As reported by Stripes:
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — At the northwestern tip of this massive base, hundreds of Marines spent the last 10 days preparing for full-scale war. It’s the first time in more than a decade they are training for this type of combat, all aligned with new guidance from the commandant.
Gen. Joseph Dunford expects all Marine units to be “physically and mentally ready” to deploy anywhere, at any time, he said in planning guidance released last month. But instead of having every platoon, company and battalion involved in constant training for everything, he has outlined broad responsibilities for each of the three Marine Expeditionary Forces. Commanders and Marines can now focus on core competencies related to specific operations they might be involved in. This re-balance will help address shortfalls in personnel, equipment and training in non-deployed units, he said.
It’s also the first exercise of its size in more than a decade. More than 1,800 Marines and sailors were involved in the training, which simulated the deployment of more than 50,000 U.S. troops. The countries in the exercise are fictional, and no one mentioned a specific threat, even though talk of “anti-access area denial” conjures images of Russia and China.
Inside the sprawling combat operations center — a maze of tents serving as the nerve center for the enormous operation — members of I Marine Expeditionary Force monitored communication lines, pored over intelligence and studied computer screens, planning an enormous battle designed to push invading troops back into their own country and restore international borders.
“We don’t know what’s coming,” said Lt. Col. Doug “Lucky” Luccio, deputy current operations officer for I MEF
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Pendleton Marines train for large-scale deployment – News – Stripes.
Hundreds of Camp Pendleton Marines train for large-scale deployment – Stripes