CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan --
3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade reactivated during a ceremony here Dec. 13 as Brig. Gen. Craig Q. Timberlake, the MEB’s commanding general, uncased the colors.
3rd MEB, a part of III Marine Expeditionary Force, is standing up a permanent command element with 95 staff, said Timberlake, who is also the deputy commanding general of III MEF.
Reactivating 3rd MEB, which was first activated during World War I, is in line with the commandant’s guidance.
“The commandant of the Marine Corps’ guidance has been, ‘Today’s force for today’s crisis today,’” said Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., III MEF commanding general, during the ceremony.
“When the crisis flag goes up, one way or the other (PACOM and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific are) going to turn to III MEF, and it’s going to be 3rd MEB that’s going to be out the door,” said Glueck. “It’s going to be 3rd MEB that is going to be moving out in under 24 hours.
“And so Gen. Timberlake, my charge to you is: Prepare the MEB to move out,” he added.
Timberlake made a pledge of his own, not only to his boss, but to the Marines who serve under and with him.
“My pledge today, to Gen. Glueck, the Marines standing behind me and beside me, is that, sir, we will endeavor in everything we do to remain the force of choice for this combatant commander,” said Timberlake.
3rd MEB will provide a scalable, standing, joint-capable, forward-deployed headquarters element located in the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
3rd MEB will enhance the Corps’ expeditionary readiness by providing a force capable of leading amphibious operations, crisis-response and limited contingency operations, enabling the introduction of follow-on forces. This will increase theater security cooperation, strengthening of alliance relationships and supporting III MEF operational requirements.
3rd MEB has recently participated in numerous operations and exercises to include Operation Tomodachi in mainland Japan, Exercise Cobra Gold in the Kingdom of Thailand and Amphibious Landing Exercise in the Republic of the Philippines.
The Asia-Pacific region is prone to severe weather conditions and natural disasters. The reestablishment of a command element enables rapid response and the ability to execute any mission when a situation arises.
The 3rd MEB has played a significant role in maintaining stability within the Asian-Pacific region in the past and is positioned to continue to do so in the future.