SAN DIEGO – Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) hosted approximately 200 Canadian infantry men and women as part of Exercise Dawn Blitz, June 18.
The live amphibious exercise between the Navy and Marine Corps Dawn Blitz primarily concentrates on expeditionary amphibious tactics, methods and procedures during an amphibious assault at-sea. The exercise presents the blue/green team with possible challenges in future conflicts and engagements. Canadian infantrymen have been training alongside United States 1st Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif. since the beginning of June.
“Training here with the Marines has been opportune,” said Canadian Sgt. Colin Wiggan. “[Camp Pendleton] is a new terrain and working in a new terrain you have to learn how to use different techniques. It’s a learning process. We can always take away a little from each exercise.”
The Royal Canadian Navy possesses 33 warships, submarines and coastal defense vessels, none of which the size of Peleliu. For the majority of Northern visitors, the visit was a first on a ship.
“I was really eager to see everything you have regarding your amphibious capabilities because this is something in Canada that we don’t have,” said Canadian Capt. Philippe Trembley, operations officer for the group. “We have been with the Marines for two-and-a-half weeks and we have seen their part of amphibious capabilities and how they operate as an infantry unit during amphibious warfare. Coming here I saw how their part fits in the big picture.”
Trembley described the tactics, techniques and procedures the Marines use as an amphibious unit to assault beaches “export the power” to seize U.S. and allied objectives or influence a state as “quite impressive.”
For Wiggan, it was his first time in California.
“The one day we had in San Diego I enjoyed so much,” Wiggan said. “I texted one of my friends and told them I didn’t want to come home. The weather is so nice and the people have been just as nice as well.”
The 200-member group concluded their San Diego visit with a tour aboard WWII aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV 41) Museum and returning to Camp Pendleton for final training.
Last week, Peleliu hosted members of the B Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment, Austrailian Army, June 14, for a tour a part of Exercise Gold Eagle, a training exercise with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division in 29 Palms, Calif.
Peleliu is the second-oldest active amphibious ship in the U.S. Navy after amphibious transport dock USS Denver (LPD-9) and is the only remaining Tarawa-class LHA. The ship and its crew, along with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, recently returned from an eight-month deployment to the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.