15th MEU News

15th MEU’s BLT conducts combat rehearsals during Alligator Dagger

16 Sep 2017 | Lance Cpl. Jacob Pruitt 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

U.S. FIFTH FLEET AREA OF OPERATIONS - The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Battalion Landing Team started their portion of Alligator Dagger 17, a two-week combat rehearsal in Djibouti, to increase proficiency and readiness in the 5th Fleet area of operation, by reintroducing basic marksmanship skills and weapons familiarization.

“This basic sustainment training keeps the Marines’ edges sharp so we maintain that constant force of readiness,” said Staff Sgt. Rogan Nichols, the platoon sergeant for third platoon, Company A. “This is why we are known as the force in readiness, and it’s what our MEU is prepared for.” 
The BLT culminated the training by conducting squad supported live-fire, fire-and-movement attacks, which incorporated company organic assets as wells scout snipers exercising the combat orders process. The BLT successfully completed all training expectations and reinforced the strength of their teams from the bottom up making the BLT as a whole fundamentally more effective and responsive.

“This training helped the Marines get to the next tier of confidence in their weapons systems, intimately learning about their day and night optics, and how to use both in low-light and other harsh situations, as well as built a familiarity with rest of their gear issued for deployment,”  Nichols added.

The Battalion Landing Team worked in extreme conditions to prepare themselves as well as the rest of the 15th MEU for seamless and quick response to crises situations even in the most unforgiving terrain and climate.

“This exercise acclimated us to operating in 5th Fleet’s environment,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Neichter, the platoon commander of 2nd platoon, Company B. “Alligator Dagger was necessary so we are prepared to respond to any type of crises situation while the 15th MEU is operating in the 5th Fleet area of operation.” 

From heat acclamation, and building and using terrain models to conducting live-fire squad attacks, the BLT built their confidence of the key leaders as well as the small unit leaders perfecting readiness, the Marines’ leadership skills and the overall abilities of the 15th MEU.

“Alligator Dagger was a great opportunity for the BLT to show off their abilities and flex our stuff while we also worked to develop the leadership abilities of our small unit leaders,” said Neichter.

The America Amphibious Ready Group and 15th MEU are a forward deployed engaged and postured to shape actions across a range of military operations to resolve conflict and to combat the enemy in remote, austere environments that would otherwise be inaccessible.  Now that the Marines and Sailors of 15th MEU and America ARG have Alligator Dagger combat rehearsals under their belt, they will continue to push forward into the 5th Fleets area of operation, ready, strong and determined.

15th Marine Expeditionary Unit