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US Marines ‘decisively’ beaten by UK/allied troops in war game

British Royal Marines during Exercise Green Dagger at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Oct. 10, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Shane T. Beaubien)
November 03, 2021

Troops from the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands and United Arab Emirates won “decisive” victories over U.S. Marines during a five-day war game last month in California’s Mojave Desert, reports first revealed Wednesday.

According to a statement from the U.K.’s Royal Navy on Wednesday, the U.K.’s Royal Marine commandos working with units from the U.S., Canada, Netherlands and U.A.E. joined forces to take on an opposing force of U.S. Marines during Exercise Green Dagger at the Marine training facility at Twentynine Palms. The Royal Navy reported the allied force had gained control of two-thirds of the mock battlefield when the exercise concluded.

The U.K.-based Daily Telegraph reported that within the first four hours of the five-day war game, the allied force “delivered decisive blows against three waves of attack helicopters and drones, forcing the enemy to rethink their strategy.”

The fellow U.K.-based Daily Mail reported, based on unnamed sources, that the allied force had so much success early on that the U.S. Marines asked to “reset” the war game halfway through, after having experienced such heavy casualties at the hands of the U.K.-led allied force.

The war game served as an early test of the Royal Marines’ Littoral Response Group (LRG), a new unit structure. The Royal Marines had spent the prior two months in the Mojave Desert, training their new unit structure in preparation for deployment next year.

The U.K. has two LRG formations, known as LRG North (N) and LRG South (S). LRG(N) is already fully functional and LRG(S) is expected to be fully functional next year with the addition of amphibious ships and aircraft. The Royal Marine forces in the recent war game represented LRG(S).

According to the Royal Navy statement, the LRG and its allied forces won early decisive battles before the U.S. Marines began pushing back into allied territory. The allied forces were able to conduct raids behind enemy lines that eventually stopped the U.S. counter. The game ended after allied forces repelled a final U.S. assault.

“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. Colonel Andy Dow, the commanding officer of the Royal Marines’ 40 Commando said. “Operating alongside our partners from the USA, Netherlands, Canada and the UAE gives us a fantastic opportunity to test, integrate and continue to push our capabilities in new and innovative directions.”

“Throughout this deployment our focus has been on integrating game-changing capabilities from across the commando force to deliver disproportional effect in the face of a free-thinking peer adversary,” Dow added.