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    Bright Star 2009 participants conduct Amphibious Operations Exercise

    Bright Star 2009 participants conduct Amphibious Operations Exercise

    Photo By Sgt. Lindsey Frazier | Coalition forces conduct amphibious operations to move U.S. Marines from the 22nd...... read more read more

    Since 1981 U.S. Central Command and the Egyptian military have partnered in an ongoing multi-nation training exercise. The exercise is designed to strengthen military to military relationships and improve readiness between Egyptian, U.S. and other countries with an interest in the region. Airborne operations and an amphibious landing exercise kicked off the first day of events for Operation Bright Star 2009.

    "Over the past three decades it has grown from a two-nation exercise involving only ground troops to now being a multi-national event designed to increase regional involvement in pursuit of improved security and defense capabilities," said Maj. Gen. Peter M. Vangjel, Third Army/U.S. Army Central deputy commanding general.

    The amphibious landing exercise consisted of four major waves. Each wave built upon the previous wave and complemented the next, giving the units involved the opportunity to work together and have a distinguished part to make the mission a success.

    In the first wave of the exercise zodiac fast insertion boats brought in Egyptian special forces composed of Egyptian army rangers and Navy Special Operations Forces from U.S. Navy ships located in the Mediterranean Sea. Once the group secured the beach they communicated back to the command element, confirming enemy locations, suitability of beach landing and direct fire from the naval ships and aviation assets.

    "The demonstration showed forcible entry from the sea to seize a beachhead," said Col. Gareth F. Brandel, commanding officer of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

    The beachhead line was created when a unit reached El-Amein beach and began to defend that area. This created an entry point for forces to stage equipment and supplies build combat power and conduct operations deeper into "enemy" held territory.

    Quickly following was the second wave, the assault wave. This wave used a combination of assault tactics. Amphibious assault vehicles were launched from the USS Fort HcHenry, a Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship, and from Egyptian landing craft. The MV-22B Osprey Aircraft carried a company of marines to a strategic inland location and AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters were used to conduct the main assault.

    The third wave consisted of vehicles and assault forces aboard landing craft utilities, more commonly known as LCUs. The LCUs delivered light armored vehicles, assault forces, Pakistani marines, Kuwaiti marines and U.S. Marines to the beachhead. Their goal was to secure ground further inland and establish a secure beach.

    The final assault wave hovercrafts, called Landing Craft Air Cushions, brought to shore HUMVEES. The LCACs can glide over water and land. Because of this characteristic, LCACs have easier access to land than the other vessels and boats and can carry as much as 75 tons of equipment. The Marine HUMVEEs are part of the combined anti-armor team and went ashore to help reinforce the defensive positions previously established by the first three waves.

    After all the vehicles and personnel landed, commanders communicated their unit's status and reported when they have secured their section of the beach.

    "We use all of our assets to maintain our proficiency and in conjunction with our allies in a combined exercise, each one of the nations participate and continue to build on their expertise," said Brandel.

    The Bright Star 2009 amphibious exercise was about team building, emphasizing coordination and communication. The event executed as planned and was a successful demonstration of the Bright Star participant's ability to conduct successful operations together.

    For additional information regarding Operation Bright Star 2009, call Maj. Cecil M. Henry or Master Sgt. David Rhodes at (404) 464-3832/2621, or e-mail Cecil.m.henry@arcent.army.mil.

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    Date Taken: 10.15.2009
    Date Posted: 10.15.2009 04:40
    Story ID: 40148
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