During a Marine Corps exercise at Twentynine Palms, the Daily Telegraph reported that the U.S. Marine Corps asked for a “reset” after Brits defeated them halfway through a five-day simulated battle at Twentynine Palms.
The publication wrote that the Royal Marines’ 40 Commando “dominated” American troops and forced them into a humiliating surrender halfway through the exercise.
According to a U.S. Marine Corps spokesperson, however, this is inaccurate.
“ ‘Winners’ are never determined,” Capt. Zachary Colvin, the communications and strategy director with the Marine Air Ground Combat Center, told Military Times in a statement. “This exercise does not provide an opportunity to ‘surrender,’ ‘keep score,’ or ‘reset.’ The objective of the exercise is to heighten unit performance and increase readiness.”
During the training, Marines from the 2nd battalion 5th and 7th Marines participated along with British, Canadian, Dutch and United Arab Emirates forces, according to Colvin.
“During this exercise, a U.S. Marine Regiment augmented with subordinate units formed an adversary force to actively challenge and test a peer regiment of U.S. Marines,” Colvin added. “This training opportunity increased warfighting readiness and interoperability of the U.S. Marine Corps with multinational forces. Exercise scenarios are adjusted as needed to assist commanders in meeting training objectives.”
For the Royal Marines the five-day exercise that took place from Oct. 25 to 30 marked a success for its newly established Littoral Response Group, which U.K. defence officials hope will prove to be an agile and adaptive force around which its future commando force will be built.
“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. Col. Andy Dow, commanding officer of 40 Commando, told the Daily Telegraph.
Rob Lee, a PhD candidate at the Department of War Studies at Kings College, tweeted that U.K. publications that propagated the story undermine the value of these types of training events.
“These kind of garbage tabloid articles (no one surrendered and 40 Commando was teamed with US Marine units) are the kind of thing that threaten future US-UK exercises, which are beneficial for both sides,” he wrote. “They also mistake the purpose of these exercises.”
Colvin noted that the exercise was one of many allied simulations that U.S. Marines run.
“The exercise was conducted in a free-play environment designed to stress commanders, derive learning points and allow participants to improve their ability to conduct offensive and defensive operations, and adapt to changes on the battlefield,” he added.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.