News: Marines, sailors, coalition partners begin Bold Alligator 2013 'D-Day' Operations
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Desiree D. Green,
ESG-2 Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. - Marines and sailors with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB), Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG-2) and Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG-12) along with coalition partners from 15 countries launched simulated "D-Day" operations as part of amphibious exercise Bold Alligator 2013 (BA 13) April 27.
The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) is serving as the flagship for BA 13. Unlike the previous year’s exercise, BA 13 is fully synthetic. However, it remains a scenario-driven exercise integrating air, land, sea, and cyber approaches to amphibious operations and expeditionary tactics to illustrate the Single Naval Battle construct.
BA13 represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ refinement across the full range of amphibious operations. The same capabilities that allow the amphibious force to conduct forcible entry are the capabilities which make it the force of choice for crisis response and building partnerships.
“The capability to conduct amphibious operations across the range of military operations is essential to the application of maritime power in pursuit of national objectives,” said Rear Adm. Ann C. Phillips, commander, ESG-2. “Our Navy-Marine Corps team and coalition partners have integrated varied experiences and processes to make this exercise robust, realistic and responsive to contemporary challenges.”
The “D-Day” scenario marks the transition to land operations, where more than 3,500 personnel representing 15 countries will begin simulating amphibious landings on beaches during a complex training scenario consisting of thirty commands and seven ships.
“D-Day is the pinnacle of this training scenario and will test our abilities to land a large force ashore should we have to execute amphibious operations in real-world situations,” said Brig. Gen. John K. Love, commanding general, 2d MEB. “I am highly impressed with how we have coordinated our efforts throughout this exercise and today will prove to be an example of that teamwork.”
This year’s Bold Alligator exercise, scheduled April 22 through May 2, is the third in a series of annual exercises alternating between live and synthetic to amplify training opportunities while minimizing costs.
In 2012, the exercise was live with the Navy and Marine Corps operating in ships off the East Coast and conducting operations in North Carolina and Virginia.
“The criticality of the D-Day landing is to ensure that we can do a rapid build up of Marine combat forces ashore and the Navy can support them from the sea base,” said Col. Bradley E. Weisz, afloat deputy commander ESG-2. “We’ve tried to shape and prepare the battle space during all of the events leading up to today, and we’ve done a good job.”
With advances in technology, entire battle groups can be linked together, experiencing simulations simultaneously without having to go to sea.
Linked by the Battle Force Tactical Training system, participants on five naval bases and two Marine Corps bases work from the same common operating picture.
Participating units include ships located at Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va., as well as commands at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Va., Navy Warfare Development Command, Va., and Marine Corps Bases Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Bold Alligator is the largest, annual amphibious exercise conducted. The multi-national exercise includes participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, France, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Strike Force NATO.
“Our aim during this exercise and today’s events specifically is to understand how in the future we could better integrate,” said Lt. Col. Emmanuel Durville, French liaison officer. “We’ve been preparing for this day for a very long time and have been working together as a team so I think for everyone, it’s the main objective.”
Other coalition partners agree that the unit synchronization achieved throughout BA 13 has prepared them for a successful execution of the D-Day scenario.
“I’m attached in TACLOG as a logistics planner,” said Maj. Javier Carbonero with the Spanish Marine Corps. “My job is to take care of plans joined with other mates from the Marine Corps. I’m very impressed. When I was in Spain, I had my expectations and the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy have gone far beyond them. There is blue side and green side at all of the planning and preparation. We are working in a very synchronized way, the way it should be and I’m happy to see that.”
While many agree that today’s D-Day scenario has been planned and executed soundly, Phillips highlights the need for continuous training.
“The Navy-Marine Corps partnership is strong, but it must be maintained,” said Phillips. “Today, during amphibious landing operations, we were tested. However, months of planning and teamwork ensured the correct people and processes were in place to work through the plan and the challenges introduced by our adversaries. That is the critical advantage of exercises such as Bold Alligator – learning together; bridging gaps, and mending seams during training in order to conduct aligned, joint and coalition operations in the future."
Date Posted:04.27.2013 18:24
Location:NORFOLK, VA, US
Hometown:NAVAL AIR STATION OCEANNA, VA, US
Hometown:NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, VA, US
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