Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z attack helicopter pilots with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Rein.), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fire an AGM-179 joint air-to-ground munition (JAGM) during an expeditionary (EXPO) strike, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, June 26, 2024. This EXPO strike launched the first JAGM off an AH-1Z in the Indo-Pacific region. The JAGM provides a true “fire and forget” capability to guide the missile to endgame, able to destroy fast-moving maritime targets like fast attack craft (FAC) in rough sea states. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible and lethal force, ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premiere crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher Lape)

Photo by Cpl. Christopher Lape

31st MEU Conducts Expeditionary Strike in Philippine Sea with New Missile

28 Jun 2024 | Capt. Pawel Puczko 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit sank a moving training target vessel during an expeditionary strike exercise in the Philippine Sea, Wednesday 26, June.

An AH-1Z Viper, attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 Reinforced, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fired a live AGM-179 Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), striking a towed moving training vessel during a training mission at sea. A JAGM is a precision-guided munition for use against high value stationary, moving, and relocatable land and maritime targets. The missile can be used to defend key maritime terrain against a wide-range of targets from armored vehicles to maritime patrol craft during conflict. The success of this expeditionary strike demonstrates the 31st MEU’s capability to deliver precision strikes at sea and safeguard a free and open Indo-Pacific.


First AH-1Z JAGM Launched in INDOPACOM During EXPO Strike Photo by Cpl. Christopher Lape
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Larsen, left, and Capt. Charles Tuan, both AH-1Z attack helicopter pilots with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262 (Rein.), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, fly with an AGM-179 joint air-to-ground munition (JAGM) during an expeditionary (EXPO) strike, off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, June 26, 2024. This EXPO strike launched the first JAGM off an AH-1Z in the Indo-Pacific region. The JAGM provides a true “fire and forget” capability to guide the missile to endgame, able to destroy fast-moving maritime targets like fast attack craft (FAC) in rough sea states. The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed MEU, provides a flexible and lethal force, ready to perform a wide range of military operations as the premiere crisis response force in the Indo-Pacific region. Larsen and Tuan are natives of California. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher Lape)


Each live-fire training event that the 31st MEI conducts is in strict compliance with applicable U.S. environmental laws, regulations, and permit requirements to minimize potential harm to the environment. Live fire expeditionary strikes are conducted only after the area has been surveyed for the presence of people, marine vessels, aircraft, and marine species. These missions are fully compliant with the National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, and a general permit under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.

As the nation’s premier crisis response force, the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit provides a credible and sustainable force capable of executing a wide range of operational and humanitarian operations.


The point of contact for any questions is 31st MEU Communication Strategy and Operations Director at pawel.puczko@usmc.mil.