The United States Marine Corps’ claim to fame has always been amphibious operations, but throughout nearly two decades of combat operations in the Global War on Terror, the Marines’ responsibilities have grown to absorb nearly every facet of war fighting.  Born in a bar, the Marine Corps was founded in Philadelphia’s Tun Tavern on 10 November, 1775.

A component of the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps now conducts operations on land and aboard sea-going amphibious warfare ships everywhere in the world.  Marine Corps aviators also fly combat missions from land-based air strips and alongside their Navy counterparts aboard America’s massive Nimitz and Ford class aircraft carriers. Throughout 2017, the Marines participated in combat operations all over the world, and transitioned their training strategy to prepare for the possibility of future warfare with peer and near-peer level opponents.  Here are the best pictures they took along the way:

#5 – A job with a view

A Crew Chief assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 167, observes the landing zone from a UH-1Y Huey during a training operation at Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina, March 9, 2017. MWSS-274 conducted casualty evacuation drills in order to improve unit readiness and maintain interoperability with HMLA-167.  (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Anthony J. Brosilow)

#4 – Assault Training in Spain

Marines assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response Africa exit an MV-22B Osprey during assault training at Sierra Del Retin, Spain.

#3 – Firing an M240B in Japan

CAMP FUJI, Japan – A U.S. Marine with Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, based out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, shoots an M240B machine gun during phase two of Eagle Wrath 2017 at Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan, July, 5, 2017. Phase two consisted of conducting live-fire training exercises to give MWSS-171 the knowledge and confidence to utilize weapons systems effectively in a deployed environment.

#2 – Advancing on target

DJIBOUTI – U.S. Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 4th Marines, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, advance toward downrange targets during a squad assault rehearsal as part of Exercise Alligator Dagger, Dec. 17. During the assault rehearsals, the Marines were tested in their abilities to react and respond to simulated fire from enemy combatants by bounding toward the objective and delivering suppressive fire as a team. The unilateral exercise provides an opportunity for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th MEU to train in amphibious operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The 11th MEU is currently supporting U.S. 5th Fleet’s mission to promote and maintain stability and security in the region.

#1 – A Winter Wonderland

OKINAWA, Japan – Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom helicopters past Mount Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan, March 12, 2017. The squadron, currently supporting Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, validated the long-range capability of auxiliary fuel tanks on their H-1 platform helicopters by flying 314 nautical miles during one leg of the four-day mission, March 10.