Photo Information

A Japanese landing craft air cushion (LCAC) lands on Red Beach as part of the initial offload for Exercise Dawn Blitz here, May 31, 2013. Dawn Blitz 2013 is an amphibious exercise testing U.S. and coalition forces in skills expected of a Navy and Marine Corps amphibious task force. Forces will conduct amphibious assaults, live-fire opportunities, mine operations, Maritime Prepositioning of Force (MPF) training and sea-basing operations. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman, 11TH MEU, Combat Camera/Released)

Photo by Cpl Jonathan R. Waldman

11th MEU welcomes Japanese Forces to Camp Pendleton for multi-national amphibious exercise

31 May 2013 | Staff Sgt. Jimmy H. Bention, Jr.

Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit command element, Combat Logistics Battalion 11, Camp Pendleton Supply Battalion, and Marine Aviation Logistics Support Squadron 39 conducted an In-Stream Offload with the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) on Camp Pendleton’s Red Beach May 31.

The offload was an administrative-amphibious off-load via JMSDF Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) offloading Japanese Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) ammunition, vehicle assets and personnel for the Camp Pendleton functional training phase of Exercise Dawn Blitz 13.2.

Dawn Blitz 13.2 is a scenario-driven exercise designed to test Navy and Marine Corps forces at the Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) and Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) level, while promoting military-to-military cooperation and interoperability with partnered nations. Participating countries include Canada, Japan, New Zealand and military observers from seven additional nations.

“Exercises of this nature will be conducted numerous times over the course of the MEU's future deployment with various countries within the Central Command and Pacific Command areas of operations,” said Capt. Kirk Johnson, 11th MEU assistant logistics officer. “This exercise is a great opportunity to begin preparing and focusing the 11th MEU staff's mindsets while simultaneously developing support templates and standing operating procedures.”

 “This was real good for us because we got to see all the planning that we have been doing for this exercise come to fruition,” said Staff Sgt. Juan Fisher, 11th MEU embarkation chief.  “This exercise also was a blessing because we got to work hand in hand with CLB-11, our assigned Logistics Combat Element (LCE) unit for the upcoming deployment. This will enable us to start building those best practices as we move into our deployment cycle.  It will also allow those who were on the last deployment to teach those Marines who don’t have this type of experience.”

Japanese forces will join Canadian, New Zealand and US forces to learn, train, and hone amphibious capabilities by conducting shared training to enhance military-to-military cooperation.

“I was eager to see if the plan that we put together would work,” said Capt. Nobuyoshi Makita, Western Army Infantry Regiment logistics officer. “I have worked with the Marines twice with Iron Fist, but this is the first time conducting amphibious logistics.  I am glad that the plan came together and we were able to execute it without any major complications.  So far it has been a very educational experience and I am learning a lot about how the Marines structure their assignments and personnel.  I look forward to learning a lot more over the next month.”

Dawn Blitz 13.2 will fulfill multiple training objectives between the U.S. and its partners.  Over the next month, service members from participating nations will conduct amphibious assaults, counter-mine operations, live-fire ranges, Maritime Prepositioning Force training and seabasing operations.

At the conclusion of this exercise, the 11th MEU will be prepared to conduct amphibious operations to respond to a global crisis and project power ashore wherever directed.

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Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit