Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
ABOARD USS KEARSARGE, At Sea, (Jan. 31, 2012) – Marines, Sailors and coalition partners from around the world are gathering aboard ships off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts in execution of Exercise Bold Alligator 2012.
Although the exercise represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ revitalization of the full range of amphibious operations, it is also giving operating forces a chance to build upon international relationships with foreign military services.
Among the participating countries in the exercise are Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand and Australia who have sent personnel to observe operations and directly participate in the exercise.
One such officer, Ship of the Line Sublieutenant Santoro Francesco, an Italian Navy augment to Regimental Landing Team 2’s landing force operations center, has fought alongside multinational forces before and looks forward to the exercise.
Francesco said practicing exercises like Bold Alligator helps allies work together in combat operations like those in Afghanistan where he served as an assault platoon commander with Regiment San Marco, Italian Landing Force.
“It’s important for us to be on the same sheet of music so we’re able to communicate and tackle the problem at hand,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ernesto Panalez, the intelligence chief for Regimental Landing Team 2. “It’s always interesting to operate alongside foreign militaries; they always bring a different flavor to the fight. It’s a learning experience for all of us.”
Exercise Bold Alligator 2012, the largest naval amphibious exercise in the past 10 years, is not only a chance to building upon international relations, but it also represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ revitalization of the full range of amphibious operations.
The exercise focuses on today’s fight with today’s forces, while showcasing the advantages of seabasing. Foreign militaries often operate side-by-side with the American military for a common goal, and training together will help combined operations in the future. This exercise will take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 12 afloat and ashore in and around Virginia and North Carolina.