The Australian Defence Force brought a group of US Marines onto HMAS Canberra to take part in an amphibious raiding training.
“Sea Series is a three-part exercise,” said Australian Capt. MacDougal, amphibious planning officer with the Amphibious Task Group.
“Sea Horizon, the first one, was just a small command element going over command procedures.”
The second part, Sea Horizon, consisted of the headquarters element testing wet and dry embarkations. They culminated with Sea Raider where the ATG employed a battalion size element, support element and recon teams in an amphibious certification process, MacDougal said.
“Marines with MRF-D supported key functions in the joint operations room and provided subject matter expertise on lethal and non-lethal fires and effects,” MacDougal said.
“They developed the intelligence picture and assisted current operations of our landing forces during the exercise.”
Three weeks into the exercise, HMAS Canberra arrived in Brisbane to embark vehicles, infantry units and the rest of the supplies needed. It marked the start of the second part, Exercise Sea Explorer.
“Sea Explorer is where the Australians start to build muscle memory for going to the beaches and moving around on the ship,” said U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Kwame Williams, embarkations and operations chief from Combat Logistics Detachment 1.
“Much like the Marine Corps, the infantry units will train on the amphibious tactics so when it’s time for the final exercise, they can hopefully roll right through it.”
The ADF completed many firsts during the exercise.
“This was the first rotational battle group to conduct amphibious operations as part of an Amphibious Readiness Unit,” MacDougal said. “It was also the first time we had air to surface movements from the LHD and LSD to land objectives during any exercise.”
In addition to air to surface movements, this was Australia’s largest embarked amphibious element since the Vietnam War, with more than 1,700 sailors, soldiers and airmen involved according to a press release.