Amphibious Exercise Helps Prepare for Anti-Access Fights

The Navy and Marine Corps this week kicked off Exercise Bold Alligator 2012, the largest combined, joint and multinational amphibious assault exercise in a decade. A live and simulation-supported series of scenarios, the exercise will create a brigade-sized amphibious assault from sea in a “medium threat scenario” in order to improve service competencies, Adm. John Harvey, commander of the Navy’s Fleet Forces Command, told reporters Tuesday in Washington, D.C. While the two-week exercise off of the US East Coast is not simulating a theater-level anti-access, area-denial environment, it will feature a range of anti-access threats from a simulated enemy force that does not want US forces present or to stay in the area, he noted. The lessons learned from Bold Alligator will be very instructive for future operations, said Lt. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, commander of Marine Corps Forces Command, at the same meeting with reporters. “At the end of February, we will look at this really well” and examine how joint operations should incorporate changes in tactics, techniques, and procedures in order to deal with an A2/AD force, said Hejlik. (See also AFPS report by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.)