Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Marine Corps moving 15 percent of its force to the Pacific

Marine Corps moving 15 percent of its force to the Pacific: North Korea is determined to expand its nuclear arsenal. China is constructing airstrips on artificial islands in the South China Sea. Russia is increasingly active in Japanese air space.

With key U.S. allies the targets of this aggression, Marine Corps leaders in the Asia-Pacific region say their greatest priority is preserving stability. And as tensions rise, the service is forging ahead with several big moves that will eventually place nearly 15 percent of the service's personnel in Hawaii and beyond.

Additionally, Marines are slated to partner with at least 22 regional militaries throughout the next year, Lt. Gen. John Toolan, the head of Marine Corps Forces Pacific, told Marine Corps Times. Notably, he said, "we are currently exploring options for greater amphibious engagement with India."

The Navy Department recently approved the Marine Corps' plan to move 5,000 Marines and their families from Japan to Guam. That will leave about 10,000 Marines in Okinawa, and 8,800 in Hawaii, Toolan said.