July 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Marine Corps personnel finished a three-day simulated maritime strike exercise on Friday, part of the month-long "Summer Fury 21" exercise in Washington State.
The 3rd Marine Aviation Wing of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., conducted a long-range maritime strike against a simulated enemy vessel this week, demonstrating the capabilities of F/A-18 and F-35C aircraft, the Marines said in a press release on Friday.
Additional exercises, including support of advanced naval bases and anti-air warfare, and a missile shoot, are planned before Summer Fury 21 concludes on July 30.
"This exercise will showcase the aviation combat power of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and all its functions," Maj. Gen. Christopher J. Mahoney, 3rd MAW commanding general, said in a press release.
"You will see expeditionary naval combat power across a wide range of terrain and combat scenarios. From sophisticated communications systems to expeditionary basing to the decisive power of 5th generation platforms, our leading edge tactics and capabilities are honed to a fine edge," Mahoney said.
The exercise also involves personnel aircraft from Air Station Yuma, Ariz.; Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and other key locations along the western United States.
A test on Wednesday involved installation of tents at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Wash., by Marines from Camp Pendleton, Calif., who then prepared 30,000 gallons of jet fuel to quickly create a forward arming and refueling point.
"This basically expands our reach," commented 1LT Nick Paglialonga. "We can go land in austere places and have this whole capability, not only to land aircraft, but to refuel, put ordnance on and switch pilots out if need be. It helps us push the fight a little bit closer to the enemy."
He noted that while training of this nature is common for the Marines, use of a civilian airport is unusual. A Marine infantry unit also brought several MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor helicopters for a mock attack on an undisclosed location.