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USS Laboon Sets Course for Exercise Bold Alligator 2014

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS141107-26
Release Date: 11/7/2014 9:31:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Tyler N. Thompson, Expeditionary Combat Camera

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon (DDG 58) departed Naval Station Norfolk Nov. 4 to participate in Exercise Bold Alligator 2014 (BA14).

Bold Alligator 2014 is a two-week, multinational exercise hosted by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps to strengthen core competencies in the areas of amphibious operations and bilateral cooperation.

The amphibious exercise demonstrates the single naval battle concept by incorporating participants across military services, warfare areas, ship platforms and 19 nations. In addition to amphibious ships, BA14 hosts a submarine, frigates and two U.S. destroyers, including Laboon.

Cmdr. Gary Chase, executive officer of Laboon, shared his insight on Laboon's role in the exercise.

'We have multi-mission capabilities,' said Chase. 'We're coming into this to see how task group commanders can utilize those capabilities to defend our allies in the task group.'

The Bold Alligator exercise series showcases the advantages of sea basing and the Navy and Marine Corps' full range of amphibious operations.

Cmdr. Christopher McCallum, commanding officer of Laboon, and Chase said the exercise is focused on interoperability and flexibility.

'A wartime environment will not afford us the luxury of knowing who we will be working with or where we will be,' said McCallum. 'We have to be ready to go into any situation ready to support or allies in combat. This is a great opportunity not only to flex our own systems, but also to work with our international partners on a diverse spectrum of operations.'

Laboon is the last ship to enter the Bold Alligator exercise representing follow-on forces that are often called upon in crisis response missions to reinforce initial responders and sustain operations. Chase noted that there is training value that lies in testing flexibility and being able to respond to crises on short notice.

'Bold Alligator was presented to us as a 'come as you are' crisis response scenario,' said Chase. 'We were the last players in the game, and we were given this opportunity on short notice. We have taken advantage of the situation as training value, which has allowed us to come in and execute our mission as another quick-response asset.'

Bold Alligator is the largest, combined naval exercise on the east coast giving commanders the ability to exercise command and control in the complex amphibious environment alongside coalition, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, allied and partner nations. The exercise series continues to evolve to meet the demands of current operational environments.

'Ships and Marines are core competencies of the United States Navy,' said McCallum. 'As we return to our roots, the Laboon is excited to participate in Bold Alligator 2014'.

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