Thursday, January 31, 2013

USS Boxer Participates in Major Amphibious Exercise Dawn Blitz 2013


SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- This week marked the beginning of the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer's (LHD 4) involvement in the initial phase of Dawn Blitz 2013 (DB 13).
DB 13 is an exercise in which forces plan and execute an Expeditionary Strike Group and Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) - sized amphibious assault from sea in a maritime and land environment to improve naval amphibious core competencies.
Expeditionary Strike Group Three and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade are being hosted by Boxer. The initial phase of DB 13, conducted in a synthetic environment, began Jan. 28 and will end Feb. 1. The culminating phase is scheduled for summer 2013. This evolution helps to establish a "blue-green" partnership that will train Sailors and Marines for future deployments.
"Dawn Blitz is an excellent opportunity for Boxer sailors to see how the Marines and embarked staff will operate onboard during deployment," said Capt. John Gumbleton, Boxer commanding officer.
The exercise will involve several events resulting in the deployment of U.S. and allied forces in hypothetical scenarios. A major objective of DB 13 is to provide a realistic training to exercise naval amphibious capabilities. The Sailors and Marines focus on completing a series of tasks using systems that they are already familiar with, such as the Advance Combat Direction System and Air Defense System Integrator. 
One of the events portrays a MEB-sized Marine Air-Ground Task Force operating with Expeditionary Strike Group Three in an operational environment. The scenario allows for the integration of Combined Forces Maritime Component Command, Combined Forces Air Component Command, Joint Special Operations Task Force, and eventually Combined Forces Land Component Command forces as well as allied forces as participants and observers. Commander, U.S. Third Fleet is the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander and ultimately leads, plans and executes DB 13.
"Working with the Marines and going through DB 13 has been an awesome experience for a lot of my junior Sailors," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Christopher McMillan. "Having everyone be able to run all of our systems efficiently and effectively is an irreplaceable perk."
There are more than 250 Sailors and Marines working together to respond to any amphibious operation requirement with great efficiency, while exploring the feasibility and implication of alternative operational plans and concepts. U.S. Third Fleet provides realistic, relevant training, such as DB 13, necessary for an effective global Navy. 
Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West Coast of North America to the international date line.

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