Despite much discussion of and emphasis on “naval integration” in recent years among the Sea Services, most Marines and Navy personnel are generally unaware that these efforts have already taken hold. The U.S. Sixth Fleet recently created the newest of these; indeed, right now inside Sixth Fleet Headquarters in Naples, Italy, a Marine general officer and task-organized staff are deployed to command and control (C2) an amphibious ready group (ARG), a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU), and reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance (RXR) forces. In its first 30 days of deployment, this organization—known as Task Force 61 Naval Amphibious Forces Europe/2d Marine Division (TF 61/2)—has led a combined joint exercise, planned operations for the ARG/MEU team in multiple locations throughout the theater, and accelerated the operationalization of the Marine Corps’ concept for stand-in forces. TF 61/2 provides the fleet commander with a purpose-built C2 capability designed to respond to crises across multiple combatant commands while also representing and advancing the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 efforts.
Task Force 61/2: A Model for Naval Warfighting
By Major General Francis L. Donovan, U.S. Marine Corps