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Bold Alligator 2012 to Revitalize Amphibious Operations

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Commander, United States Fleet Forces (USFF) and Commander, Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM) will lead the East Coast's largest joint and multinational amphibious assault exercise in the past ten years officials announced Jan. 25.

Exercise Bold Alligator 2012 (BA12) will revitalize Navy and Marine Corps amphibious expeditionary tactics, techniques and procedures, and reinvigorate its culture of conducting combined Navy and Marine Corps operations from the sea.

BA12 will be a live and synthetic, scenario-driven, simulation-supported exercise designed to train Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG 2), 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB) and Carrier Strike Group 12. Staffs will plan and execute a MEB-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium land-and-maritime threat environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.

The exercise will run Jan. 30 through Feb. 12, ashore and afloat, in and off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and Florida

"Amphibious forces are a critical element of maritime power projection that ought to be a high priority for support, even in a resource constrained environment, because they are a cost effective option for accomplishing a wide range of military operations," said Adm. John C. Harvey, commander, USFF.

The units involved include the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group (CSG), Expeditionary Strike Group 2 (ESG-2), 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB), Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) as well as various other ships and units.

Nine countries are participating in exercise BA12, providing maritime, land and air units or observers. The countries participating with the U.S. forces are Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

One of the exercise's priorities is to incorporate lessons learned over the past 10 years of challenging combat operations, overseas contingency operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) and homeland defense.

The exercise will focus on the fundamental aspects and roles of amphibious operations to improve amphibious force readiness and proficiency for executing the six core capabilities of the Maritime Strategy - forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

"In today's world, the Navy-Marine Corps team must remain capable of gaining access to an operational area, and projecting and sustaining a sizable landing force ashore," said Lt. General Dennis Hejlik, Commander, MARFORCOM. "We have the legislated responsibilities to be able to conduct these operations, and we certainly must be ready to do so beyond the ARG-MEU level where we routinely operate today."

The culmination of Bold Alligator 2012 will include three large-scale events within the exercise: an amphibious assault at Camp Lejeune, N.C.; an aerial assault from the sea into Fort Pickett, Va.; and an amphibious raid on Fort Story, Va.

Embedded within their participation in BA12 is the Enterprise CSG's Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX); the Iwo Jima (ARG) and 24th MEU certification exercise (CERTEX); and Riverine Group 1 (RIVGRU 1) Maritime Security Operations Ready (MSO-R) certification by Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).

Article by U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs