NORFOLK The military is about to hold a historic exercise off the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida.
It's called Exercise Bold Alligator 2012, and it's the east coast's largest joint amphibious assault exercise in the past ten years, according to U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
The exercise will run January 30 through February 12.
Bold Alligator 2012 will include three large-scale events: an amphibious assault at Camp Lejeune, N.C., an aerial assault from the sea into Fort Pickett, Virginia, and an amphibious raid on Fort Story, Virginia.
Bold Alligator will revitalize Navy and Marine Corps amphibious expeditionary tactics, techniques and procedures.
'Amphibious forces are a critical element of maritime power projection that ought to be a high priority for support, even in a resource constrained environment, because they are a cost effective option for accomplishing a wide range of military operations,' said Adm. John C. Harvey, commander, USFF.
The units involved include the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, Expeditionary Strike Group 2, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Naval Expeditionary Combat Command as well as various other ships and units.
Nine countries are participating in exercise, providing maritime, land and air units or observers. The countries participating with the U.S. forces are Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.