RIMPAC 2016: US Marines conduct amphibious ops with Mexican Navy’s ARM Usumacinta

US Marines worked with Mexican Navy ship ARM Usumacinta (A-142) to conduct amphibious assault vehicle operations at Naval Base San Diego during the multinational exercise Rim of the Pacific, July 6.

Six U.S. Marine AAVs, attached to Bravo Company, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, took part in the exercise. This event served as the initial certification for U.S. amphibious assault vehicles that embarked Usumacinta.

The AAVs launched from Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in transit to the Usumacinta, moored at Naval Base San Diego. Mexican and U.S. forces worked side-by-side to safely recover the vehicles, guiding them onto the ship’s ramp and into her well deck. The scenario tested the Marine combat team’s versatility, while providing realistic training to the Mexican navy.

“This exercise is really one of the first times that we were able to get some foreign crews familiarized with AAVs, their capabilities and limitations, and what we can offer a ground force as well as an amphibious force,” said 1st Lt. Robert Plante, Bravo Company, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion. “This evolution promotes joint operability that can pay dividends in the future.”

“We are certifying not just the vehicles but our signalmen and our trafficmen,” said Lt. Diego Galeana, ARM Usumacinta’s officer in charge. “This experience for the crew and the U.S. Marines has been a unique one. Through working together we are strengthening the partnership between U.S. and Mexican forces.”

The Southern California portion of RIMPAC allows U.S. and partner nations to train together with sea and shore based commands. Participants will receive relevant and realistic training in amphibious operations, explosive ordnance disposal, mine warfare countermeasures, and dive operations.