Marines revive amphibious skills

New emphasis on Pacific Region

CAMP PENDLETON - After 10 years of war in the desert, the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan begins next year. For Marines, it means getting back to their amphibious roots.

Strapped to a tank chassis that first saw light in the 1960's is a bridging contraption combat engineers wanted  other Marines to know is still a viable option.

 "The bridging capability was extensively used in Iraq," said 1st Lt. Nick Martino, "But with the war in the Afghan desert, it wasn't used all that much, that's why we're demonstrating it."

The demonstration at the Del Mar boat basin at Camp Pendleton revealed a new floatation system which can forge rivers to get bridging apparatus where it's needed.  

"Instead of passing or going around a river or obstacle, we can set this up and get marines across where they want to cross," Martino said.  

With troop movements to Afghanistan winding down next year and a re-balance toward regions in the Pacific, marines are reemphasizing their amphibious roots, and the bridging capability is but one more piece in that amphibious tool kit.

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