Pacific Marines Overview

Who We Are

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, is the largest operational command in the Marine Corps. It comprises two-thirds of the Marine Corps’ active-duty combat forces, I Marine Expeditionary Force and III Marine Expeditionary Force, collectively known as the “Pacific Marines.” These Marines serve as the Nation’s expeditionary force-in-readiness in the Indo-Pacific, forward positioned and actively employed throughout the vast maritime region. Every day, Pacific Marines execute two important roles – as “stand-in” forces and crisis response forces, both tailor built for diverse security challenges. They are naval in nature, experts in the littorals, and operate across all domains – sea, land, air, space, and cyber. They work daily with the joint force and like-minded allies and partners to deter aggression, strengthen stability, and if the Nation calls, to fight and win.  

What We Do

As premier crisis response forces, Pacific Marines are forward-based and forward-deployed in the First Island Chain and other key maritime terrain in the Indo-Pacific. They are organized, trained, and equipped as Marine air-ground-logistics teams that can swiftly respond to a range of contingencies – from disaster relief and humanitarian assistance to embassy reinforcement and major combat operations. As “soldiers of the sea,” they are uniquely suited to help countries facing maritime security challenges. Each year, Pacific Marines participate in 100+ exercises and engagements with allies and partners to increase military capabilities, readiness, and the skills to work together. These partnerships strengthen regional security and facilitate a faster and more effective response across the full range of military operations.

To address growing regional threats, Pacific Marines are also modernizing to serve as “stand-in forces.” These light, lethal, and mobile teams are designed to operate inside the range of a potential adversary’s weapon systems during competition, crisis, or conflict. When physically standing “in” these high-threat areas, stand-in forces use organic, all-domain capabilities to rapidly sense and understand the operating environment and the activities of potential adversaries. The teams rapidly share this understanding with the joint force, allies, and partners to inform faster decision-making and actions to deter conflict. If conflict comes, stand-in forces can target, or enable joint and coalition targeting in all domains to threaten, “hold at risk,” or engage adversary capabilities meant to do harm.  

Why We Do It

Pacific Marines provide National leaders with an expeditionary force-in-readiness in the Indo-Pacific, forward positioned in key maritime terrain to deter conflict and respond to crisis – anytime, anywhere. In their roles as both stand-in forces and crisis response forces, Pacific Marines provide the joint force and like-minded allies and partners with diverse capabilities that advance peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for all.