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U.S. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division standby for breakfast at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif., Feb. 2, 2020. V36 conducted Mountain Exercise 2-20 at MCMWTC to further their familiarization and warfighting capabilities in cold, mountainous terrain. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Parsons)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Parsons

More Than A Day Trip

25 Mar 2020 | Lance Cpl. Jacqueline Parsons II Marine Expeditionary Force

The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division return to Camp Lejeune, N.C. after not one, but two exercise experiences in Twentynine Palms, Calif. From patrolling in the snowy mountains of Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center to maneuvering through the tumbleweeds of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, V36 put its expeditionary mindset into action to advance its warfighting excellence.

V36 was one of the first units to participate in a new program designed to provide infantry units with an overall equivalent readiness in integrated combined arms training in addition to the specialized training they receive at other training venues. This gave all aspects of V36’s combat forces, from machine gunners to logistic specialists, realistic training in multiple scenarios and environments.

“V36 is the first unit to really experience the program as it was designed,” says Brig. Gen. Roger Turner, the commanding general of the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Center. “Our goal was to provide each unit, regardless of what element of the MAGTF they come from or what training venue they go to, with an equivalent level of readiness based on the playbook of skillsets the Marine Corps goes by.”

While the unit conducted dynamic force on force training in a cold weather environment at Bridgeport, the training center does not offer live-fire exercise capabilities that match those at MCAGCC. Immediately following the conclusion of the cold weather training, the unit travelled to another area of Twentynine Palms to further refine their skills in live-fire maneuvers at the company and platoon level.

“The available training area offers priceless opportunities that the units could not get at their home station due to the terrain and the available resources we utilize in the desert,” says Turner. “We recognize that our unique role in the service is to provide this area for them to advance their level of readiness.”

The battalion benefitted greatly from the dynamic of the new program. Not only did the unit receive an advanced level of training due to the wide range of terrain that Bridgeport and Twentynine Palms offers, but also rehearsed an expeditionary movement between differing climates and environments.

“It’s critical to be able to fight in any and every place,” says Capt. Edison Feisal, company commander of India Company, V36. “We don’t know when our nation needs us so being able to adapt quickly from one climate to another is a critical skillset.”

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