U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines conducted an air raid operations during Arctic Expeditionary Capabilities Exercise (AECE) in Adak, Alaska, on Sept. 20, 2019.
Marines conducted the training to prepare the squadron for quick insertions and extractions of ground units in hostile areas while maintaining communications.
Approximately 3,000 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel are participating in AECE 2019, a joint training exercise that tests expeditionary logistical capabilities in the Arctic region and prepares joint forces to respond to crises across the Indo-Pacific.
The event marks the first time in 30 years since the U.S. Navy and Marines have conducted amphibious operations in Adak, the last time occurring during the joint Exercise Kernal Potlatch in 1987.
“The location of Alaska is tremendously strategic when it comes to protecting the homeland,” said U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer in an interview about AECE. “As climate change occurs, we have opening of sea lanes. Not only do we have to be up there to provide stability amongst all the people, we have to be up there to be make it known [the U.S. Navy] can transit those areas.”
Training in Adak includes a mechanized amphibious raid, air raid and air-field seizure, patrol operations, search and rescue (SAR) training, expeditionary logistics operations and tactical re-fueling operations.
AECE is one in a series of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercises in 2019 that prepares joint forces to respond to crisis in the Indo-Pacific.