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Marines stay sharp with ship-to-shore landing exercise

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Amphibious assault vehicles and Naval landing craft landed ashore at Camp Pendleton, Calif., to conduct a large-scale ship-to-shore landing exercise, Sept. 30.

The amphibious assault was part of Exercise Dawn Blitz, a training evolution designed to train Marine units on rapid crisis response.

After three waves of eight amphibious assault vehicles stormed onto Gold Beach, a landing craft brought trucks, troops, and cargo for the landing support Marines to organize. This was a chance for the Navy-Marine Corps team to plan and execute shore operations and sharpen the skills needed to react on short notice.

The 1st Marine Logistics Group, as part of the Marine Air Ground Task Force, helps provide a broad spectrum of responses when U.S. and allied interests are threatened or when immediate assistance is needed during times of crisis.

“If a natural disaster occurs, we need to be properly trained to respond immediately,” said Cpl. Kyle J. Schultz, landing support specialist, Transportation Support Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “A lot of people think we are just America’s fighting force, but part of the job is also to provide assistance to nations in need.”

“We take control of the beach after the landing craft drops off all the troops and supplies,” said Sgt. Scott W. Hayes, beach operations control group commander, Transportation Support Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group. “Our job is to maintain the organization of the packs and cargo to ensure accountability of the unit.”

The 1st Marine Logistics Group, functioning as part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, is capable of performing amphibious operations anywhere around the globe, from assaulting an enemy beachhead to bringing ashore supplies to a hurricane-ravaged nation.

Schultz said he thinks the training will be beneficial to his Marines, who will be going on an upcoming deployment with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“We’re the ambassadors for America,” said Schultz, 25, from St. Louis, Mo. “We’re the quickest reacting military force and we’re ready at a moment’s notice to help anyone in need. Dawn Blitz prepares us for future missions to come.”

By conducting these exercises, 1st MLG remains prepared to deploy forces quickly on short notice to any place in the world for a wide range of contingencies, from humanitarian aid and disaster relief to combat.

Article by Cpl. Michele Watson, 1st Marine Logistics Group