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A landing support Marine with Combat Logistics Battalion 26, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group watches as a French armored vehicle makes landfall Feb. 6, 2012, during exercise Bold Alligator 2012 aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. Bold Alligator is a multinational amphibious exercise designed to test the Marine Corps’ readiness by executing a beach assault. Landing support Marines are responsible for accounting for all gear and personnel on ground and orienting troops toward the fight.

Photo by Sgt. Rachael K. A. Moore

Landing support crucial to amphibious assault

9 Feb 2012 | Sgt. Rachael K. A. Moore

Landing support Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 26, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, 2nd Marine Logistics Group were crucial in executing a successful early morning amphibious attack on the shores of Onslow Beach, Feb. 6, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The assault was part of exercise Bold Alligator 2012, which tests the Corps' overall amphibious capabilities.

With a bitter ocean breeze blowing, landing support Marines waited patiently for armored assault vehicles and landing craft air cushions to make landfall.

“This exercise is getting us out of our comfort zone,” explained Gunnery Sgt. Gustavo A. Munoz, the landing support staff noncommissioned officer in charge. “This is bigger than a [helicopter support team] or port operations, this is a beach landing. As a landing force, we have to plan. We have to look at all of the logistics and how it’s going to effect the mission. We have to look at the movement of the troops on ground and coordinate with the other units out here.”

The landing support Marines on the shores were on a constant lookout for vehicles and ships. They instantly started accounting for the gear and personnel once they hit the shores.

“We have to get the accurate count so [Marine Expeditionary Force] headquarters can track the vehicles and personnel,” explained Sgt. Andrew J. Holzhauer, the landing support noncommissioned officer in charge. “We have to also make sure they know where they’re going next to complete the mission.”

Landing support Marines were scattered across the beach to orient vehicle drivers and get them to the fight as quickly as possible.

“It’s all about coordination,” added Holzhauer, a Lorain, Ohio, native. “That’s why we’re here.”

Despite the experience level of the landing support Marines, Munoz added, this was a learning experience for all. This is new for the Marines because the number of troops and gear is much greater than a normal operation.

“This exercise is very beneficial,” continued Munoz, a Waterberry, Conn., native. “As Marines, we have to think outside of the box, and that’s what this is making us do.”

The landing support Marines stayed busy accounting for all of the gear and troops, both American and foreign, throughout the attack. With their skills and guidance the amphibious assault was a success.

“We’re a force in readiness, and we have to stay that way,” concluded Munoz. “Whether it’s peacetime or wartime, we have to be ready for anything. “


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