Norfolk, Virginia - Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) is supporting execution of the U.S. Fleet Forces (USFF) Command and U.S. Marine Forces Command (MARFORCOM) co-sponsored exercise Bold Alligator 2016 (BA16).

NWDC is hosting the BA16 Joint Exercise Control Group and cells from the Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander (CFMCC) in its Navy Center for Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NCAMS) facility and administrative spaces.

This year's 11-day synthetic, scenario-based simulation exercise began Aug. 15. The exercise scenario is based on joint forcible entry operations (JFEO) in a medium-threat environment. Exercise participants include major U.S. Navy and Marine Corps staffs along with coalition partners.

NWDC, together with USFF and MARFORCOM, is coordinating the observations and analysis (O&A) activities of more than 30 Navy and Marine Corps personnel who are closely monitoring staff functions in NCAMS, the USFF Maritime Operations Center (MOC), Tactical Training Group Atlantic (TTGL), Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Atlantic (EWTGLANT), II Marine Expeditionary Force Simulation Center, and aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and SS Wright (T-AVB 3).

Observation teams deployed across the force during the exercise include subject matter experts from USFF, MARFORCOM, NWDC, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 4, Expeditionary Warfighting Development Center (EXWDC), II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), Expeditionary Warfare Collaborative Team (EWCT), TTGL, Marine Corps Warfighting Lab (MCWL), and the Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS-COE).

"During the exercise, observation teams are monitoring United States and coalition force participants' communications and actions to capture salient lessons learned and further enhance U.S. and coalition combat effectiveness," said Capt. William Minter, NWDC department head for Doctrine, Future Concepts and Concepts of Operation (CONOPS), Analysis and Navy Lessons Learned. "The BA16 O&A effort will culminate in an exercise final report delivered by commander, Navy Warfare Development Command to COMUSFF and COMMARFORCOM. Our observations will also be used to improve Bold Alligator series exercise design and control in preparation for live exercise BA17."

First conducted in 2011, the Bold Alligator series of amphibious warfare exercises is revitalizing and reinforcing the Navy and Marine Corps' traditional role as "fighters from the sea." This year, Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 2 and Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2d MEB) staffs are planning and executing a MEB-sized amphibious assault from a sea base in a medium-land and maritime threat environment and anti-access/area denial (A2AD) environment. The final exercise report will capture significant observations and lessons learned, document successful initiatives, and identify gaps and/or shortfalls across the spectrum of doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy (DOTMLPF-P).

Minter said BA16 participants are highly encouraged to submit their own observations via the Navy or Marine Corps lessons learned systems. Exercise participants will also take part in post-exercise events to help capture insights and prepare detailed documentation for inclusion as appendices in the final exercise report.

After the exercise, NWDC will host a Waterfront Symposium organized by CSG-4 to bring together participants to discuss outcomes. The next full-scale, live Bold Alligator exercise is scheduled for 2017.