By Navy Lt. Cmdr. Sandra Arnold Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade has begun a two-week amphibious training event in international waters off the African coast of Djibouti.
Alligator Dagger is the largest regional amphibious combat rehearsal to integrate and synchronize TF 51/5’s warfighting capabilities and those of adjacent U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and special operations forces units.
“USS Iwo Jima’s Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are prepared to rehearse a variety of tactical capabilities in this demanding and globally vital region,” said Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Frank Donovan, commander of TF 51/5. “This critical amphibious combat proficiency training will ensure our integrated Navy and Marine Corps forces are postured and prepared to execute operations at sea, from the sea and ashore.”
The expeditionary mobile base USS Lewis B. Puller — named after Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, one of the most decorated members of the Marine Corps — as well as the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, the dock landing ship USS Oak Hill, the destroyer USS Laboon and the 26th MEU are participating.
Practicing Key Tasks
“Alligator Dagger allows us to employ the breadth and depth of our combined arms team in an…