Twentynine Palms, Calif. -- Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) began the MAGTF Distributed Maneuver Exercise (MDMX) Feb. 13, 2023, with the 7th Marine Regiment leading the exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, CA.
MDMX, also referred to as “Mad Max,” is designed to test the MAGTF’s operational capabilities in austere, multi-domain, offensive and defensive operations against adversaries at a regimental level.
“Mad Max is a large-scale, live-fire combined arms exercise,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Nick Leeds, assistant operations officer with Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group, MAGTF-TC. “It is designed to integrate all the elements of a Marine Air Ground Task Force. So we are integrating all those assets into a complex and as close to a realistic environment as we possibly can to achieve a real world tactical mission.”
MDMX is a new addition to the six exercises within the Service Level Training Exercise 2-23. The purpose of SLTE 2-23 is to provide commanders with training opportunities to increase readiness against peer adversaries in a dynamic environment through a series of phased exercises. These exercises train Marines for challenges they may face while operating in a deployed environment.
MDMX includes more than 10 different Marine units with U.S. Air Force support. These units include several ground units and aircraft support such as unmanned aircraft systems, fixed wing and rotary wing assets.
According to Leeds, MCAGCC is the largest Marine Corps installation in the world, along with the largest and least restrictive live-fire impact areas. Meaning, because the training grounds are so far from the public population, the Combat Center is the ideal location for large-scale exercises that include the employment of direct and indirect fires, such as MDMX.
“Because of the level of training that [the Marines] are getting here, this is the closest, most realistic complex training environment that the service members are going to get,” said Leeds. “So by providing that taxpayer funds to be able to support exercises like this, they are ensuring that service men and women are fully combat capable and ready to conduct their missions abroad.”
While every exercise within the SLTE 2-23 is vital, the MDMX is another key step that allows Marines to remain an expeditionary force, globally deployable, and masters in combined-arms operations in any region ready to defend national interests.
According to the Training and Education 2030 report by Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, “Transforming our Corps to prevail against a peer adversary at every point along the competition continuum requires monumental effort across the force, and particularly within the [training and education] enterprise, which lays the foundation and sets the pace for force development,” – and the addition of the MDMX does just that.