first published on February 7, 2019 by Josh
For the better part of the last two decades, the United States Military has been training to win wars against insurgent forces. In places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, the primary threat to American and other coalition troops has been small bands of insurgents with little training. These insurgents use guerrilla like tactics, and utilize low-tech equipment like improvised explosive devices to carry out deadly attacks, and as a result military training has shifted to meet the needs of the current conflicts.
As the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria begin to finally come to an end, the focus of military training has already started to see fundamental shifts. U.S. and other coalition forces are already going back to training for more conventional ways of fighting wars against technologically equal forces. Training in this manner allows our troops to have a better understanding of what 21st century warfare will look like if they are ever placed in a position where they are fighting a force that is as equally as trained and equipped as they are.
One of the first exercises of this fashion that we are seeing is a force on force exercise being conducted at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms. Members of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division are currently participating in a force on force training exercise against U.K. Royal Marines with 45 Commando as part of the Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 2-19 at Range 220. The primary training objective of this is to create a challenging, realistic training environment that produces combat-ready forces capable of operating in modern combat situations that may arise in the future.