Foreign Military Leaders Observe U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Landing during U.S. Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium
150520-N-BD107-194 PACIFIC OCEAN (May 20, 2015) Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1627 prepares to enter the well deck of the San-Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) in support of exercise Culebra Koa 2015. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)
Foreign Military Leaders Observe U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Landing during U.S. Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium
Representatives from 22 nations observed an amphibious landing by the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit May 19, 2015. Amphibious Assault Vehicles launched from the USS Rushmore (LSD 47).

The landing is part of U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Culebra Koa 15, an on-going joint sea-basing exercise taking place in Hawaii at the same time as the U.S. Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium. Symposium participants visited MCTAB to watch the beach assault after discussing amphibious doctrine the day prior.

The three-day U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific-led PALS, is an event designed to bring together senior leaders of allied and partner Marine Corps, naval infantries, and militaries spanning the Indo-Asia-Pacific region with interest in military amphibious capability development. The objective is to have meaningful dialogue on key aspects of maritime and amphibious operations, capability development, and interoperability.

AAVs traveled from ship-to-shore, a tactic the Marine Corps has practiced since World War II. Two U.S. Navy Landing Craft Air Cushion vehicles followed the AAVs, demonstrating another amphibious capability to those observing.

The PALS event aids in strengthening interoperability with allied and partner nations throughout the region. Events like PALS help pave the way for enhanced regional stability beneficial to all. 

“What we are trying to do is bring together senior amphibious leaders to talk about things that matter to them and their country and maintain a peaceful way of moving forward,” said Maj. Christina Henry, Southeast Asia lead planner with MARFORPAC. 

Representatives have been together since May 17, talking about ship-to-shore tactics, capabilities of their respective militaries and new opportunities to work together in the future.

Countries participating include Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, United Kingdom and Vietnam. 

“We gather, work and discuss to overcome challenges now and in the future, especially on the sea,” said Indonesian Navy Col. Halili, naval attaché to the United States. “We are looking to enhance our relationship, partnership and friendship to make our region more secure.”

The Marine Corps participates in several multinational exercises and events like PALS year-round. Participation with partner nations in military events and exercises helps strengthen relationships with countries in the region, which in turn, fosters greater stability and prosperity.

“It is our obligation (and responsibility) to overcome challenges (in the Pacific),” Halili said. “The goal is to have zero enemies and peace and grow the economy in our region.”
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