MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER, TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Marine Corps serves as America's expeditionary force in readiness, ready to respond to crisis situations around the globe whenever America's interests are threatened. Preparing for the complex and deadly possibilities that they may be sent to face requires the toughest training Marines can receive.
For many Marines and sailors, the Combat Center's Enhanced Mojave Viper combined-arms live-fire exercise is the source of that demanding combat readiness, requiring them to draw on their core competencies and the fundamental skills that make the Marines America's 9-1-1 force.
Spread across 35 days under the brutal Mojave Desert sun and the weight of a full combat load, Marines from all walks of life and all job specialties come together and fight as a cohesive, integrated team known as the Marine Air Ground Task Force, which ensures Marines on the ground are protected by attack aircraft, are supplied by robust logistics chains and receive accurate fire support from heavy weapons systems like tanks and artillery.
Eight times a year, Marines come from around the Corps to participate in Enhanced Mojave Viper, many of them in preparation for combat deployments. A typical Enhanced Mojave Viper provides around 4,100 Marines and sailors with the tough, realistic training they need to guarantee they will be ready for their mission. The Combat Center is currently conducting its largest running of the exercise to date, at more than 5,000 people.
Several opportunities are available for members of the media to come out to the Combat Center and learn for themselves what techniques and skill sets Marines rehearse and refine so they can be the most ready when the nation is the least ready.
Tuesday, the Marines of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 will showcase the decisive speed and range of their MV-22 Ospreys as they deliver a reinforced infantry platoon into a hostile urban environment. The helicopter-borne raid will demand high-intensity combat skills and coordination between the unit on the ground and with their aviation support. After capturing a high-value individual, the unit will then secure and stabilize their local environment for the local populace. The Marines will be supported in their mission by Cobra and Huey attack helicopters, Ospreys, and AV-8B Harrier attack jets, all capable of taking off vertically from the Combat Center's expeditionary airfield. Marine aviation travels with the ground forces, capable of moving landing strips, refueling points and aircraft control systems as needed.
In March, two Marine MV-22s launched from the USS Kearsarge, off the coast of Libya, travelled 130 nautical miles and swooped in to rescue a downed Air Force F-15 pilot. The mission, known as a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel, is trained for during each Enhanced Mojave Viper. A TRAP mission will be conducted Monday aboard the Combat Center using MV-22 Ospreys. Though they hope to never apply the skill, Marines are better-equipped for the mission with the Osprey by having the ability to vertically land where needed, pick up or drop off Marines, and move out of the area with the speed of an airplane.
The strength of the Marine Corps resides in the ability to project military power quickly and decisively in a three-dimensional battlefield. This is what makes it America's middleweight response force. A Marine Air Ground Task Force can be sized and equipped based on mission, allowing a relatively light infantry battalion to be reinforced with heavy weapons, aircraft, tanks and light-armored vehicles.
Thursday, two reinforced infantry battalions will conduct a deliberate attack on dug-in enemy positions with support from tracked assault amphibian vehicles, tanks, combat engineers and artillery. Marine attack aircraft will engage targets on the ground, paving the way for the ground assault. Logistics units will provide assistance in the form of emergency combat maintenance, resupply and casualty evacuation.
Enhanced Mojave Viper concludes with an intense mission rehearsal exercise, conducted primarily in our urban combat ranges and supported by over 1,000 role players who provide instant and personal feedback for Marines as they portray tribal elders, military and police personnel, and village citizens. The Marines quickly learn the importance of personal interactions, social taboos and other important skills when tasked with conducting counterinsurgency operations.
Additional training will include route clearance missions to keep roads clear of the current primary threat in Afghanistan, roadside bombs.
As the nation looks beyond the current fight and plans for the uncertain future, the Combat Center will remain the crown jewel of Marine Corps training, ensuring that the Marines and sailors that come here to train leave better prepared to defend the interests of the United States, wherever and whenever they are needed.
|Date Posted:||07.28.2011 22:42|
|Location:||TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA, US|
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