Involving marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers, encompassing 17 ships, two submarines and 19 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the U.S., and other partner nations participating as augments and observers at sea, on land, and in the air, the multinational littoral exercise Bold Alligator (BA) 2014 ended this Monday (10) at Camp Lejeune , North Carolina.
BA is a multinational littoral warfare exercise hosted annually by the United States since 2011. The 2014 iteration ran from October 29 — November 10 and was largely unscripted. Players had to react to a multitude of 'blind scenarios' as they unfolded. These ranged from disaster relief to counter-terrorism operations; instead of a traditional beach assault, players stepped into the unknown.
“Bold Alligator is the largest amphibious exercise conducted by the U.S. Navy, and the goal is to elevate the interoperability between the multinational combined forces. The desired effect is to have all participants act as plug-and-play forces, reinforcing the fraternity ties and global compromise amongst all,” said Brazilian Marine Corps Colonel (r) Edilson Farias Antunes, who participated in the 2012 version of the exercise.
The objective during Bold Alligator 2012 was to train on the ability to conduct a large-scale amphibious landing against strong opposition. But the 2014 edition focused on crisis response operations with coalition partners in a complex setting. The capabilities that allow amphibious forces to conduct a forcible entry against an opposing military force are the same ones that make the force the first and best choice for crisis response, humanitarian assistance and partnership building.
In all, nearly 20 nations and 8,500 Marines took part in BA14. The core fighting force consisted of Brazilian, British, Canadian, Dutch and U.S. Marine forces headed by the 24th Marine Expeditionary unit based in Camp Lejeune.
“Exercise Bold Alligator 2014 represented the Navy and Marine Corps' further refinement of their core competencies of amphibious operations, focus on readiness, and cooperation with multi-national partners all while strengthening their traditional role as fighters from the sea. It allowed us to strengthen our ability to conduct a full spectrum of crisis response operations coordinated from a combined command element at sea," said Vice Adm. Nora Tyson, deputy commander, USFF. "This exercise enhanced our ability to work with our Marine Corps and multi-national maritime partners to provide high-level crisis response operations around the globe."
Large exercises like these are becoming more and more relevant as the world's geopolitical situation becomes less stable and as the Marines, along with the whole U.S. military's tactics book is changing.
"Bold Alligator 2014 provides an opportunity for the training and further development of Marine and Navy amphibious-based units and their crisis response capabilities. It also provides a venue to showcase the Blue-Green team as the nation's 'insurance policy' for crisis response and contingency operations," said Lt. Gen. Robert Neller, commander, Marine Forces Command.