As the Nation's Force-In-Readiness, the Marine Corps philosophy of training is simple, and straightforward: "We train as we expect to fight, and we will fight as we are trained." The Marine Corps mandate for training is absolute. High-quality training must be a way of life. Training is also a professional and moral imperative. Therefore, the responsibility is to ensure the training readiness of the Marine Corps.
No-notice drills focus on units assigned as the division's contingency response force, regardless of the title or responsibility. Units should anticipate at least one drill during their assignment. The drill will evaluate all facets of alert notification, marshalling, and deployment. Equipment readiness, administrative preparedness, and tactical proficiency may also be evaluated. Tactical proficiency evaluations, conducted by division schools, are be oriented toward individual and small-unit skills.
Operational evaluations are not inspections, they are evaluations. These include combined arms exercises (CAX), Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) (MEU(SOC)) certification events, Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES) evaluations and major exercises. The MCCRES is the commander's diagnostic tool to determine performance deficiencies.
The Marine Expeditionary Units undergo a rigorous 6 month pre-deployment workup training schedule. The 6 month training the Marines receive prior to the MEU's deployment is second to none. It involves both classroom and practical hands-on exercises designed to provide the Marines of the MEU's detailed information and skills necessary to handle the real-life emergencies and combat they are sure to encounter on their deployment. The applications and exercises teach and reinforce tactics necessary to successfully execute those critical missions the MEU's will face.
The premier internal Marine Corps training event remains the Combined Arms Exercise (CAX) conducted at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, 29 Palms, California. The CAX represents the best opportunity to hone MAGTF warfighting skills.
The Marine Corps conducts 10 to 12 combined-arms exercises annually at Twenty-Nine Palms, California. These drills provide combined-arms training and combat readiness evaluations for Marine tactical air and assault support squadrons operating in support of ground forces. In the case of ground forces, eight active and two reserve infantry battalions, plus associated combat support and combat service support elements, train each year at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center at Twenty-Nine Palms. Marine expeditionary units (special operations capable) undergo intense, 26-week predeployment training, during which they conduct operations both ashore and at sea.
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