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Army April 12, 2012
THREE officers joined Exercise
Bold Alligator, the largest mul-
tinational amphibious assault
exercise conducted in the past
Ex Bold Alligator was a live
scenario-driven exercise designed
to train US Navy and Marine
Corps personnel to plan, coordi-
nate and execute a marine expedi-
tionary brigade-sized amphibious
assault from a sea base.
More than 14,000 marines,
sailors and airmen from 10
nations including the UK, Canada,
France, Italy, Spain and New
It was held in Norfolk,
Virginia, from January 21 to
Lt-Cols Simon Bonavita and
Scott Gills, and Capt Lindsay
Melville, had the rare opportunity
to work in the exercise's intelli-
gence and future operations cells.
Capt Melville, who recently
began her exchange posting
with the UK's 3rd Royal Marine
Commando Brigade, said the
Australians worked alongside
their US Navy counterparts
aboard the Amphibious Task
Group flagship USS Wasp.
"We were directly involved
in the planning and conduct of
moving, landing and sustaining
amphibious forces," she said.
"Ex Bold Alligator provided
us with a first-hand opportunity
to participate in and understand
LEGAL officers throughout the Asia-Pacific region have
access to a state-of-the-art, dedicated training facility with
the official opening of the ADF Military Law Centre at
Victoria Barracks in Sydney on March 29.
Defence Parliamentary Secretary Dr Mike Kelly
opened the new centre, which has been in development
since 2008 as a facility for both the ADF Military Law
Centre and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Military Law.
"I recall my time as the inaugural Director of the
Military Law Centre some 10 years ago and sharing my
vision with Professor Tim McCormack of the University
of Melbourne Law School to expand legal training into
the Asia-Pacific region through the creation of the Asia-
Pacific Centre for Military Law," Dr Kelly said.
"We hoped that through courses, seminars and ongo-
ing research, we could facilitate cooperation among
military forces of the Asia-Pacific region in the research,
training and implementation of the laws governing mili-
Defence established the Military Law Centre in 2001
to provide professional in-service training for ADF legal
officers and form the ADF component of the Asia-Pacific
Centre for Military Law.
Since 2001, about 400 trainees from 25 different coun-
tries have attended courses at the centre, with most inter-
national trainees coming from Indonesia, the Philippines
Dr Kelly said both centres would continue to build on
the good work already achieved since 2001.
"Courses that have existed since the 1990s continue
to be improved. Innovative training methods have been
incorporated and new challenges are being addressed,"
"The completion of the building will be instrumental
in the centres maintaining their existing reputation as two
of the leading military academic centres of their kind in
the Asia-Pacific region."
the complexities involved in plan-
ning and conducting amphibious
"The experience gained from
this exercise will certainly prove
invaluable as we prepare for the
arrival of the RAN's Canberra-
class Landing Helicopter Dock
The aim of the exercise was to
revitalise core expeditionary tac-
tics and conduct combined opera-
tions from sea.
The exercise involved more
than 24 warships including the
USS Enterprise Carrier Strike
Group and Landing Helicopter
Docks USS Wasp, USS Boxer,
USS Kearsage and the French
Mistrall-class. Their decks carried
25 fighter bombers and 65 strike
and transport helicopters, includ-
ing MV-22B Ospreys and their
crews. Altogether, 100 combat
aircraft were used in the exercise.
Other command elements
involved included Expeditionary
Strike Group 2, 2nd Marine
Expeditionary Brigade, Iwo Jima
Amphibious Ready Group and 24
Marine Expeditionary Unit.
More amphibious stories:
centrepiece and page 18
At sea with allies
Three Aussies join world's biggest amphibious exercise
The bold: From left, Capt Lindsay Melville, Lt-Col Simon Bonavita and Lt-Col Scott Gills meet up
while serving on exchange with US and UK forces during Ex Bold Alligator.
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