News: U.S. Marines arrive in Qatar desert for Eagle Resolve 2013
Story by Staff Sgt. Kenneth Holston
AL-GALAIL, Qatar -- Approximately 300 U.S. artillery, infantry and combat logistics Marines assigned to Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, came ashore from the USS San Antonio (LPD 17) off of the Gulf today, arriving here to participate in Exercise Eagle Resolve 2013.
Exercise Eagle Resolve is an annual, multi-national naval, land and air exercise designed to enhance regional cooperative defense efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council and U.S. Central Command.
Lima Company Marines were transported from the San Antonio to Camp Al-Galail on CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters. It was the first time in five years Marines had come ashore here.
“We are training alongside Qatari forces,” said U.S. Marine 1st Lt. Alex Lavery, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “We plan to trade knowledge about our crafts and learn from each other. One force isn’t instructing the other; we are truly sharing knowledge of mission capabilities to enhance our partnership and combat capability.”
Lima Company plans to accomplish this by starting with basic squad movements and demonstrating how they function together as a cohesive unit, Lavery said.
While Lima Company made their way across the desert training site to get settled in tents Qatari forces began arriving and getting situated as well.
“We are excited to work with American forces,” said 2nd Lt. Mohad Alkhayarin, Qatari Emri Land Forces. “I’ve been in the military for a little more than a year, so working with the Marines will be my first opportunity to train alongside them. I really think we can learn a lot from one another.”
As both Qatari military members and Marines situated themselves in their living quarters and began planning for the days to come, it was clear that partnerships and sharing knowledge will be a key point of focus throughout the exercise.
“By training with our coalition counterparts we get the opportunity to further build on our relationships, thus making us a more cohesive unit should we have to operate together during a real world situation,” Lavery explained.
As training progresses, Lavery said the Marine unit will upgrade to platoon supported attacks where they will have support by heavy machine guns, mortars and other heavy artillery, demonstrating how they react to complex attacks.