MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
British Royal Marines, with United Kingdom Amphibious Forces, participated in Large Scale Exercise 2014 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Aug. 8-14, 2014.
LSE 14 is a bilateral training exercise being conducted by 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade to build U.S. and partner forces’ joint capabilities through live, simulated, and constructive military training activities.
“Initially, the idea for this exercise was to bring some combat elements out and participate in LSE 14,” said Capt. Ben Sercombe, a commander in the United Kingdom Amphibious Forces, British Royal Marines.
Unfortunately, the Royal Marines weren’t able to bring any combat elements, said Sercombe. So instead, they became an operations staff trying to understand how the U.S. Marines operate, especially at the planning level.
The Royal Marines are in the process of refocusing on conventional warfare, and stepping away from the counterinsurgency operations they’ve conducted in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Sercombe. They’re interested in seeing how U.S. Marines are making the switch back to normalcy.
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve been engaged with our counterparts at the combat operations center,” said Sercombe. “Not only does that build relationships, but it also builds understanding on how we can do the same operations and collaborate more in the future.”
It’s important that the Royal Marines and U.S. Marines work together, because of possible future coalition operations, said Maj. Tjarko Leungen, an operations officer from the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps.
“I think we can benefit from this exercise, because we can get used to each other,” said Leungen. “[The training] is slightly different, but if they practice in training together they could potentially be great.”
After working together throughout LSE 14, the Royal and U.S. Marines have learned more efficient ways to conduct forthcoming joint exercises.
“I hope there will be plenty of opportunities for our Marines to work together more often in the future.” said Leungen.