Kramlich traveled several times to Afghanistan’s
Helmand province with MSTP, mentoring commanders
through mission rehearsal exercises and trading tips
and feedback during after-action reviews.
“When you’re with Marines in a combat environment, it puts a little more importance and a little more
focus on what you are doing,” he said.
The trips reinforced the need to keep training relevant to the evolving combat mission on the ground.
“You truly had to stay fresh,” Kramlich said.
Command staffs, for example,
learned about governing and local
economics as they’d work with var-
ious government and civilian agen-
cies. “They truly understood the
complexities of what they were
provide constructive criticism “but
more importantly, some recom-
mended TTPs [training, tactics and
procedures] on how to wrestle
with some of the challenges that
they have as a warfighting head-
quarters,” he said.
MSTP personnel also support
professional development for
Marine Corps University, something
codified in the Marine Corps Order
1500.53B. These include a two-week planning practical-application
seminar for MAGTF planners at the
School of Advanced Warfighting at
Quantico and similar sessions at the
School of Advanced Military Studies
at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where
the MSTP adds an amphibious flavor to training there.
“We have a very busy schedule,”
Keane said, with three or four major
exercises and support for other
training, to include augmented support for III MEF when needed. That
Japan-based MEF, whose operational area includes the Korean
Peninsula, has a different focus and
runs its exercise with its Tactical
Exercise Evaluation Control Group
and MEF Battle Simulation Center.
Keane said the demand for cyber
warfare training “has grown signifi-
cantly,” as has demand for special
operations, in part driven by the
Marine Corps’ nexus with special
operations forces, information operations and even more
allied and coalition participation. So more exercises are
including these elements, either live, virtual or construc-
tively with organizations like Marine Corps Forces Cyber
Command augmenting the MSTP.
“That has made this a better exercise,” he said. “I can
only imagine that is going to improve. It’s all about one
simple thing. It’s about supporting the training audience
with them getting better on the last day than they were
on the first day.” ;