15th MEU Conducts Live Fire Exercise on USS Lewis B. Puller
170909-N-ZQ712-050 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF OPERATION (Sept. 9, 2017) Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Raymond Cardenas, a native of Canoga Park, California, assigned to the Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) detachment of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), loads an M240 machine gun during a live fire exercise aboard the expeditionary mobile base ship USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) in support of Alligator Dagger 2017. Lewis B. Puller is the first afloat forward staging base (AFSB) variant of the mobile landing platform and is optimized to support a variety of maritime missions. Puller (ESB-3) is currently underway for routine operations. Continuously deployed since 2017, Puller supports TF 51/5 in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. Alligator Dagger is a dedicated, unilateral combat rehearsal led by Naval Amphibious Force, Task Force 51/5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, in which combined Navy and Marine Corps units of the America Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th MEU are to practice, rehearse and exercise integrated capabilities that are available to U.S. Central Command both afloat and ashore. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Chad Swysgood / Released)