Initial CMC Guidance
The Bold Alligator Series got its genesis from the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) and the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) initial guidance dating back to 2008. In July of 2008 the Commandant of the Marine Corps called for a “revitalization of our amphibious competency … initial aiming point for regaining our amphibious forcible entry capabilities is training to Expeditionary Strike Group-Marine Expeditionary Brigade Command Element (ESG-MEB CE) amphibious assault requirements.” A CMC message from 2008 further stated, “I am directing that we conduct a series of workshops…and the intent of this initial series is to achieve the staff proficiency required to robustly exercise simulation-supported and real-world ESG-MEB CE planning and execution.”
Initial CNO Guidance
The CNO followed suit with guidance in 2009 that, “Our operations and procurement plans address the capabilities of both our Navy and Marine Corps. Marine Corps roots are at sea. Navy ships underpin expeditionary operations, thus our procurement resources are intertwined. We must integrate warfighting capabilities with the Marine Corps to meet the objectives of the Maritime Strategy and Naval Operations Concept. Effective integration must include Navy and Marine Corps consensus on operational matters and resource allocation.”
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM) have agreed to conduct exercises, alternating between synthetic and live in order to concentrate on the more complex issues, refresh the practical and mechanical aspects of planning and conducting amphibious operations as well as refine what we learn and develop from these invaluable experiences.
The Bold Alligator series has progressed immensely throughout the years:
Bold Alligator 11 - The first iteration, focused on conducting non-combatant evacuation operations (NEO) simultaneously with other amphibious operations as needed to meet regional combatant commander requirements in a realistic synthetic training environment.
Bold Alligator 12 - Focused on live training to hone the skills needed to conduct large-scale forcible entry operations in the complex littoral region.
Bold Alligator 13 - Allowed exercise planners the opportunity to apply lessons learned from previous iterations in a synthetic environment to examine the command and control of large scale forcible entry operations.
Bold Alligator 14 - Focused on conducting crisis reponse operations from the sea.
Bold Alligator 16 - Builds on previous BA events and supports BA17 development. BA16 goals include improvement of overall amphibious capaility specifically in JEFO and advanced force operations; improved interoperability with allies and partners; build a solid foundation for execution in a live environment for BA17.