NEWS | July 24, 2018

The Finale of Rim of Pacific in Southern California

By Cpl. Jacob Pruitt 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit 

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- It was no ordinary amphibious assault as Canadian soldiers jumped out the back of assault amphibious vehicles (AAV) operated by U.S. Marines of 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

The AAVs mimicked splashing out of a naval vessel and swiftly brought the soldiers to the beachfront. The Canadian soldiers conducting the attack are Van Doos from the Royal 22e Régiment and their mission was to clear the combat town located at Red Beach, a training area aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, July 13, 2018.

The Canadian soldiers trained alongside U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton for weeks as part of Rim of the Pacific, or RIMPAC, exercise. During this final training day, U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, practiced defending the beach while fortified in the steel buildings throughout the combat town.

The U.S. Marines and Canadian soldiers relied on the skills and tactics learned throughout RIMPAC to complete this culminating exercise.

“This was a once in a lifetime training opportunity,” said Canadian Army Lt. Mark Latremouille, a platoon commander with 2nd Battalion, 22e Régiment. “Fundamentally a lot of [what] we do is the same, but training opportunities like this beach assault and the Infantry Immersion Trainer, which we completed earlier in the exercise, really push[ed] us and taught us some hard lessons that needed to be learned. I’m glad that working with our partner nations and getting to share tactics and knowledge has made us better, more efficient soldiers.”

RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that strengthens international maritime partnerships, enhances interoperability and improves the readiness of participating forces for a wide range of potential operations.

After landing on the beach, Canadian soldiers proceeded to secure a foothold on the beachhead before advancing to the combat town to conduct room clearing.

“This training went very well, not only for my guys but the Canadians as well,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Killian Shelton, a platoon sergeant with 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. “We set up an urban defense while they conducted an amphibious assault. Both sides were adapting to the opposing team’s strategies and learning from prior mistakes in real time.”

Both forces demonstrated immense skill and tactical acumen as they carried out their respective missions.

Throughout the Southern California portion of RIMPAC, the U.S. Marines, Canadian soldiers and Mexican marines demonstrated the robust capability, adaptability, and partnership, forging unbreakable bonds that will last a lifetime.

“It has been a pleasure working with our Canadian and Mexican partner forces,” said Sgt. Maj. Daniel E. Mangrum, sergeant major, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “By the end of the exercise, we’ve gotten to see some of the bonds and friendships that training like [RIMPAC] facilitates. From a distance it’s hard to tell where our Marines ended and our partner nations began, the way our forces merged into a seamless fighting force for this training and the way they treated each other was a great thing to get to be a part of.”

The Southern California portion of RIMPAC 2018, which spanned from June 27 to July 15, has come to a conclusion for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and its subordinate elements of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, however the bonds made will last each service member a lifetime and the tactics shared will make each participating member more capable and adaptable to respond to crisis.