F-35B aircraft were aboard the USS Essex during Exercise Dawn Blitz where they supported an amphibious assault.
Dawn Blitz is a scenario-driven amphibious exercise conducted between the US Expeditionary Strike Group 3 and 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, testing their ability to conduct amphibious operations in response to global crises and to project power ashore as part of a US Navy-Marine Corps team.
“Dawn Blitz 2017 is an excellent opportunity to operationalize concepts the Navy and Marine Corps services have been discussing for some time,” said Cmdr. Matthew Hoekstra, director of maritime operations for ESG-3 and lead exercise planner for Dawn Blitz.
Ships participating include the amphibious assault ship USS Essex, the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage, the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore and the guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer.
This year’s exercise includes the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to conduct a sea-based strike.
“Dawn Blitz 17 is an invaluable opportunity for I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) and the 1st MEB to experiment with advanced maritime and naval warfighting concepts, as well as refine existing tactics, techniques and procedures,” says Lt. Col. Thomas Savage, operations officer, 1st MEB.
An infantry company from the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force will also participate along with observers from Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.