Marine Corps restructures predeployment
exercise to prepare for a wider range of missions
By OTTO KREISHER, Special Correspondent
The Next Iteration
MAGTF operations,” Amos said in
his posture report to Congress in
The training will facilitate the
Corps’ “ability to provide multi-capable MAGTFs prepared for
operations in complex, joint
and multinational environments
against hybrid threats,” the commandant said.
A briefing document prepared
earlier this year by the Marine Air
Ground Combat Center said: “One
of the key elements of the MAGTF
Training Program is the Corps’
newest live-fire combined-arms
exercise, the Integrated Training
“The 28-day exercise focuses on the tactical applica-
tion of combined-arms maneuver warfare during
global contingency operations but also includes train-
ing events relevant to any MAGTF expeditionary
The ITX “is decidedly kinetic in nature and returns
readiness efforts to the core competencies assigned to
the Marine Corps by public law and established
defense strategy,” the briefing document said.
Mojave Viper dealt mainly with platoons and even
smaller units conducting patrols and security and stability operations out of forward operating bases
(FOBs), with extensive interaction with role players
frequently speaking Pashto or other Afghan dialects. It
included heavy doses of cultural sensitivity and language orientation, but little in the integration of
artillery, armor or air support in more intense combat.
In recent years, Mojave Viper has included increasing amounts of training in how to coordinate with,
mentor and instruct the growing Afghan National
The Enhanced Mojave Viper regime geared Marine infantry battalions for duty in Iraq and then Afghanistan.
■ The new Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) will focus more on
conventional conflict tasks.
■ The 28-day ITX will involve more training in larger units conducting integrated maneuvers and include an extended combined-arms
live-fire exercise incorporating air and ground supporting fires.
■ The first unit went through the revised training in January and
has deployed to the Pacific and the Arabian Sea as part of a
Marine Expeditionary Unit.
As the Marine Corps draws down its forces in Afghanistan, gradually ending more than a decade of counterinsurgency and nation-building operations, it is revamping its primary predeployment training event to prepare its units for a wider
range of missions with more focus on conventional
The new predeployment preparation, called the
Integrated Training Exercise, has replaced the Enhanced
Mojave Viper regime that geared Marine infantry battalions for duty in Iraq and then Afghanistan.
The Integrated Training Exercise, much like its
predecessor, takes place mainly on the sprawling
Marine Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine
Palms in the high desert of southeastern California.
Gen. James F. Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, said the new training is aimed at preparing the
Corps’ primary combat organization, the integrated
and scalable Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF),
for post-Afghanistan missions.
“Through a standardized training approach, the
MAGTF Training Program will develop the essential
unit capabilities necessary to conduct integrated