Sniper platoons from the 11th MEU and French Marines conduct bilateral training during Exercise Alligator Dagger
ARTA, Djibouti – The Arta Plage training grounds were quickly filled with 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) members during amphibious landings from Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), earlier this month, near Djibouti. Once on shore, the Marines wasted no time initiating training events associated with the month long Exercise Alligator Dagger.
One group taking advantage of the training opportunities was the 1st Bn., 4th Marines (BLT 1/4), Scout Sniper Platoon. These Marines participated in bilateral training with the 3rd Infantry French Marines Sniper Platoon, simultaneously shooting an unknown distance course.
U.S. Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Joshua Gray, Scout Sniper Platoon, BLT 1/4, 11th MEU, said that working with the French was a phenomenal opportunity.
“Getting to see how they do their range estimations and how they do their wind calls shows us different ways of doing business,” said Gray. “I think it’s great.”
With a large portion of MEU members’ time being spent on ship, Gray was pleased to have even a limited amount of time to train on dry ground. The French ranges accommodated targets from 250 to 900 yards for the training.
“The time that we’ve been here has been really good,” said Gray. “This is training that we just don’t get to do on ship. Having a range that allows us to stretch out our long guns is only possible when we have the physical space.”
The French are selectively conducting training alongside Marines during the time they are present at Arta Plage.
The Dagger Alligator Exercise provided the 11th MEU and the Makin Island ARG a chance to conduct training that keeps them ready for missions on land, air, or sea.