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A U.S. Navy Corpsman and U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joseph Gates II, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, take cover from a controlled detonation during Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-23 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, April 15, 2023. The purpose of ITX is to create a challenging, realistic, training environment that produces combat-ready forces capable of operating as an integrated Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) and to prepare units for their role in the MAGTF Warfighting Exercise. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Richard PerezGarcia)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Richard PerezGarcia

2nd Marine Division participates in a large-scale training exercise, MDMX, for the first time

25 Apr 2023 | Lance Cpl. Anna Higman Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

MARINE CORPS AIR-GROUND COMBAT CENTER, Calif. – U.S. Marines and Sailors with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment (2/2) conducted Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTFTC) Distributed Maneuver Exercise (MDMX) during Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) 3-23 at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), Twentynine Palms, California, April 25.

MDMX gives units such as 2/2 the opportunity to test their operational capabilities in a complex multi-domain environment as well as their offensive and defensive operations against adversaries at a regimental level.

“As they ready themselves for contingencies worldwide, it is critical for MAGTFs to improve their ability to employ combined arms in support of maneuver,” said Larry Adams, the academic coordinator at Tactical Training and Exercise Control Group (TTECG). “MDMX allows battalions to integrate capabilities they are rarely able to at their home stations.“ 

According to Adams, the training environment at the Combat Center allows units to conduct exercises like MDMX at a larger scale and integrate more complex forms of training in order to prepare Marines for any situation.

The vast terrain at Twentynine Palms provides a new opportunity to train for east coast units like 2/2.

“Camp Lejeune is filled with dense forest and foliage,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Heffner, a company gunnery sergeant with 2/2. “Coming to Twentynine Palms allows the Marines to be able to train at a larger scale with less objects to go through.”

Adams said Marines with 2/2 will gain experience working with several ground vehicles like assault amphibious vehicles, amphibious combat vehicles and aircraft support, such as unmanned aircraft systems, fixed wing and rotary wing assets.

This MDMX was the second iteration organized by MAGTFTC and TTECG personnel that offers training to a degree of complexity and scale that prepares units for deployments worldwide.

“We performed really well in this iteration of MDMX,” Heffner said. “It provided an opportunity to see our strengths and learn from our weaknesses.”

According to Heffner, 2/2 provided a ground combat element as well as command and control elements that increased their readiness for all situations and climates.

This iteration of training allowed leaders of 2/2 to be afforded opportunities to increase mission readiness against peer adversaries by using the dynamic environment provided in MDMX.
V22 , Itx , MDMX
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms