The following blog is from Capt. Augustus P. Bennett, commodore, Amphibious Squadron Four, speaking on his experience during the fourth day of the Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise Egemen 2015, Oct. 27.
As Egemen 2015 comes to a close, the extensive man-hours of exercise planning, beach surveying, current and tidal research, landing zone designation, elevation and terrain mapping all culminated today with the superb execution of an amphibious assault on the shores of Turkey alongside our allies. Egemen is a Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise that began on Oct. 24, 2015.
The embarked forces, commanded by Turkish Rear Adm. Aydin Sirin with observers from the British Royal Marines, worked alongside our U.S. Marines from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Sailors aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) enhancing both of our tactical-level expeditionary warfare skills. Exercises like Egemen 2015 increase interoperability and strengthen our partnerships not only with Turkey but with NATO allies and regional partners as well.
Partnerships matter… Turkey and the U.S. are committed allies focused on security in the region, and exercise Egemen 2015 further demonstrates that resolve under NATO. The partnership showed here today between our forces foster mutual commitment to promote peace and stability in the region.
Approximately 3,400 personnel participated in Egemen 2015. The exercise provided an environment to practice amphibious warfare capabilities. The leadership from our Turkish counterparts resulted in training that advanced our U.S.-Turkish forces’ ability to operate from a sea-based platform and transition to accomplish military objectives ashore.
As our Turkish allies depart for their homes ashore, I wish them fair winds and following seas until we meet again. Well done to the officers and crew of USS Kearsarge and the Marines of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Editor’s note: This blog was originally published Oct. 28, 2015 on U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet’s blog.