U.S. Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26th MEU) and Portuguese Fuzileiros jointly conducted a bilateral training exercise this week near Lisbon, Portugal. The Marines are embarked on the USS OAK HILL (LSD-51) in Lisbon conducting a port visit from 16-20 April.
On April 18, U.S. Marines attended a ceremony commemorating the Portuguese Fuzileiros Corps Day at the Fuzileiros Command Corps in Alfeite. Admiral Luís Sousa Pereira, Commandant of the Portuguese Marine Corps, delivered remarks at the ceremony, commending the Fuzileiros for being “the first to respond to crises in the region,” and also stressing the importance of the excellent collaboration maintained with their U.S. military counterparts. Admiral Luís Sousa Pereira and Major Craig Collings, Executive Officer and Commander of the Marine Battalion on board the USS OAK HILL, spoke to members of the media to explain the bilateral training exercise and how it fits into a broader plan for bilateral cooperation between the two countries. [Photos of the USS OAK HILL]
Following the ceremony, approximately 40 U.S. Marines and sailors and 130 Fuzileiros participated in the training, which included planning and execution of tactical training employing diverse techniques, tactics and procedures, allowing for an exchange of knowledge and experiences between participating Marines and Fuzileiros. On April 19, the U.S. Marines and Portuguese Fuzileiros met at the Marine School (Barreiro) to engage in additional collaboration, including physical training, jointly running an obstacle course, and then paying a visit to the Marine Museum.
The USS OAK HILL is a Harpers Ferry-class Dock Landing Ship assigned to Amphibious Squadron FOUR and one of 3 ships composing the KEARSARGE Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit, on its way back to the U.S. after a seven month Arabian Gulf and Mediterranean deployment. [Photos of the USS OAK HILL]
- Images of the bilateral training exercise on Flickr: http://ow.ly/4mW6f2