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Navy, Marine Corps Conclude Joint ‘Exercise Alligator Dagger’

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have completed a joint exercise with a nighttime helo-borne raid to demonstrate both military branches’ capabilities to conduct a raid on a simulated enemy communications node.

Marines and sailors of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted Exercise Alligator Dagger in Djibouti and were flown inland via MV-22 Ospreys and CH-53 Super Stallions, USMC said Thursday.

AH-1Z Cobras, UH-1Y Hueys and AV-8B Harriers provided close-air support to the team during the two-week exercise led by Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

“The training we executed during Alligator Dagger sharpened our skills and displayed the range of combat, sustainment and crisis-response capabilities the ARG-MEU team brings to the region,” said Capt. Mike Crary, commander of Amphibious Squadron Five.

Marines and sailors performed amphibious operations and combat sustainment training for crisis response and contingency operations throughout the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

MKI ARG consists of Makin Island, the command ship for PHIBRON 5 and 11th MEU, amphibious transport dock ship USS Somerset and amphibious dock landing ship USS Comstock.

The 11th MEU is comprised of a ground combat element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion of 4th Marines, an aviation combat element within the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, a combat logistics element under the Combat Logistics Battalion 11 and a command element with a commanding officer.

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