Navy, Marine Corps Conducting ‘Dawn Blitz' Exercise Off Coast

The Navy and Marine Corps are conducting Dawn Blitz 2017 off the Southern California Coast. The training is a scenario-driven amphibious exercise designed to improve the Navy and Marine Corps team response during a global crisis.

According to the Defense Department, the exercise simulates war-time events that would lead to the deployment of U.S. and allied forces against a hypothetical enemy. Forces are planning and executing an amphibious assault, engaging in live-fire events, and establishing advanced bases in a land and maritime threat environment to improve capabilities and response.

An infantry company from the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force will also participate along with observers from Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico. The coordination with our international partners will help foster and maintain critical relationships to preserve peace and promote stability.

"Dawn Blitz 2017 is an excellent opportunity to operationalize concepts the Navy and Marine Corps services have been discussing for some time," said Cmdr. Matthew Hoekstra, director of maritime operations for ESG-3 and lead exercise planner for Dawn Blitz.

Ships participating from Naval Base San Diego including the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore and the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer.

This year’s exercise includes the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to conduct a sea-based strike.

During the days long exercise which began on October 20, 2017 the ships will integrate with 1st MEB and Coastal Riverine Group 1 to demonstrate how U.S. forces are capable, interoperable and deployable on short notice while being fully combat ready.

"Dawn Blitz 17 is an invaluable opportunity for I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and the 1st MEB to experiment with advanced maritime and naval warfighting concepts, as well as refine existing tactics, techniques and procedures,” says Lt. Col. Thomas Savage, operations officer, 1st MEB.

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