US, Spanish, Italian marines train together in Spain

US Marines assigned to Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) Company Europe worked alongside their Spanish and Italian counterparts to complete a two-week exercise in Morn, Spain.

The exercise was named Lisa Azul and saw the participation of Spanish Marines from Tercio del Sur, Brigada de Infanteria de Marina, and Italian Marines from the San Marco Regiment.

“The focus of Lisa Azul has been proficiency in infantry fundamentals and really trying to leverage the subject matter expertise of the different units that we have out here,” said Capt. Edward Hickey, officer in charge of FAST Company Europe during Lisa Azul. “We’re integrating the units so we can start to build working relationships and cohesion, so that when it’s time to execute during the final exercise, they’ll be well prepared to do that. The final exercise is going to be an application of all the skills that we’ve learned so far.”

Exercise Lisa Azul was a bi-lateral training exercise where marines conducted live fire training at a Spanish range complex off base, performed fast rope and repelling exercises, practiced urban patrol operations and combat and building clearing procedures at various facilities on base.

“The significance of the drills are to enhance interoperability between units and increase a general understanding of different TTPs (techniques, tactics and procedures), skills sets and levels,” said 1st Lt. Robert Zieser-Misenheimer, SPMAGTF-CR-AF 1st Platoon commander.

All units gathered to complete their final exercise early, Sept. 21, at 5 a.m. on a variety of tasks, which encompassed all of their training from the past two weeks.

“It’s evaluating how well they’ve retained those skills to be able to do those things against an opposing force that we’re going to be putting out there against them, and seeing how they react to that challenge of the thinking enemy going beyond the knowledge of it and more into the practical application of it,” said Hickey.