As the only, forward-deployed, and fully integrated Navy/Marine Corps force, TF 51/5 commands, controls, and employs a shore-based SPMAGTF; a sea-based MAGTF embarked aboard an Amphibious Ready Group; FAST Teams; an Afloat Forward Staging Base; and an Expeditionary Resuscitative Surgical Team in coordination with 5th Fleet Naval assets, MARCENT, and Special Operations Forces to conduct expeditionary operations across the full spectrum of conflict in order to provide immediate and effective crisis response options to the CENTCOM Combatant Commander and the National Command Authority.
TF 51/5 has responsibilities in three main areas:
• TF 51/5 serves as MARCENT and 5th Fleet’s primary crisis response (CR) capability, proving the viability of the Expeditionary Force 21 Marine Expeditionary Brigade Concept of Operations compositing concepts while simultaneously highlighting the complementary nature of TF 51/5 subordinate units. The integrated TF 51/5 staff helps to provide synchronization and coordination between many different CR units – serving as a “CR task clearinghouse” sorting tasks and assigning units appropriately – while providing a capable nucleus for a Task Force-Crisis Response or Joint Task Force-Crisis Response headquarters as required.
• TF 51/5 has the ability to synchronize the efforts of the composited force to provide the Joint Force Commander with the most effective option for amphibious operations. Specifically, as an integrated command, TF 51/5 can most effectively operationalize the sort of Navy/Marine Corps unity of effort described in “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.” Because it controls both the naval and land elements of the amphibious force centralized under a single commander, TF 51/5 can deconflict and provide mutual support to amphibious operations more flexibly than the doctrinal Navy – Marine relationship has historically allowed.
• In steady state operations, TF 51/5 serves as a synchronizing headquarters for theater security cooperation (TSC) and exercises by coordinating and prioritizing the efforts of its subordinate
headquarters throughout the AOR. TF 51/5 receives requirements from both Fifth Fleet and MARCENT, and has the ability to assess these requirements and ensure that the most effective unit – whether Navy or Marine – supports them to achieve the desired security cooperation objectives.