'Winners Are Never Determined': US Commandos Rebuff Report UK Royal Marines 'Dominated' in War Drill

CC0 / PO(Phot) Sean Clee / Royal Marine in the Mojave Desert (File)Royal Marine in the Mojave Desert (File)
Royal Marine in the Mojave Desert (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.11.2021
The UK Royal Marines from 3 Commando Brigade and Taunton-based 40 Commando, which had spent the last two months in southern California's Mojave Desert preparing for deployments, participated in a five-day simulated conflict, Green Dagger, using a mock battlefield, reportedly “dominating” their counterparts.
The US Marine Corps has dismissed reports that British Royal Marines “dominated” their American counterparts and forced them into a humiliating surrender halfway into the Green Dagger exercise. The simulated war games took place at the US Marine Corps' Twentynine Palms base in the Mojave Desert, in southern California.

“‘Winners’ are never determined… This exercise does not provide an opportunity to ‘surrender,’ ‘keep score', or ‘reset’. The objective of the exercise is to heighten unit performance and increase readiness,” according to Capt. Zachary Colvin, the communications and strategy director with the Marine Air Ground Combat Center, as cited by Military Times.

The five-day multi-domain exercise across 3,500 square kilometres of mountainous and desert terrain took place from 25-30 October, involving marines from the 2nd battalion 5th and 7th alongside with British, Canadian, Dutch and United Arab Emirates forces, according to Colvin.
Troops from 3 Commando Brigade and Taunton-based 40 Commando of the British Armed Forces had spent the last two months in the Mojave Desert preparing for deployments coming up next year.
“During this exercise, a US Marine Regiment augmented with subordinate units formed an adversary force to actively challenge and test a peer regiment of US Marines. This training opportunity increased warfighting readiness and interoperability of the US. Marine Corps with multinational forces. Exercise scenarios are adjusted as needed to assist commanders in meeting training objectives,” added the statement by the US Marine Corps spokesperson.
Colvin noted that the exercise was carried out in a “free-play environment” that was tailored to “stress commanders, derive learning points and allow participants to improve their ability to conduct offensive and defensive operations, and adapt to changes on the battlefield.”
Rob Lee, a PhD candidate at the Department of War Studies at Kings College, went on Twitter to deplore “garbage” stories like the one published in the Telegraph that serve to “mistake the purpose of these exercises.”

‘Mock Battle’

Earlier, the US Marine Corps was reported to have asked for a “reset” after British counterparts defeated them halfway through the simulated battle at Twentynine Palms, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The Royal Marines’ 40 Commando had been described as “dominating” American troops by successfully targeting their headquarters, using long-range artillery to destroy US vehicles and other targets, and launching a long-range commando raid. British forces reportedly not only defeated their US counterparts, but they vastly expanded the territory they controlled from less than 20% to more than 65% of the exercise area, wrote the outlet.
CC0 / / Royal Marines snipers
Royal Marines snipers  - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.11.2021
Royal Marines snipers
Accordingly, the US Marines were forced to ask for a "reset" halfway into the drills after suffering heavy simulated losses while confronting the Royal Marines' elite Littoral Response Group (LRG). The newly-established LRG structure was being trialed at the war games as a template for commandos to become more flexible and mobile under reforms directed by First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin. The commandos' "kill board", known as a Relative Combat Power Assessment (RCPA) on the level of damage inflicted upon enemy forces reportedly had a tick against almost every US asset, showing it had been rendered inoperable or destroyed.
On 30 October, the Royal Marines published pictures of their combatants, writing: “Victorious! Royal Marines triumph in part of multinational team on Exercise Green Dagger 21.”
“Our success has proved the new commando force concept is more lethal and sophisticated than ever before and I am immensely proud of every member of the LRG and their vital contributions,” Lt. Col. Andy Dow, commanding officer of 40 Commando, was cited by The Daily Telegraph as saying.
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