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Military conducts regional exercise

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Over the last couple of weeks you may have noticed the increase in military presence whether you've been out and about in Tumon or just looking up in the sky and noticing the increase in military aircraft activity. That's because Guam and Tinian are the venues for Forager Fury II.

"Forager Fury II for any history buffs  Operation Forager was the campaign to take back the Marianas back in World War II," he said.

More than 1,200 Marines are participating in Forager Fury Two in Guam and Tinian. The training includes the use of close to 60 military aircraft touching down and taking off from both locations. Lt Colonel William Sheridan is the executive officer of Marine Aircraft Group 12 based out of Iwakuni, Japan. He said, "Forager Fury is an opportunity for MAG 12 proper to be able to exercise our ability and assess our ability to generate combat power and sustain it more importantly so not only get it somewhere, but then be able to sustain it through a continuous operation it also gives us an opportunity to operate away from our home base as well it gives us an opportunity, as you can see the tents behind me, to operate in a more austere environment so we're not operating out of our normal work spaces and we basically built the tents from the ground up."

Andersen Air Force Base is serving as the forward operating base and operations center. While training in Tinian incorporates providing the necessary support for the training's simulated missions. "The significance in Tinian in this exercise is it gives  us the ability to extend our range so we can land our aircraft, refuel and continue to further up in the Marianas islands range complex," he said.

Aside from MAG 12 also participating in Forager Fury Two are Marine forces from Marine Wing Support Squadron 12, the Third Marine Expeditionary Force as well as 1st Marine Air Wing. To increase joint capabilities, the U.S. Air Force and Navy are also  providing aviation assets and support personnel during the exercise. "We are happy, we're honored to be here, the exercise is going very well so far we are now into our third 24-hour period of 72-hour surge so that's around the clock operations and operating at all hours," he said. "What this all leads to is increasing MAG 12, First MAW (Marine Aircraft Wing), 3 MEF (Marine Expeditionary Force) readiness to respond around the Asia Pacific Region to any continengency and crisis and obviously that's it all about for us."

Forager Fury Two wraps up on December 21.

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