Analysis: Marines Conduct Amphibious Assault

US Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked on a training exercise, carrying out an amphibious assault on a town littered with notional insurgents.

This was originally published by Business Insider

CAMP PENDLETON, California — If thousands of Marines are off a hostile shore, it's typically an exercise in futility for the enemy to stick around and wait for the assault.

On Thursday, US Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked on a training exercise, carrying out an amphibious assault on a town littered with notional insurgents — and as should be expected from a premier maritime force, the grunts dominated.

Business Insider was on hand to watch as Marines left their ship, the USS San Diego, and headed onshore, practicing landing on and taking over an enemy beach.

Here's what we saw.

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It's a beautiful day to check out the beach in Southern California.

It's a beautiful day to check out the beach in Southern California.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

But today there's something lurking off the coast: The USS San Diego, an amphibious transport packed with thousands of Marines and sailors from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

But today there's something lurking off the coast: The USS San Diego, an amphibious transport packed with thousands of Marines and sailors from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

The infantry grunts in the main assault are with Battalion Landing Team 1/5. Cpl. Rafael Anderson, a squad leader, has the battalion motto of "Make Peace or Die," on his flak jacket.

The infantry grunts in the main assault are with Battalion Landing Team 1/5. Cpl. Rafael Anderson, a squad leader, has the battalion motto of "Make Peace or Die," on his flak jacket.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

As part of a predeployment training scenario, the Marines' mission is to assault the beach, capture a high-value target, and pacify this town, which has been taken over by what officials say is a "generic" opposition force.

As part of a predeployment training scenario, the Marines' mission is to assault the beach, capture a high-value target, and pacify this town, which has been taken over by what officials say is a "generic" opposition force.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

Though most of the opposing force is dressed like insurgents from the Middle East, Marine Pfc. Raul Galvin brought his Air Jordans to the fight.

Though most of the opposing force is dressed like insurgents from the Middle East, Marine Pfc. Raul Galvin brought his Air Jordans to the fight.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

Many others dressed as insurgents have taken up positions in the town, awaiting the Marine assault.

Many others dressed as insurgents have taken up positions in the town, awaiting the Marine assault.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

Having an enemy to oppose the Marines is important, as Capt. Andrew Paul explained, since officials want this training exercise to be as close to the real thing as possible. "The more realistic we can make it, the better," he said.

Having an enemy to oppose the Marines is important, as Capt. Andrew Paul explained, since officials want this training exercise to be as close to the real thing as possible. "The more realistic we can make it, the better," he said.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

Once Marines get the command to launch, they drive their amphibious assault vehicles off the back of the ship into the water. These 29-ton monsters are able to float.

Once Marines get the command to launch, they drive their amphibious assault vehicles off the back of the ship into the water. These 29-ton monsters are able to float.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

The Marines also launch aviation assets over the town, to include Hueys and Cobra gunships from VMM-161.

The Marines also launch aviation assets over the town, to include Hueys and Cobra gunships from VMM-161.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

With about 20 Marines in the back and a crew of three, the AAVs lumber through the water at about 8 mph.

With about 20 Marines in the back and a crew of three, the AAVs lumber through the water at about 8 mph.
Paul Szoldra/Business Insider

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