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U.S. Marine Corps Reservists complete BALTOPS 17 Mission
PUTLOS, Germany – Ten Marines from the 4th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) detachment of Marine Reservists, from West Palm Beach, Florida, started their four-day training evolution as part of exercise BALTOPS 17, June 6, 2017.
BALTOPS 17, one of the largest military exercises in Northern Europe, is an opportunity to offer high-end training for NATO allies and partner nations from across the region in order to reassure and demonstrate NATO’s long-term commitment to security in the Baltic region.
The 4th ANGLICO’s primary mission is attaching to non-Marine units acting as a liaison between Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) commanders and other joint, allied and coalition forces.
“Our Marines come in with more of a holistic and well-rounded perspective because we work so often with foreign forces,” said Maj. Justin Johanssen, 4th ANGLICO officer in charge.
This training is beneficial for reservists, who must maintain their infantry skill sets while continuing to fulfill their civilian roles.
“The operational tempo is pretty high, and our unit is constantly deploying Marines,” Johanssen said. “It requires a lot of balance to be able to contribute to both the civilian side and the Marine side.”
More than 125 U.S. Marine Reservists from 1st Battalion 23rd Marines, 4th Marine Division, out of Shreveport, Louisiana, and 12 amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) from 2nd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina joined the exercise June 8, 2017.
Marines assaulted the beach from a Polish Lublin-class minelayer-landing ship ORP Krakow (LST 823) and the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington (LPD 24). They then spent four days on Putlos training ranges practicing vital combat skills such as landing craft air cushion (LCAC) maneuvers, naval gun fire, amphibious operations, mechanized platoon attacks and other weapon-based training to meet their goals and objectives.
The Putlos portion of BALTOPS 17 supported interoperability and unity with NATO and partnering nations. It reinforced NATO’s resolve to be able to conduct operations anywhere around the Baltic Sea, support freedom of movement, and prevent aggression while also reinforcing the U.S.’s commitment to our allies.
“By participating in multi-national exercises, Marines work and train closely with other nations and other services to gain and share knowledge and skills, which they pass on to the rest of the Marine Corps,” said Marine Chief Warrant Officer 5 Troy Carroll, 4th Marine Division infantry weapons officer, from New Orleans, Louisiana. “Building these lasting relationships increases our interoperability and capability to support the full range of military operations and support the total force.”
BALTOPS 17 involved 4,000 shipboard personnel, 50 ships and submarines and more than 50 aircraft, and is designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate resolve among forces from allied and partner nations to ensure stability in and, if necessary, defend the Baltic Sea region.
BALTOPS began in 1972 and continues to be an excellent opportunity for NATO and regional partners to strengthen interoperability through a series of combined tactical maneuvers and scenarios.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/naveur.