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A Royal Thai Marine, simulating a chemical attack victim, lies still while Thai Reconnaissance Marines cordon off the area during a chemical, biological, radiological, chemical exercise here, Feb. 14. The training was conducted by Thai forces and Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, jointly executing casualty decontamination in a bilateral environment. The training is part of exercise Cobra Gold 2012, now in its 31st iteration. The exercise is a multi-lateral event focused on strengthening the interoperability of all participating military forces. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. - A Royal Thai Marine, simulating a chemical attack victim, lies still while Thai Reconnaissance Marines cordon off the area during a chemical, biological, radiological, chemical exercise here, Feb. 14. The training was conducted by Thai forces and Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, jointly executing casualty decontamination in a bilateral environment. The training is part of exercise Cobra Gold 2012, now in its 31st iteration. The exercise is a multi-lateral event focused on strengthening the interoperability of all participating military forces. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Marines with Battery L., Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire an M777A2 Ultra Light Weight Howitzer here during Exercise Cobra Gold 2012, Feb. 14. The Marines were firing in preparation for the 31st MEU’s upcoming Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise. CG 2012 demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. and participating nations to increase interoperability and promote security and peace throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the U.S.’s expeditionary force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. - Marines with Battery L., Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire an M777A2 Ultra Light Weight Howitzer here during Exercise Cobra Gold 2012, Feb. 14. The Marines were firing in preparation for the 31st MEU’s upcoming Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise. CG 2012 demonstrates the resolve of the U.S. and participating nations to increase interoperability and promote security and peace throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The 31st MEU is the U.S.’s expeditionary force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sub-Lt. Pranom Yodrug, a Royal Thai reconnaissance Marine, slices a vegetable while teaching the Marines about edible vegetation as part of a jungle survival class held here, Feb. 13. The survival instruction, taught by members of the Royal Thai Marine Reconnaissance, educated U.S. and Republic of Korean Marines on finding sustenance and tools in the jungle environment. The class is part of exercise Cobra Gold 2012, now in its 31st iteration. The exercise is a multi-lateral event focused on strengthening the interoperability of all participating military forces. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. - Sub-Lt. Pranom Yodrug, a Royal Thai reconnaissance Marine, slices a vegetable while teaching the Marines about edible vegetation as part of a jungle survival class held here, Feb. 13. The survival instruction, taught by members of the Royal Thai Marine Reconnaissance, educated U.S. and Republic of Korean Marines on finding sustenance and tools in the jungle environment. The class is part of exercise Cobra Gold 2012, now in its 31st iteration. The exercise is a multi-lateral event focused on strengthening the interoperability of all participating military forces. The 31st MEU is the only continuously forward-deployed MEU and remains the nation’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Rep. Itsunori Onodera of Miyagi Prefecture, senior vice minister of foreign affairs (left), shakes hands with Col. Andrew R. MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and thanked him for the relief efforts by the 31st MEU during a visit of III Marine Expeditionary Force leadership here Jan. 12. The visit was conducted to review community recovery progress since Operation Tomodachi and to discuss potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities to better prepare for future support requirements. During the visit, members of the 31st MEU were able to revisit the areas where they helped in recovery efforts ten months earlier. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward deployed MEU, and remains America’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region. - Rep. Itsunori Onodera of Miyagi Prefecture, senior vice minister of foreign affairs (left), shakes hands with Col. Andrew R. MacMannis, commanding officer, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and thanked him for the relief efforts by the 31st MEU during a visit of III Marine Expeditionary Force leadership here Jan. 12. The visit was conducted to review community recovery progress since Operation Tomodachi and to discuss potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities to better prepare for future support requirements. During the visit, members of the 31st MEU were able to revisit the areas where they helped in recovery efforts ten months earlier. The 31st MEU is the only continually forward deployed MEU, and remains America’s force in readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.

Marines and Sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 31 and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced), both with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, explore the historical site of a 1942 12-inch coastal defense gun during a tour here Nov. 4, 2011. The gun was used by American and Filippino service members defending Corregidor in 1942. Service members of the 31st MEU toured Corregidor after the completion of the Amphibious Landing Exercise, designed to enhance interoperability between the military forces, continuing the allied relationship that has existed for more than half a century. - Marines and Sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 31 and Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 265 (Reinforced), both with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, explore the historical site of a 1942 12-inch coastal defense gun during a tour here Nov. 4, 2011. The gun was used by American and Filippino service members defending Corregidor in 1942. Service members of the 31st MEU toured Corregidor after the completion of the Amphibious Landing Exercise, designed to enhance interoperability between the military forces, continuing the allied relationship that has existed for more than half a century.

Philippine Marines and U.S. Marines from Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently in support of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, carry a Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft during a boat raid here Oct. 27. The boat raid was conducted as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2012, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. Marine Corps and Philippine Marines. The bilateral training is designed to build interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Philippine Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Turner/Released) - Philippine Marines and U.S. Marines from Fox Company, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, currently in support of 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, carry a Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft during a boat raid here Oct. 27. The boat raid was conducted as part of Amphibious Landing Exercise 2012, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. Marine Corps and Philippine Marines. The bilateral training is designed to build interoperability between the U.S. Marine Corps and Philippine Marines. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Turner/Released)

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Raul Elikhi, a cannoneer assigned to Kilo Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary provides security during Humanitarian Aid, Disaster Relief training mission on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct 9, 2011. The Marines are conducting the training as part of the MEU's Certification Exercise (CERTEX). The MEU executes CERTEX prior to every deployment to ensure its capability of responding to a wide variety of contingencies. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Vernon T. Meekins/Released) - U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Raul Elikhi, a cannoneer assigned to Kilo Battery, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary provides security during Humanitarian Aid, Disaster Relief training mission on Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan, Oct 9, 2011. The Marines are conducting the training as part of the MEU's Certification Exercise (CERTEX). The MEU executes CERTEX prior to every deployment to ensure its capability of responding to a wide variety of contingencies. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Vernon T. Meekins/Released)

Sailors with Amphibious Squadron 11 attach chains to a CH-46E Sea Knight with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, during flight deck operations, March 13. Marines and sailors of the 31st MEU aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2) are making preparations for potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts after an 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage. The USS Essex and 31st MEU are heading for the northeast coast of Japan to be ready to support to our friends and allies in their ongoing efforts and to be near enough to provide that support if called upon. - Sailors with Amphibious Squadron 11 attach chains to a CH-46E Sea Knight with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, during flight deck operations, March 13. Marines and sailors of the 31st MEU aboard the USS Essex (LHD 2) are making preparations for potential humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts after an 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Japan causing widespread damage. The USS Essex and 31st MEU are heading for the northeast coast of Japan to be ready to support to our friends and allies in their ongoing efforts and to be near enough to provide that support if called upon.

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31st Marine Expeditionary Unit