US, France, UK forces hone amphibious skills off Djibouti

Landing Craft Air Cushion 60 approaches the well deck aboard USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) during exercise Alligator Dagger 2017. Photo: US Navy

Ships and personnel from U.S., UK and France have kicked off the two-week multilateral amphibious exercise Alligator Dagger 17.

The drill is taking place in international waters off the coast of Djibouti and in the vicinity of Djibouti and Arta Beach, between April 5 and 20.

Participating forces include U.S. Navy ships USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Carter Hall (LSD 50), USS Ponce (AFSB(I)-15), Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth (F235), and a detachment of the French 5th Marine Regiment.

Participants will conduct fire team, squad and platoon level live-fire ranges, vessel board search and seizure (VBSS), integrated amphibious operations, day and night time full mission profiles/long range raid and coalition integration or forces. The exercise also provides an opportunity to enhance multilateral capabilities in critical mission-sets inherent to the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps team with partners and allies in the region, the U.S. Navy said.

“We are excited to be participating in this dynamic exercise alongside our allies and partners,” said Navy Capt. James Dunn, Deputy Commodore of Amphibious Squadron 8. “Exercises like Alligator Dagger enhance the execution of our wide range of capability, while increasing the ability of all participants to plan and oversee complex operations.”

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