US Navy, Marine Corp To Conduct First Large Naval, Amphibious Exercise Since Cold War

The US Navy and Marine Corps will be jointly participating in Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021, the first naval and amphibious exercise conducted of such magnitude since 1981, starting on Tuesday.

The exercise will take place August 3-16 across 17 time zones, and will include six Navy and Marine Corps component commands, five numbered naval fleets, and three Marine Expeditionary Forces.

“LSE 2021 will include approximately 36 live ships underway ranging from aircraft carriers to submarines, over 50 virtual units and an unlimited array of constructive units in addition to the Sailors, Marines, Government civilian and contract employees assigned to command and training staffs providing support to the exercise,” the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet said in a statement about the exercise.

US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines with the Amphibious Assault Vehicles, Bravo  Company, 1ST Battalion, 7th Marines,
US Marine Corps (USMC) Marines with the Amphibious Assault Vehicles, Bravo Company, 1ST Battalion, 7th Marines – US National Archives

LSE 2021 is designed to demonstrate to US competitors the American military remains ready at the high-end of warfare because of its global operational commitments, not in spite of them, it added. It is set to become a triennial exercise that will include allies from other countries.

The scenario-driven, globally-integrated exercise will demonstrate the flexibility of US forces during Distributed Maritime Operations, Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, and Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment.

“LSE will test our commanders across the spectrum of naval warfare from the tactical to the strategic, integrating the Marine Corps to demonstrate the worldwide fleet’s ability to conduct coordinated operations from the open ocean to the littoral,” Commander of the US Sixth Fleet Vice Admiral Gene Black said.

LSE 2021 will partially overlap with the ongoing Agile Spirit exercises in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia, which were scheduled for July 26 through August 6. The war exercises include participants from countries across Europe and the Caucasus and are intended to enhance the readiness and interoperability of US, Georgian, and allied forces.