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Marines from the 1ST Marine Division, 3rd Amphibious Armored Vehicle Battalion add realism to the exercise by driving a former Soviet bloc T-72 main battle tank across the beach head. These Marines are acting as the opposing force, commonly called the OPFOR

Marines from the 1ST Marine Division, 3rd Amphibious Armored Vehicle Battalion add realism to the exercise by driving a former Soviet bloc T-72 main battle tank across the beach head. These Marines are acting as the opposing force, commonly called the OPFOR

 
 
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Summary

The original finding aid described this photograph as:

Subject Operation/Series: KERNEL BLITZ '97

Base: Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

State: California (CA)

Country: United States Of America (USA)

Scene Camera Operator: SGT Ryan Ward, Usmc

Release Status: Released to Public
Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

Tanks in mass culture. Tanks were first developed separately and simultaneously by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front. Their first use in combat was by the British Army in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. The name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose.

The United States Marine Corps traces its roots to the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on 10 November 1775. That date is celebrated as the Marine Corps's birthday. Throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, Marine detachments served aboard Navy cruisers, battleships, and aircraft carriers. About 600,000 Americans served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II, performed a central role in the Pacific War. The Pacific theatre battles saw fierce fighting between Marines and the Imperial Japanese Army. The Battle of Iwo Jima was arguably the most famous Marine engagement of the war with high losses of 26,000 American casualties and 22,000 Japanese. By the end of WWII, the Corps expanded totaling about 485,000 Marines. Nearly 87,000 Marines were casualties during World War II (including nearly 20,000 killed), and 82 were awarded the Medal of Honor. The Korean War saw the Corps expand from 75,000 regulars to a force of 261,000 Marines, mostly reservists. 30,544 Marines were killed or wounded during the war. During Vietnam War Marines evacuated Saigon. Vietnam was the longest war for Marines. By its end, 13,091 had been killed in action, 51,392 had been wounded. Marines participated in the failed 1980 Iran hostage rescue attempt, the invasion of Grenada, the invasion of Panama. On 23 October 1983, the Marine headquarters building in Beirut, Lebanon, was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history. 220 Marines and 21 other service members were killed. Marines liberated Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, participated in combat operations in Somalia (1992–1995), and took part in the evacuation of American citizens from the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania. Following the attacks on 11 September 2001, Marine Corps, alongside the other military services, has engaged in global operations around the world in support of War on Terror. Marines were among first sent to Afghanistan in November 2001. Since then, Marine battalions and squadrons have been engaging Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. U.S. Marines also served in the Iraq War.

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Date

21/06/1997
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Source

The U.S. National Archives
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