US Marines, Navy kick off Bold Alligator in Norfolk

U.S. Marine and Fleet Forces commands (USFF and MARFORCOM) kicked off exercise Bold Alligator 2016 (BA16) in Norfolk on August 15.

BA16 is a synthetic, scenario-based simulation exercise designed to train Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB).

As part of the exercise, both staffs are planning and executing a MEB-sized amphibious assault from a sea base in a medium land and maritime threat environment and anti-access/area denial environment to improve naval, amphibious core competencies.

“The Bold Alligator series has been invaluable to the Navy-Marine Corps team’s amphibious operations and has increased our interoperability and cooperation with our allies and partners,” said Vice Adm. Richard Breckenridge, deputy commander, USFF. “As a synthetic exercise, Bold Alligator 2016 creates a unique opportunity to evaluate planning processes, execute command and control across the amphibious force and provide valuable experience for all participants, setting the conditions for success in Bold Alligator 2017, next year’s live exercise.”

Previously, BA14 focused on crisis response operations in a complex setting with coalition partners. The capabilities that allow amphibious forces to conduct a forcible entry against an opposing military force are the same capabilities that make it the first, best choice for crisis response, humanitarian assistance and building partnerships.

BA16, while synthetic, prepares American service members and coalition partners for Bold Alligator 2017 which will draw from this year’s afloat and ashore planning to train amphibious forces in a real-world environment. As part of BA16, 15 countries are participating or observing from different command elements in the Hampton Roads area.