Capt. Matt H. Langferman, an F/A-18D Hornet pilot with Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225, and Capt. Bradley N. Buick, a weapon systems operator, perform preflight checks during air-to-air and air-to-ground training on Guam as part of Exercise Island Fury on Oct. 19. (Lance Cpl. Charles Clark / Marine Corps)
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About 1,000 Marines will descend on Guam and the island of Tinian later this month for a two-week training exercise in the Pacific.
The Japan-based Marine Aircraft Group 12 will lead the exercise, "Forager Fury," which begins Nov. 27. It will include F/A-18 Hornet jet squadrons and wing support detachments within MAG-12 as well as elements of III Marine Expeditionary Force, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group and Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, a spokesman said. VMM-265 is the MV-22 Osprey squadron that relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan, this summer after transitioning from the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter.
The exercise will place "heavy emphasis on tactical aviation and aviation ground support in order to further develop a distributed expeditionary combat capability within the Mariana Islands Range Complex," said Maj. Neil A. Ruggiero, a spokesman at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
The exercise, which will run through Dec. 12, builds on several previous but smaller exercises that paved the way for a larger contingent of Marines to practice warfighting skills as an integrated Marine air-ground task force in the Northern Mariana Islands. The tropical island chain is home to a complex of military ranges that the Marine Corps plans to expand and use more often as the service reduces its force in Japan and transfers about 9,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii and Australia in the coming years.
Forager Fury, builds on previous training, including "Geiger Fury" last spring in which Marines helped clear landing areas on Tinian for aviation operations. During the month-long, inter-service exercise "Island Fury," on Guam in October, Marine Corps squadrons worked with their Air Force counterparts to improve air-to-air and air-to-ground training.
"Guam is a great place to train," Ruggiero said. For this exercise, "we are training within the Mariana Islands complex." The Marine Corps plans to transport the Marines and their equipment and vehicles to the islands by air and high-speed vessels, he said.