Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps amphibious combat vehicles attached to Alpha Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/5, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct open water transit at Exercise Balikatan 24 in Naval Detachment Oyster Bay, Palawan, Philippines, May 4, 2024. BK 24 is an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Peyton Kahle)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Peyton Kahle

I MEF summer campaign ramps up Pacific presence

16 May 2024 | Courtesy Story I Marine Expeditionary Force

As the summer approaches, I Marine Expeditionary Force is executing a series of exercises throughout Southeast Asia that bolster I MEF's capabilities and affirm the Marine Corps’ dedication to the Indo-Pacific.

The exercises provide invaluable opportunities for the force to engage with counterparts from allied and partner nations to enhance interoperability and ensure seamless cooperation in future contingencies. From engineering projects and medical outreach in remote communities, to high-intensity maritime warfare simulations and amphibious assaults, the varied nature of these exercises highlights the versatility and adaptability of the world’s largest expeditionary force.

The campaign kicked off with Exercise Balikatan in the Philippines April 22 to May 10, where more than 2,500 I MEF Marines trained shoulder-to-shoulder with members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the joint force. From field training exercises to humanitarian assistance, Exercise Balikatan increased proficiency in maritime security and combined arms operations and solidified an enduring friendship between two nations.

The completion of Exercise Balikatan marked the commencement of Archipelagic Coastal Defense Continuum where the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. Marine Corps will conduct bilateral training and subject matter exchanges from May 12 to June 7 throughout Northern Luzon, Palawan and Mindanao to support the modernization efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Following ACDC, I MEF will continue to hold the line, strategically deploying Marines from the Philippines to Palau and Guam to the Hawaiian Islands in support of exercises Valiant Shield, Marine Aviation Support Activity, Rim of the Pacific and Task Force Koa Moana.

Through these summer exercises, I MEF aims to strengthen existing alliances and build new partnerships through cooperation and mutual understanding to ensure a collective approach to regional security challenges in a complex and dynamic environment. The exercises will highlight I MEF’s agility and aim to foster unity with allies, thereby elevating warfighting readiness, deterrence, reassurance and the future of I MEF’s posture in the Indo-Pacific.

I MEF Marines are also deployed to Australia’s Northern Territory as part of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin from April to October to train alongside the Australian Defence Force, and are postured to respond to humanitarian crises, natural disasters or potential contingencies in the region.

I MEF’s forward presence is a testament to its regional partnerships and pivotal role in advancing the Marine Corps’ strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific. By demonstrating a commitment to peace, stability and prosperity in the region, I MEF not only enhances its operational readiness but also contributes to a broader effort to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, where power is respected and disputes are resolved peacefully.

I MEF provides the Marine Corps with a globally responsive, expeditionary and fully scalable Marine Air-Ground Task Force, capable of generating, deploying and employing ready forces and formations for crisis response, forward presence, major combat operations and campaigns.

For more information about I MEF’s activities during the summer campaign, visit:

I Marine Expeditionary Force