In February 2012, at and around the US Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, approximately 12,000 military personnel and 24 ships from 9 different countries participated in the largest US amphibious exercise since 2001.
Among the participants in Bold Alligator were 2 Dutch units from the Caribbean region, namely 32 Infantry Company of the RNLN Marine Corps and the Boat Platoon.
For the Marines Company, the first phase of the exercise focused on firing training and on cooperating with helicopter units. Operations in built-up areas was another subject of training during the exercise. Camp Lejeune, on the east coast of the United States, offers a special facility for this type of training: a purpose-built concrete maze where live ammunition can be used.
The Boat Platoon conducted a collective training exercise with Riverine Group One. This US Marine Corps unit specialises in operations on inland waterways and uses fast and heavily armed motor boats.
The US Navy and US Marine Corps, who organised the exercise, used it chiefly to re-examine their amphibious and expeditionary tactics, techniques and procedures. These were due for an update, as an exercise on this scale was last held 10 years ago. According to Brigadier General (MC) Swijgman, the Netherlands Flag Officer of the Caribbean, Bold Alligator’s unique location, resources and scale provided a great training opportunity for the participating Dutch units.
Naval Today Staff , March 01, 2012; Image: defensie