Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - The Navy and Marine Corps will launch their largest international amphibious exercise in the waters off Hampton Roads this week.
Bold Alligator 2014 will feature 19 countries, with 17 ships and two submarines.
It's a reinforcement of the roles the Navy and Marine Corps play as "fighters from the sea."
"180-degrees out from what we’ve been doing for the past number of years where these things have been taking place from a land based location," Rear Admiral Cynthia Thebaud, Commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2 said Monday.
A Royal Dutch Navy warship, the HNLMS Johan de Witt was the first to leave Naval Station Norfolk to take part in Bold Alligator 2014.
Commodore Rob Kramer, Commander Netherlands Maritime Force, is serving as the Coalition Commander for Bold Alligator.
"Security from the sea. It definitely gives you the advantage that you can operate from a forward base without having any political implications or complications," he said.
"It allows us to provide only what is needed when it’s needed. We don’t have a huge large footprint ashore. The large footprint is out at sea on the amphibious ships," Rear Admiral Thebaud added.
8,500 Marines and 6,500 sailors from the United States will take part in Bold Alligator off the East Coast from October 29 through November 10.