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Bold Alligator Demos 'One Team, One Fight'

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS141107-14
Release Date: 11/7/2014 3:52:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin F. Johnson, Bold Alligator Public Affairs

USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, At Sea (NNS) -- Brazilian marines from the Brazilian Marine Fleet Force and Marines from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines are currently embarked on amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), and took part in a serial rehearsal Nov. 1 as a part of multinational exercise Bold Alligator 2014 (BA14).

The rehearsal demonstrated processes, procedures and best practices for rapid departure from a U.S. naval vessel by means of an amphibious assault vehicle (AAV). The training increased familiarity among ship's crew, embarked U.S. and Brazilian marines to enhance mission readiness.

'This exercise helps everyone involved prepare for a call to shore,' said Cmdr. Christopher Wells, commanding officer of Whidbey Island. 'It's an important factor in amphibious operations, and keeps us ready to get up and go when we are needed.'

Once the serial was initiated, Marines gathered gear and traveled from the ship's forecastle to the well deck, where they received egress and life jacket training, as well as briefs on craft familiarization, AAV assignment and general riding procedures. Both U.S. and Brazilian service members stood outside their respective AAVs, ready to disembark.

During an actual mission, AAVs deploy ashore to repel enemy assaults. The craft can carry up to 21 combat-armed Marines or 10,000 pounds of cargo.

'Everyone worked well, and everyone trained well alongside one another,' said Cmdr. Michael Toth, executive officer aboard Whidbey Island. 'We wanted all parties involved to learn where to go, how to get there and what to do once there. Overall, I think we hit the mark.'

Exercises such as the serial rehearsal maintain amphibious core competencies, as well as strengthen interoperability with coalition, NATO, allied and partner nations. As demonstrated through this serial, Bold Alligator forces come together with an attitude of 'one team, one fight.'

'We train together, and we fight together,' said Wells. 'Projection of power is one of our most vital assets, and working with our allies only makes our projection that much stronger.'

In support of BA14, Whidbey Island and embarked Marine forces are conducting crisis response operations in the fictional Treasure Coast region.

'As an amphibious fighting force, we need to stay manned and ready so that we are able to respond at a moment's notice,' said Wells. 'That's what Bold Alligator is all about.'

Bold Alligator is scheduled to continue until Nov. 10 afloat and ashore along the Eastern Seaboard.

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