The following blog is from Col. Robert Fulford, commanding officer, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, speaking on his experience during third day of the Turkish-led and hosted amphibious exercise Egemen 2015, Oct. 26.
When it comes to building great teams, there is a saying – ‘it’s not just about relationships … it’s all about relationships’. EGEMEN 2015 continues to provide an invaluable forum for investment in relationship-building … team-building … friendship-building … between two historic NATO partners.
Today was a busy and productive day for Marines and Sailors ashore at Doganbey Beach, Turkey, as well as aboard the USS Kearsarge.
Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2/6 continued urban operations training with their Turkish counterparts. The day concluded with a full scale dress rehearsal of the amphibious assault, where our MV-22 Ospreys and landing craft, air cushion will synchronize their landings with Turkish landing craft across the beach. The coordination of this landing is critical to ensure everyone lands at their appointed place and time.
While the rehearsals were being conducted, an element of Combat Logistics Battalion 26 participated in non-combatant evacuation operation training with their Turkish counterparts to practice tracking and evacuating non-combatants in the event of a crisis that requires civilians to depart another country.
The pilots from VMM-162(REIN) flew in support of the training to ensure Marines and gear arrived safely. The squadron also participated in the amphibious assault rehearsal.
As the day closed, all of our Marines and our Turkish counterparts recovered back aboard the Kearsarge for the night. As I watched them come back aboard, it was clear our infantrymen were tired … which is a sign they had a great day of training!!! Everyone is settled in for a good night’s rest, in preparation for tomorrow’s amphibious assault and distinguished visitor day.
There is a unifying spirit of mutual respect, admiration, and genuine friendship that is blossoming between our forces starting at the small unit level and permeating through to the most senior ranks participating in the exercise. This unity directly translates to our inter-operability and our solidarity in support of regional peace and stability.
Editor’s note:This blog was originially published Oct. 27, 2015 on U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet’s blog.