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OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S. Marines and Sailors from across III Marine Expeditionary Force and elements of U.S. 7th Fleet executed Noble Jaguar, an integrated naval exercise in and around Japan, Sept. 27-31, 2021.
While closely monitoring simulated adversary activities, these forces received the order to rapidly mobilize and immediately began to move.
Concealed through the cover of darkness and a small footprint on the electromagnetic spectrum, Marines with 3d Battalion, 12th Marines quickly reached a nearby port where they loaded multiple High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and readied for embarkation on the USNS Brunswick (T-EPF 6), an expeditionary fast transport ship.
“The first half of the exercise was focused on mobility … working with the Navy to ensure that we can effectively embark and disembark,” said Capt. Nathaniel Wasik, a HIMARS platoon commander with 3/12.
While putting HIMARS aboard Navy vessels is not a new concept, expeditionary fast transports provide a unique platform that can support a wide variety of military objectives.
“Missions such as Noble Jaguar are important because they provide an opportunity to experiment with different configurations and capabilities and allows both the embarked forces and the ship's crew to better realize the full mission potential,” said Andy Peretti, captain of the USNS Brunswick. “The more frequently we practice embarkation and utilization of the vessel, the more prepared we will be to effectively respond to any contingency.”
Upon arriving at their destination, the HIMARS moved into concealed positions ready to spring into firing points at an expeditionary advanced base (EAB) on Okinawa.