CAMP SCHWAB, OKINAWA, Japan --
Three platoons of Marines with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, executed a ship-to-shore assault Nov. 1-2 during exercise Blue Chromite 15 at Oura Wan Beach.
Blue Chromite demonstrates the Navy and Marine Corps’ amphibious and expeditionary capabilities from the sea to shore. Rehearsing integration of arms in a tactical scenario prepares Marines and sailors for future deployments.
This iteration of Blue Chromite integrated amphibious operations with the USS Germantown (LSD 42) and units internal to III Marine Expeditionary Force in one consolidated exercise, according to Maj. Ryan Donahue, the lead planner for Blue Chromite with 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF.
Marines left the USS Germantown in assault amphibious vehicles to assault the first objective at Oura Wan Beach. The simulated enemy resistance was provided by 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.
“The Germantown was built for Marines,” said Master Chief Petty Officer Samuel Olmstead, the command master chief of the USS Germantown and is from Bisbee, Arizona. “The whole point is to embark United States Marines and take them where the nation needs them to go.”
Three platoons advanced from the shore to seek out the simulated enemy and secure the beach.
“Two platoons held blocking positions to the north and to the south, and that allowed the third platoon to move in and attack the objective on the hill,” said Cpl. Seth Cooper, a squad leader with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines.
After securing the beach on the first day, the Marines rode in AAVs to the Central Training Area near Camp Schwab. Marines destroyed a notional enemy position in a live-fire exercise at Range 10 in the CTA. Completing their mission set conditions for units in other parts of the exercise.
“Ultimately we are advancing to allow our other company to destroy the (simulated) chemical weapons factory that’s located to the south of Combat Town,” said Capt. Andrew Eckert, a company commander with 2nd Bn., from New Glarus, Wisconsin. “All of this … is so that 3rd MarDiv can continue their attack north on the island.”
The amphibious assault during Blue Chromite provided Marines, like Cooper, with a new experience they can learn from and pass on.
“The exercise got Marines used to working with outside agencies instead of just the Marine Corps and also it’s a different type of attack,” said Cooper from Mansfield, Ohio. “When the Marines move onto their next unit, they can be the person who knows about something like this because they have the experience.”