Marines and Sailors Practice ‘Dawn Blitz’ Landing at Pendleton

Exercise will train military in assault-style landings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Bill Wechter for the North County Times
    Marines secure the beach at Camp Pendleton on June 4, 2010 in a similar exercise to Dawn Blitz '11, which takes place this weekend.

    Marines and sailors will storm Camp Pendleton Friday to practice combative beach assaults and disaster relief.

    The Marines and sailors boarded two ships Wednesday for the exercise, called “Dawn Blitz 2011.” They practiced evacuations, live-fire shoots and other operations. Friday, they will practice a beach landings similar to those used in World War II, according to the North County Times.

    "We are not going to see landings like we had at Inchon (Korea) or Iwo Jima, but the usefulness and need for a Navy and Marine Corps amphibious force is not going away," said Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese, deputy commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, to the NCT.

    In the past several years since operations in Afghanistan and Iraq started, the military has placed a decreased emphasis on this type of training, since those are land wars. Yet the Marine Corps wanted to renew the training, and make sure its forces could respond to a diverse array of crises.

    The exercise will also be a rare chance for the Navy and the Marines to work and practice the amphipious landing together, a Marine Corps official said.

    Dawn Blitz began Wednesday and will be finished by Sunday. Troops taking part in the exercise are assigned to Camp Pendleton's 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, which is part of the base's more than 40,000-troop 1st Marine Expeditionary Force.