British forces will be “taking on their comrades from the United States Marine Corps” in the Californian desert as they prepare for operations as part of a new task group, say the Royal Navy here.
According to a news release:
“A new high-readiness force, Littoral Response Group (South), is to be built around Taunton-based 40 Commando and will focus on the regions east of the Suez Canal, ready to respond to global events. To ensure the commando element of the group are ready for deployment next year, the marines must first complete Exercise Green Dagger in the Mojave Desert alongside the US and Netherlands Marine Corps.
The exercises across sun-scorched deserts will test the marines in a number of warfighting skills and their ability to work effectively with their Dutch counterparts who also form part of the LRG(S).”
Green Dagger will culminate in a ‘free play battle’ in which Dutch and British marines will work together against the might of the USMC to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the allied forces.
The exercises are taking place at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Centre at Twentynine Palms, which covers an area similar in size to Luxembourg in the Californian deserts.
“The plan over the coming weeks is to stress test this commando group and refresh key soldiering skills to ensure they are prepared for full operations. The response group – comprising around 500 British and 120 Dutch troops – is expected to be functional next year with the addition of amphibious ships and aircraft.”