ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert visited USS Wasp (LHD 1) to witness, first hand, the on-going Bold Alligator 2012 (BA12) amphibious exercise and to speak with Sailors and Marines, Feb. 4.
BA12 is the largest joint and multinational amphibious assault exercise the East Coast has seen in the last 10 years. The exercise is being held to revitalize the partnership of the Navy and Marine Corps while observing amphibious capabilities in the fleet and their contribution to naval operations.
"For you, war fighting is first and I want you to be ready," Greenert said to an audience of Sailors and Marines in Wasp's hanger bay during an all hands call. "My job is to provide you with the tools to enable you to do that."
BA12 is the culmination of years of individual unit training from various fleet assets brought together to accomplish various littoral missions and assess overall readiness. Assets involved include two submarines, 25 ships, 120 aircraft and 20,000 Sailors and Marines covering the full spectrum of subsurface, surface, ground and air capabilities.
While onboard BA12's command and control flagship, the CNO was briefed by senior leadership about the strategies, tactics and learning opportunities that have and continue to develop from the 14-day exercise, which includes forces from eight other nations.
The areas being tested and evaluated by BA12 are the proficiency and efficiency of the amphibious fleet on forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster response. Greenert said due to the ever-changing battle environments and mission requirements of our nation's military, amphibious forces are receiving more attention and resources to meet those challenges.
"We're putting in place a support ship called a mobile landing platform," Greenert said, which would augment the aging Marine transport grey-hulls currently in service. "We are supporting the next LHA (America-class), so we're all in for these big decks... We're all in for amphibious operations."
Greenert said amphibious operations are a high priority of the Navy-Marine Corps team and continue to gain importance.
Greenert ate lunch with Sailors and Marines in the Stinger's Nest and then toured Wasp speaking with crewmembers from the bridge to engineering spaces to the galley.
Following his tour CNO met a sea of green and blue in the hangar bay to address the entire crew and give them a current snapshot of where the fleet is at from his perspective. CNO discussed the Navy's Sailing Directions and highlighted the importance of the strategic maritime crossroads before opening the meeting up to questions from the crew about any topics of interest or concerns.
After spending nearly an hour addressing the sea of green and blue's questions ranging from perform-to-serve to the future of amphibious operations, Greenert thanked all the Sailors and Marines for their participation in BA12 and their service and commitment to the Navy and the nation.
"I want to thank you all very much for what you're doing," Greenert said.
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