Marines and sailors conduct amphibious assault exercise - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Marines and sailors conduct amphibious assault exercise

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - If you live in the North County be prepared for some loud booms Monday. Military exercises have just begun at Camp Pendleton.

The international training exercises will consist of real-life beach storming and other assault operations.

This training operation is called "Exercise Dawn Blitz 2013." This is a very large operation and lasts 17 days. These exercises are always important, but this one has a special element because of another country that participated.

They try and make it as real as possible. Three ships and 2400 Marines and sailors took part in Exercise Dawn Blitz Sunday.

First Lieutenant Dana Mitchell says, "It's a training exercise between the Navy and Marine Corp to strengthen the Navy and Marine Corp team. And hone in the skills on the individual Marine's small unit leaders up to company size elements."

They started out at sea on the USS Boxer and USS New Orleans. The Marines came ashore in amphibious assault vehicles and the mission was to secure the beach and create a defensive perimeter.

But they weren't alone. Members from the Japanese military also took part by jumping from helicopters, and swimming ashore.

First Lieutenant Mitchell says "We're working on developing skills to work with our partner nations in order to better prepare ourselves as a contingency response force. Better enhance our ability to respond to any crisis overseas and be a global response force."

Gary Wilson is a retired Marine Colonel who says exercises like this are so important because in combat, even if it's choreographed things can go wrong.

"They learn an incredible amount just by being out of the office in the field," he said. "For example, if you drive the same way to work everyday, one day there's an accident, next day it's raining, and then there's construction. So the opportunity to get in the field allows them to encounter different situations."

This exercise comes in advance of a deployment to the Western Pacific later this summer. Colonel Wilson says the Japanese will be paying extra attention as they start to shift their military strategy.

"Their Japanese defense force for the longest time has been basically focused on what they refer to as homeland defense," he said. "Not that they're conducting some joint exercises they're getting an opportunity to see where their capabilities and skill sets lie."

They may be separated by a language, but what they accomplished rang loud and clear. The day ended with the marines handing over control of the beach to the Japanese.

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