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.

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Meanwhile the UK quietly plans to scrap its amphibious ships and cut the Royal Marines.


Has that decision been announced officially ?




No, but the question does have to be asked, where in the world would the UK need to do amphibious operations that the US wouldn’t be involved in anyway?

Ben P

Cant rely on the US for everything.


Ben, no the UK can’t, for defence, but what landings is the UK likely to want to do on our own?

Ben P

We still need to be able to deploy our own assets.


Personally I agree Ben, sorry, I was playing Devil’s Advocate, putting myself in the minds of those who have the budget. For me, gettng rid of Albion and Bulwark without replacement would be madness.


Pretty sure that was their thinking in the 80’s.

It’s also not right to say screw it let the Americans pay for our national defense, its getting to the point where the Americans will genuinely consider pulling every boot out of Europe and leave them to it.

Without a Nuclear deterrent and the US do you think the EU would last more than a week in an actual military conflict? The UK and France ran out of bombs after a two week campaign in Libya.


Just as was planned before the Falklands war & contributed to encouraging the Argentines to invade.
No other nation has plans to throw away such a capability. Why do our successive governments seem bent on rendering us indefensible?


Because they have to pay for an ever expanding health and social programme that benefits Group A but which is in large part funded by a much, much smaller Group C. Note Group B is much larger than Group C but smaller than Group A – it too contributes to Group A’s maintenance but the net contribution is not nearly so significant as Group C’s. Group C is persuaded to continue supporting Group A as the price for doing business in the UK and for access to London but Group C is not committed to the UK and is particularly… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli


Lee H

Year of the Navy – ironic isn’t it?