From February 20th to the 26th, Naval Forces and Marine Corps units from Spain, the Unites States and Portugal participated in the amphibious exercise PHIBLEX-14 in the Gulf of Cadiz and the ‘Sierra del Retín’ range.
The goal of the exercise has been to enhance the interoperability between the Spanish Navy and the U.S. Navy on the one hand, and the U.S.M.C. and the Portuguese Marine Corps on the other in crises situations like natural disasters or regional conflicts. The exercise included the planning and execution of different land, naval and air drills.
The Spanish Navy contributed with units from the Marine Corps, the Aircraft Flotilla and the Maritime Action Force. The Landing Force was made up of the 1st Tercio de Armada Landing Battalion with support from the Combat Services Group (GASC) and the Amphibious Mobility Group (GRUMA).
Other Spanish participating assets were: AV-8B aircraft, and SH-3D and AB-212 helicopters; the patrol boat ‘Vigía’, several Tercio del Sur M.C. detachments and a Special Naval Warfare Team.
U.S. participation included the 22nd Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit, and the PHIBRON-6 Amphibious Group made up of the following amphibious ships: ‘Bataan’, ‘Mesa Verde’ and ‘Gunston Hall’.
The Portuguese Navy contributed with a reinforced company of ‘Corpo de Durante Fuzileiros Navais’.
During PHIBLEX-14, the participating units carried out the planning and execution of an amphibious operation, as well as several drills on tactical, training, firing, helicopter transport of troops and fast-rope procedures, among other activities.
Press Release, March 3, 2014, Image: Spanish Navy