Reserve U.S. Marines with 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, joined forces with their active duty counterparts to support Integrated Training Exercise 5-19, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., July 25- Aug. 22, 2019.
ITX is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force integration exercise that allows units from different elements of a MAGTF to train together to maintain mission readiness and prepare for future deployments. A MAGTF is a combined, scalable and self-contained unit made up of four elements: ground combat, aviation combat, logistics combat and command.
As part of Marine Forces Reserve, 1/25 is headquartered in Fort Devens, Mass. and is comprised of Marines from all over the Northeastern area of the country. Reserve Marines have regularly operated alongside the active component since World War I. As a reserve unit, 1/25 is to augment and reinforce active Marine forces in time of war, national emergency or contingency operations, provide personnel and operational tempo relief for the active forces in peacetime, and provide service to the community.
The Marines of 1/25 are participating in this iteration of ITX as a workup to their upcoming deployment to Okinawa, Japan, to support Indo-Pacific Command to conduct multiple exercises across the region.
“We have a couple different exercises we will support,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sean P. Doel, the information management officer for 1/25. “One is with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces supporting exercise Forest Light. We also have iterations of Fuji Viper and other exercises that will be taking place on Camp Fuji. Our plan is to first go to Okinawa, Japan then head over to Fuji, where we will spend a lot of our time.”
1/25 will be training at various ranges on MCAGCC Twentynine Palms to better prepare them for the high operational tempo the Indo-Pacific Marines deal with on a daily basis.
“1/25 is conducting platoon-level attacks, which will move into mobility lane training in the military operations on urban terrain facility and urban assault training,” said Doel. “Then, we also have company-level attacks. We have a mobilized assault course we will be conducting along with an air and regimental assault course throughout the iteration of ITX.”
Not only does 1/25 possess all the capabilities of an active duty infantry battalion, but they bring more to the table because the Marines also can use their unique civilian experiences while on deployment.
“A lot of our Marines are not micromanaged in their military occupational specialty.” said Doel. “They take more initiative and have a higher maturity level early on in their careers as a Marine. Many of them either run their own business or have higher-level management jobs in their own civilian lives. On a daily basis, these Marines manage multiple personnel and deal with important taskers. Then, the Marines attend their monthly drill weekends already processing the knowledge and experience needed to lead Marines and complete the mission as a Reserve force.”
After ITX 5-19, 1/25 will be activated and deploy to the Indo-Pacific region for the first time. They will conduct multiple bilateral training exercises in numerous countries to improve their combat readiness and strengthen international relationships.