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Assault exercise ensures Marines are ‘ready for anything’

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The Daily News

Assault exercise ensures Marines are ‘ready for anything’

By Kevin Vandenburg The Daily News
Posted Jun 11, 2019 at 9:00 PMUpdated Jun 12, 2019 at 3:14 

The skies above Onslow County roared when the United States Marines Corps at Camp Lejeune conducted its largest air assault exercise in a decade.

Termed “Steel Pike 19,” the Tuesday exercise paired 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment — 1,000 Marines in total — in CH-53 helicopters and MV-22 Ospreys that transported them from Marine Corps Auxiliary Landing Field in Bogue to Marine Corps Outlying Field Camp Davis in Holly Ridge.

In total, 14 helicopters — six CH-53s and eight MV-22 Ospreys — ferried the battalions to a field at Camp Davis where they engaged with other Marines role-playing as the enemy. The goal of the exercise was to train Marines in loading on and off helicopters in a combat zone while familiarizing them with their weapons systems, according to Lt. Col. David Ayers, who oversaw ground forces of the operation. Blank ammunition was used to simulate the experience of combat and for Marines to practice managing their ammunition, Ayers said.

“It’s fast and furious and you’re conducting every operation that an infantry battalion regiment would conduct during world war operations,” Ayers said. “Which is important for the Marine Corps 

The Marines also undertook the exercise because large-scale air assaults were not used or practiced in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Ayers. While the Marines undertook air missions during those wars, operations of this size had become less of a focus. Steel Pike 19 was a means of retraining the Marines for conflicts outside the scope of those wars. Ayers and his troops, however, were focused on the task of the day.

“The goal is to properly and efficiently and effectively get the Marines on to the helicopters,” Ayers said. “And to get them off onto an LZ safely and to conduct an after-action to make sure we cover all the things that some people have forgotten over the years.”

The battalion returned from deployment in Okinawa, Japan in February, and 74% of the Marines left the battalion for other assignments or finished their service. Ayers said it was important to give the new members fresh training and experience working together.



**I pasted the article instead of the link because you need to have a subscription to read it. We live here and we hear all of these practices, including bomb practices...but like the article says, it hasn't been like this in 10 years. The article makes it seem innocent, but around town people are wondering what is really going on! Especially with all the war ships and submarines and fighter jets from different countries being where they don't need to be.

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7 hours ago, Buttrfly71 said:

Especially with all the war ships and submarines and fighter jets from different countries being where they don't need to be.

Are you able to expound on that statement?...


I'm just curious ...

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6 hours ago, Buttrfly71 said:

1) There are news reports of Russian fighter jets intercepting US ones in international airspace

2) Chinese warships near Australia/NZ

3) Russian and US ships almost colliding near Japan


I don't have links, but you can look it up.👍

Cool, thanks....

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