An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | March 26, 2024

Marines, Sailors Participate in Holi Festival and Community Events at Tiger TRIUMPH

By 1st Lt. Robert Nanna, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and Sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit embraced India's culture during celebrations, athletic exchanges, and community relations engagements as they participate in Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH 2024.

Currently in the harbor phase, Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH's third iteration incorporated multiple community relations engagement opportunities, friendly sports competitions, and for the first time, participation by Marines and Sailors in a Holi celebration alongside service members from the Indian Armed Forces.

Over 200 Marines and Sailors who arrived to Visakhapatnam aboard the amphibious transport dock USS Somerset (LPD 25) took the opportunity to join their Indian counterparts to develop relationships and strengthen camaraderie outside of the scheduled military training events, as well as with members of the local community.

“These events are a great opportunity for us to make an impact in the community and strengthen bonds with our counterparts,” said U.S. Marine Corps Warrant Officer Linda Gonzalez, a mobility officer assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th MEU. “As a female officer, I enjoy participating in these events, whether it be talking with cadets at a university or at a Holi festival, to show and encourage young women that they are and can be the leaders for the next generation.”

On March 22-23, U.S. and Indian service members held two days of athletic exchanges including basketball and volleyball with both countries joining together on integrated teams for the final competitions. An instructor-led, sunrise yoga session was also held to round out the two days of sports.

Andhra University and a foster home for boys in Visakhapatnam hosted Marines and Sailors for community relations events on March 23. Over 100 Marines and Sailors participated in both events.

At the foster home, Marines and Sailors joined children ranging from ages 5 to 18 in a series of events including volleyball, tug-of-war, mural painting, local children’s games, and culminating with a musical chairs competition. To cement the partnership built throughout the day, Marines and Sailors assisted the young children as they planted a new tree in their garden.

Marines and Sailors also visited the American Corner at Andhra University, a space that encourages dynamic conversations based on local youth interests. Events there included the planting of a tree, painting of a “U.S.-India Together” mural, and discussions with students and the Indian National Cadet Corps with U.S. Navy Capt. Michel Brandt, commanding officer of Somerset, and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Lindsay Mathwick, commanding officer of CLB-15, 15th MEU, and commander of troops aboard Somerset.

“When I was in their position, I remember the impact guest speakers had on our development as young leaders,” said Mathwick. “I hope our visit and interactions here today leave a similar mark. As impressive as the cadets were in their poise, professionalism, and thoughtful questions, I have great confidence in the future of leadership in India”

On March 25, nearly 300 service members from the U.S. and Indian Armed Forces came together to celebrate Holi, the festival of colors that marks the onset of spring in India. Marines and Sailors were greeted with a dusting of chalk sparking the colorful celebration. They were led through dancing and music by the Bhangra Dance Team and Dholak Band Team and treated with customary refreshments traditionally enjoyed in the holiday that marks the victory of good over evil.

“While we work together at military exercises, we must always look for opportunities like this to share our bonds of friendship,” said Indian Navy Capt. Rajan Kapoor, commanding officer of the INS Sahaydri. “Together we are stronger, and we will cherish these memories for a very long time.”

U.S. and Indian Armed Forces will continue training and transition to the sea phase of Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH to focus on humanitarian aid and disaster relief readiness which will enhance the bilateral, joint, and services readiness to better achieve mutual regional security objectives in the Indian Ocean region and beyond.

Media queries can be directed to the Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH Combined Joint Information Bureau Director, LCDR Andrew DeGarmo at For more information, photos, and stories about 15th MEU participation in Exercise Tiger TRIUMPH, visit




Statement from NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on the U.S.-PRC Talks on AI Risk and Safety
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 14, 2024 - Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Technology and National Security Tarun Chhabra and Department of State Acting Special Envoy for Critical and Emerging Technologies Seth Center will lead an...

U.S. Army provides legal training to Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers
(Left to right) U.S. Army Capt. Matthew Lillard, national security law attorney, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gabriel Bush, deputy staff judge advocate, Andersen AFB, Guam, and Maj. Christopher Niemiec, international operations officer, Defense Institute of International Legal Studies pose for a photo with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers April 6, 2024, Tumon, Guam, during Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training. The three-day training session covered a wide range of topics crucial to the legal aspects of detainee operations, law of armed conflict, and legal considerations in conflict zones to four PNGDF officers re-introducing aircraft to their air wing. (Courtesy)
May 14, 2024 - A U.S. Army national security law attorney conducted Defense Institute of International Legal Studies training with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officers in an effort to enhance their legal expertise April 4, 2024, in...

CARAT Indonesia Celebrates 75 Years of Diplomatic Relations Between U.S., Indonesia
May 13, 2024 - The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps began Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Indonesia 2024 with the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL) and Marine Corps (KORMAR RI) in Bandar Lampung, Indonesia, May 13...

MV-22B Ospreys touch down in the top end for MRF-D 24.3
U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced), Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3, take off for the first flight of the MRF-D 24.3 rotation at Port Darwin, Darwin, NT, Australia, May 11, 2024. The Ospreys were flown from Port Darwin to Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, where they will be hosted for the duration of the rotation. VMM-268 (Rein.) makes up the Aviation Combat Element, out of Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, completing the structure of the MAGTF with the arrival of 10 MV-22B Ospreys. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by 1st Lt. Colton Martin)
May 13, 2024 - The rumble of U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys echoed across Port Darwin and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin as Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 268 (Reinforced) (VMM-268 (Rein.)) arrived as the Aviation Combat...

51st FW F-16 Fighting Falcons take the lead in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron lands on a runway at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, May 8, 2024. The 36th FS aircraft returned from the Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 training event with sustained operational capabilities and improved interoperability with allies. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Kaitlin Frazier)
May 10, 2024 - The 51st Fighter Wing took charge as the lead wing in Red Flag-Alaska 24-1 hosted at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, from April 18 - May 3, 2024...