SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, QUEENSLAND, Australia -- For the first time in the unit’s history, 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company is able to insert into an area via parachute.
The 5th ANGLICO, III Marine Expeditionary Force, achieved that capability by dropping a four-man team, assisted by Marine parachute riggers from 3rd Air Delivery, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III MEF, over Shoalwater Bay Training Area, Australia, July 8, during a multi-national training exercise. The Marines conducted a jump while training with U.S. soldiers and airmen during Talisman Sabre 15 and Hamel 15.
During transit from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. Marines, airmen, soldiers and Australian soldiers performed in-flight parachute rigging and refueling across seven C-17 Globemaster III's to prepare to jump into the Kapyong drop zone at the conclusion of the 17-hour flight.
The Talisman Sabre 15 portion was a 10-hour field landing air strip seizure. Immediately afterwards, the service members moved into Hamel 15, an Australian integrated training exercise.
“A big part of this exercise was to see how we, as 5th ANGLICO, would integrate in with an airborne force compared to how we normally operate, which is not airborne,” said Capt. Joseph R. Mozzi, a joint terminal air controller with 5th ANGLICO.
A two-man team was attached to Company C, 3-509th Airborne Infantry Battalion, who served as the main effort during the assaults. Additionally, a communication group was attached to the headquarters element to amplify existing communication assets.
“Our basic mission is to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force commander with a liaison capability to operate with joint, multi-national coalition forces,” said Mozzi, a Dalton, Massachusetts native, in describing his company’s organic mission outside a coalition setting.
ANGLICO Marines are a unique asset to the Marine Corps and partner forces.
“We allow the MAGTF to extend its combat power on a wider scale using us as enablers with other militaries; whether they are joint in the U.S. or inter-service multinational,” said Mozzi.
They played a big role in the success of the Army’s abilities during the exercise by improving communication during Talisman Sabre 15 and increasing close air support for aerial assaults for Hamel 15, according to U.S. Army Capt. Zachary P. Miller, the Company C Commander with 3-509th Airborne Infantry Battalion.
“The Army has a lot of capabilities,” said Mozzi. “It’s about finding what gap they have that we can fill.”
ANGLICO Marines have the ability to do just that, according to Miller, an Eagle River, Alaska native.
“A good thing about (5th ANGLICO) is that we can tailor the size of the unit we have based on specific needs of the force we are supporting,” said Mozzi. “The goal is to be able employ our entire team in the airborne capacity.”
Exercises like these bring opportunity to project different capabilities and work with partners, according to Miller.
“The hope is to open the door to more jump missions for the active duty components from ANGLICO in the future," said Mozzi.