Navy, Marine Corps Prepare for Amphibious Combat Training

Story Number: NNS101209-02Release Date: 12/9/2010 5:56:00 AM
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By Ian Graham, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The commander of Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and the embarked commander of the Amphibious Task Force for Exercise Bold Alligator 2011 spoke about upcoming amphibious combat training from Dec. 11-17 for Sailors and Marines during a DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable event Dec. 8.

ESG 2, and Commander, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, in coordination with ships assigned to U.S. 2nd Fleet, will conduct a joint large-scale fleet synthetic training amphibious exercise, which will allow involved forces to concentrate on their fundamental roles as "fighters from the sea."

"Bold Alligator 2011 will be the first brigade-level joint amphibious exercise in the last 10 years," said Rear Adm. Kevin Scott. "The exercise this week will strengthen and refine our fundamental expeditionary capabilities to project a sustained combat power ashore."

The Bold Alligator series of training exercises will continue into the future, said Scott.

Bold Alligator 2011 is simulated, but still involves all of the critical Navy and Marine Corps leadership and components. The first live exercise is scheduled for February 2012.

Scott said the benefit of starting with a simulated exercise is the versatility simulation provides. They also allow a framework to be built for future live exercises.

"We can tailor the situation to test the many different aspects of an operation such as weather, opposing forces, actions by opposing forces, terrain, et cetera, and we can do this at a substantially less cost," said Scott. "So we anticipate that we'll use this embedded exercise to build upon the live [exercise] that's going to take place approximately 13 months from now."

"And then, you know, my vision is we'll probably have several synthetic exercises between each live ex (exercise) to make sure that we capitalize on the assets when they become available," said Scott.

For now, Bold Alligator is going to start small and simple, said Scott.

Leadership for the exercise has to follow a "crawl, walk, run" mentality in carrying out the exercises so that they can maintain the versatility that's defined the Navy and Marine Corps' combat function and expand it going into the future.

"You know, we're moving away from the image of World War II that we have of our amphibious forces," said Scott. "You know, within the last 10 years we've seen the need for a ready and capable amphibious force for such events as the Indian Ocean tsunami, the earthquake in Haiti and the flooding in Pakistan. As long as the majority of the world's populations and commerce reside along the coastlines and waterways of the world, there will always be a need for amphibious forces."

As the training continues into the future, it will help the Navy and Marine Corps incorporate new technology, new weapons systems and new vehicles into their arsenal. The idea is to have procedures and plans in place for any kind of mission that comes there way, be it combat, humanitarian, search and rescue or disaster response, said Scott.

"You know, the nature of amphibious force is that we're extremely flexible and can be specifically tailored to any mission at any time. No one can bring more capability ashore rapidly and sustain it as our Navy-Marine Corps team can," said Scott. "Bold Alligator 2011 is a first step in revitalizing the fundamentals of amphibious operations and assuring the Navy-Marine Corps team is ready, responsive and resolute."

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