SAN DIEGO -- U.S. 3rd Fleet's Expeditionary Strike Group 3 (ESG 3) and I Marine Expeditionary Force's (IMEF) 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade (1st MEB) along with coalition partners from Canada, New Zealand and Japan completed the multilateral amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz (DB13), June 28. The two-week exercise, held off the coast of Southern California, provided a vigorous training environment for U.S. Sailors and Marines to increase core amphibious capabilities while strengthening international partnerships. The culminating training event of Dawn Blitz occurred June 24, when U.S. Navy's Assault Craft Unit 5, Beach Master Unit 1, U.S. Marine Corps' 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and foreign military counterparts led an assault on Camp Pendelton's Red Beach where nearly 70 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) and six landing craft air cushion (LCAC) vehicles landed on the beach and moved inland for additional training ashore.
"This was important training for our Navy-Marine Corps team as the capability to conduct amphibious operations is essential to our warfighting and disaster response core functions," said Adm. Cecil D. Haney, U.S. Pacific Fleet commander."Working together in multi-lateral exercises like Dawn Blitz not only provides great training to collectively respond to crises, but it also preserves peace and enhances regional stability in the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific." During Dawn Blitz, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps team was also able to accomplish the first MV-22 Osprey landing on a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship and a Maritime Prepositioning Force event that enabled the movement of U.S. Marine Corps equipment from the Military Sealift Command ships, USNS Lummus and USNS Curtiss, to train for disaster response/humanitarian assistance. "The U.S. Navy has six ships, about 25 aircraft and 2,500 personnel participating in a variety of operations that are wrapped under the umbrella of Dawn Blitz," said Rear Adm. Gerard P. Hueber, commander, ESG 3. "It is an opportunity for the U.S. Navy to work with coalition partners and exercise on these training regions in Southern California to our operational readiness." Australia, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Mexico, Peru and Singapore sent operational observers who were able to witness firsthand realistic, relevant training practices that were executed during DB13 and share them with their militaries. "We live in a world today where we need our coalition partners operating in a joint environment, and that's what this training is all about," said Rear Adm. John E. Jolliffe, deputy commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet. Joint interagency and international relationships strengthen U.S. 3rd Fleet's ability to respond to crises and protect the collective maritime interests of the U.S. and its allies and partners.