News: USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit Land on Djiboutian Beach
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Jesse Awalt
Sailors assigned to USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group and Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted an amphibious landing on a beach near Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, April 1.
The Navy-Marine Corps team utilized three Landing Craft Air Cushions from Assault Craft Unit Five, and four CH-46E transport helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 to refresh skills that could be used in a major combat operation.
Sailors and Marines worked together, establishing a secure location to provide logistical support and force protection.
"This operation is the backbone of the Marine Corps," said Sgt. Adam Strode, a landing support specialist assigned to the 13th MEU. "The ability to do amphibious offloads anywhere in the world really sets us apart from any other service, and certainly any other country. We establish the beach, we get accountability of all personnel and gear that is going ashore so that we can push logistical support forward to operating units in support of sustainment training for real world operations."
The service members deployed to the beach from the USS Boxer, flagship of Combined Task Force-151, a multi-national task force conducting anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Peter Brennan, Commander of the Strike Group, discussed the importance of the event.
"In this type of event, everybody gains proficiency. We are an amphibious force, and we get to exercise our skills both at sea and ashore," said Brennan. "The Navy will fine-tune their skills to bring the Marines ashore."
To maintain mission readiness, the Strike Group and MEU conducted three similar LCAC landings prior to their current deployment. Since leaving their homeport of San Diego, they have been able to conduct two additional landings.
"We have had the opportunity since we deployed in January to do exercises in Guam and the Maldives, but in the 5th Fleet area of operations this is our first big opportunity to get most of the heavy gear ashore, to exercise the skills the Marines have," said Brennan.
While in Djibouti, the Sailors and Marines will be conducting training exercises with the Djiboutian and French militaries. The training exercises will incorporate various joint military operations including additional amphibious landings.
The 13th MEU is capable of accomplishing numerous missions around the globe--from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to decisive combat operations-and will be assigned to the U.S. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa while in Djibouti.
The service members of CJTF-HOA, headquartered in Djibouti, focus on fostering regional security capacity, improving maritime security and safety, and developing military leaders through professional military education and training. The Task Force's goals contribute to United States Government efforts to help Africans solve African challenges.
This work, USS Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit Land on Djiboutian Beach, by PO2 Jesse Awalt, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.