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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Bold Alligator 2012 Tests Navy/Marine Ability to Execute and Control Long Range Sea to Shore Raid

by U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs and Outreach
06 February 2011 More than 150 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (24th MEU) embarked with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group will conduct a simulated air-toground assault raid against targets at Fort Pickett, Va., Feb. 7, as part of Bold Alligator 2012.

The assault is a “proof-of-concept” experiment to test ship-based command-and-control of Marine units operating on land. This capability allows U.S. forces at sea to effectively engage an opposing military force that is significantly inland. With the other elements of a sea-based strategy, this creates a significant tactical and operational advantage for responding to today’s threats and also significantly bolsters U.S. abilities to provide humanitarian and disaster relief.

Marines aboard USS Gunston Hall (LSD 44) and USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) will fly more than 150 miles inland to conduct the raid. The Marines will launch to the site at Fort Pickett on a combination of MV-22 Ospreys and CH-53 Sea Stallions. Once on the ground, the Marines will set up a command outpost and conduct self-sustained operations for five days. In addition, the assault is an opportunity to test a number of newly developed technologies and equipment from the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.

This experiment is a key part of the overall sea-to-shore training objectives of Bold Alligator 12 and also serves as a certification event to ready the 24th MEU for future deployment. An annual exercise, Bold Alligator is part of an ongoing commitment to revitalizing the fundamentals of amphibious operations and a strengthening of the services’ traditional roles as “warfighters from the sea.”

Over 20,000 Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers with more than 25 ships are participating in the exercise. The exercise is being overseen by a blended Navy-Marine Corps command staff in order to provide a broad span of control and allow for a critical review of seabasing from a naval perspective.
 
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