CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Army has the land, the Air Force has the skies and the Navy dominates the seas (and also boasts a sizeable fleet of aircraft of its own), but only one branch of the military can do it all, and what they’re best known for is what keeps them around.
Since their inception more than 200 years ago, Marines set themselves apart with amphibious combat and support capabilities; specifically their ability to be anywhere in the world within 72 hours. As wars continue to be fought in land-locked countries like Afghanistan, however, the Corps has seemingly shifted from its ship-based origins. On the contrary, Marines have engaged in more than a dozen large-scale amphibious operations since 1990; to include disaster relief in the Philippines and humanitarian assistance to Haiti as recently as 2010.
To remain proficient in these sea-based tactics, approximately 60 Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Regiments 25 and 27 integrated with the crew of the USS Bataan to conduct ship-to-shore training off Onslow Beach aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb 13-15.
“The purpose of the exercise was to ensure the readiness of the unit’s amphibious capabilities, along with highlighting the Navy and Marine Corps team and what it can be capable of when working together as one unit,” said Lt. Col. Christian Richardson, the executive officer for CLR-25.
Equipped with three Landing Craft-Air Cushions (LCACs), the Marines conducted ship-to-shore movement of equipment and supplies and executed combat cargo operations, which included cargo handling, driving and fork lift operations. The exercise also afforded participants with the opportunity to conduct real-time maintenance in support of the mission.
On top of the sea-based combat service support drills conducted by CLR-25, members of CLR-27 also had the opportunity to hone their launching and receiving skills of equipment and personnel ashore. A simulated combat operations center was also manned, which maintained continuous communication with the crew throughout the duration of the training operation, which added a realistic feel to the training mission.
“Training like this is always a good thing, especially when you know later in the year you have a bigger more important training event to do,” said Lance Cpl. Victor Huaman, an administrative specialist with CLR-25.
It was the regiments’ first opportunity of the year to conduct such training, and was in preparation for Bold Alligator-12, a larger scenario-based operational exercise, which will take place later in the year. The event is expected to challenge the command and control elements’ influence and execution over a large amphibious force from a sea-base.
“It was the first time doing training like this for a lot of these Marines, but they did their jobs and they did well,” said Master Sgt. Robert Jones, the regiment’s future operations chief.
Its amphibious roots are what made the Corps what it is today. 2nd MLG is training their Marines to maintain their skills through the foreseeable future.