Photo Information

Mexican Navy sailors stand in formation on the deck of Mexican ship ARM Usumacinta during a media visit held in conjunction with Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015, Sept. 6. Mexican Naval Forces are participating as observers in Exercise Dawn Blitz for the first time in 2015, with the hope of developing a stronger and more effective amphibious presence.

Photo by Pfc. Devan Gowans

Joint Forces conduct amphibious landing on San Onofre Beach during Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015

8 Sep 2015 | Pfc. Devan Gowans I Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with the Mexican Naval Infantry Forces and the Royal New Zealand Navy conducted an amphibious landing in conjunction with Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015 near San Onofre beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Sept. 5.

Amphibious operations conducted during Dawn Blitz, a bi-annual, multinational training exercise, provides the training opportunity to develop U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and partner nations’ capabilities as global crisis response groups.

“Mexican Naval Forces are participating in Exercise Dawn Blitz for the first time in 2015, with the hope of gaining efficient training necessary to achieve a stronger and more effective amphibious presence,” said Mexican Navy Capt. Gabriel Gutierrez De Velasco Alvarez, commander, Mexican Amphibious Task Force.

Marines with Zodiac Battalion, Mexican Naval Infantry Forces, spearheaded the shoreline and stormed the beach from inflatable boats, known as zodiacs, followed by Marines with the Royal New Zealand Navy, who disembarked from U.S. Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles setting up a tactical perimeter.

The exercise creates stronger operability relationships among joint forces with four countries operating in unison in order to accomplish simultaneous tasks among troops. The exercise also helps sustain training readiness for amphibious landing forces that the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy forces are recognized for.

“Mexico is interested in participating during Dawn Blitz in the future because it enhances combat readiness by interacting with other countries at a multinational capacity,” said Alvarez. “This was a great opportunity for our forces to interact with equivalent services and learn how we can better interact with them if needed during future operations.”

This beach landing was just one of many concurrent amphibious landings that took place; the other being the landing of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces, along with the U.S. Marines and U.S Navy, approximately 8 miles south of San Onofre Beach.

“It has been amazing here this morning and for the past two weeks,” said Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force. “It was great being able to see our Marines and sailors work alongside coalition partners that we train with regularly, broadening our perspective and learning what it takes to be an expeditionary Naval force in readiness.” 

Following the culmination of amphibious landings, the multinational forces will be conducting company-sized infantry operations inland at Camp Pendleton, along with a closing ceremony to express gratitude for the collective military involvement that took place during the exercise, scheduled for Sept. 10.