1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade departs for Dawn Blitz

27 Sep 2011 | Sgt. Heidi Agostini

More than 700 Marines and sailors from 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade boarded the USS Bonhomme Richard to launch Exercise Dawn Blitz 2011 today.

1st MEB Command Element, 3rd Amphibian Assault Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 17 and Marine Aircraft Group 16, will participate in a continuation of exercises aimed to prepare forces to deploy on short notice.

“Camp Pendleton’s 1st MEB is a viable, responsive asset for I Marine Expeditionary Force in responding to crisis contingencies around the world,” said Maj. Gen. Melvin Spiese, commanding general for 1st MEB.

The series of exercises with Pacific Horizon ’11, Javelin Thrust ’11 and Dawn Blitz ’11 will train the brigade to position itself to answer the call when a crisis arises. 1st MEB is capable of performing amphibious operations anywhere around the globe - from assaulting an enemy beachhead to bringing ashore supplies to a hurricane-ravaged nation.

“Dawn Blitz ’11 reinforces the Marine Corps’ tradition as a maritime force-in-readiness, inextricably linked to the Navy in support of our unique amphibious and expeditionary capabilities as America’s expeditionary fighting force,” Spiese said.

The exercise will test the MEB’s capabilities to plan and execute amphibious landings in partnership with the Navy’s Expeditionary Strike Group 3. The amphibious landing exercise will take place off the coast of California Sept. 28 through Oct. 3.

"This exercise is an opportunity to reinforce the Navy-Marine Corps partnership and gain an appreciation for the operational and strategic necessity of this close working relationship," Spiese said.

Since 1990, the Marine Corps has conducted more than 100 amphibious operations around the world. The missions ranged from humanitarian aid and disaster relief in such varied places as New Orleans, Haiti and Pakistan to crisis response in Lebanon and the Ivory Coast, to security and counterterrorism operations in Latin America, Georgia, the Philippines and the Horn of Africa.

In addition to the large amphibious landing, Marines and sailors will conduct battlespace shaping operations, non-combatant evacuation training, amphibious operation planning, live-fire shoots, and shipboard driver training.