)


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U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Commander Amphibious Squadron One and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 13 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013. The purpose of the bilateral amphibious exercise is to improve interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and hone individual and small-unit skills necessary for effective crisis response and to effectively conduct contingency operations across the Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei Thornton/Not Released)

U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Commander Amphibious Squadron One and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 13 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013. The purpose of the bilateral amphibious exercise is to improve interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and hone individual and small-unit skills necessary for effective crisis response and to effectively conduct contingency operations across the Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei Thornton/Not Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Lonzo-Grei Thornton)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. 
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response.
 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. 
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. 
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - U.S. Marines and Sailors with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula/Released) (Photo by Gunnery Sgt. Jared Padula)


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MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Japanese soldiers with the Western Army Infantry Regiment participate in Exercise Iron Fist 2013 opening ceremony, Jan. 22 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. 
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan/Released)

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Japanese soldiers with the Western Army Infantry Regiment participate in Exercise Iron Fist 2013 opening ceremony, Jan. 22 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. During Iron Fist 2013, the 13th MEU and Western Army Infantry Regiment, JGSDF will spend three weeks participating in bilateral training to improve their interoperability, enhance military-to-military relations and sharpen skills essential to crisis response. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Demetrius A Morgan)


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13th MEU begins Exercise Iron Fist 2013   (Related Story)
13th MEU begins Exercise Iron Fist 2013   (Related Story)
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton --

The 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit joined the Western Army Infantry Regiment, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force inkicking off Exercise Iron Fist 2013 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Jan. 22, 2013.

The annual exercise enables Marines and Sailors from13th MEU to build a positive military relationship with the JGDSF.From Jan. 22 to Feb. 15, they willparticipate in live-fire ranges, small unit tactics and amphibious operations.

“This training is important in many different ways,”said Col. Christopher D. Taylor, the commanding officer of 13th MEU. “It builds our military bonds, helps us build on our amphibious capabilities and we have fun as our two nations continue to get to know each other.”  

            Other than building rapport with the JGSDF, the bilateral training is designed to improve interoperability and be able to effectively conduct contingency operations across the Pacific. It also presents an opportunity to demonstrate toforeign militaries how the Marine Corps conducts training.

            During the ceremony, Col. Matsushi Kunii, the commanding officer of Western Army Infantry Regiment expressed his enthusiasm of the joint training.

“I would like to express our appreciation for our great partnership,” said Kunii. “This training will enhance our capabilities. I am highly motivated and I hope the exercise will be successful.”

“This is the eighth consecutive year that we have conducted Iron Fist,” said Maj. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, the deputy commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force. “This is advanced training and this year it promises to be bigger and better than previous years.”  

            The 13th MEU and the JGSDF will work together to further enhance theirreadiness through determination and unit cohesion. This training will also lay the foundation of the 13th MEU’s preparation for deployment later this year.

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