Wresting the Marianas from the Japanese was a textbook proto-example of the current Joint Operational Access Concept—and the lessons of the Pacific war in 1944 remain relevant in the same theater today.
The Pacific theater of World War II witnessed the introduction of a number of new joint operational concepts providing lasting lessons to today’s warfighter. At the Battle of Midway, carrier-based aircraft conducted the first major fleet engagement entirely beyond visual range of the battle group. The doctrine of joint amphibious-assault operations was refined during the island-hopping campaign, which spanned the Philippines to the Bonins. Although a relatively new term in joint parlance, operations in the Pacific Theater demonstrated the concept of joint operational access (JOA). Operation Forager—the 1944 American invasion of the Mariana Islands and Palau—is an example of U.S. military efforts to achieve JOA to the Japanese mainland, and it offers relevant insights into the recently developed Joint Operational Access Concept (JOAC) of today.