General provides guidance for 2013
CAMP BUTLER - Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, provided guidance to his command Jan. 4 that explained his intent and vision for III MEF during 2013.
The commanding general's message reinforced and expanded upon guidance provided in 2011 and 2012, and praised the performance of his command during the past two years.
"The MEF has excelled in meeting my operational intent; being the most ready force in United States Pacific Command," said Glueck. "We have proven time and again to be the force of choice; responding to today's crisis, with today's force, today."
III MEF's involvement in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations around the Asia-Pacific region in 2012, highlighted by flood relief efforts in the Republic of the Philippines, demonstrated the necessity of an expeditionary force in readiness in the region, reinforcing the need for continual preparation and training by III MEF's subordinate commands.
"As we start the new year, we must be prepared for the unexpected," said Glueck. "We will be tested, and not at the time and place of our choosing."
The introduction of the MV-22B Osprey to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing will help III MEF respond to these tests by increasing operational flexibility and improving response times to crises and natural disasters in the region, according to Glueck. The Osprey has approximately four times the operational range and twice the speed of the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter it is replacing.
The operational capabilities of III MEF have also been bolstered by the re-institution of the unit deployment program, including the reintroduction of multiple infantry battalions to the island for the first time in several years, according to Glueck.
The commanding general called on his Marines to rededicate themselves to realistic training, building interoperability with partner nations, and improving command and control in order to fully realize the benefits of III MEF's increased capabilities.
Efficiency will also be a focus of the new year, with Glueck asking his Marines to maximize their effectiveness with available resources and, as necessary, adapt to overcome any challenges that would impede mission accomplishment.
One challenge III MEF must address in the coming year is the very small percentage of Marines who fail to meet the standards, unduly altering the perception of the U.S. military among parts of our host nation's populace, according to Glueck.
"The vast majority of Marines and sailors continue to conduct themselves as upstanding members of the Okinawa community," said Glueck. "It falls upon every member of III MEF to maintain their focus and leadership on maintaining zero-tolerance for liberty incidents."
Glueck concluded his guidance by reinforcing the importance of each Marine and sailor understanding their commander's intent, a principal that the general had stressed in guidance from previous years. He charged each service member with seizing the initiative and maintaining accountability for their actions in 2013.