British tabloids appear to have stretched the truth when it came to the “surrender” of the US Marines who battled British Royal Marine Commandos during a training exercise in the United States.
The erroneous report initially was released on Tuesday by The Telegraph, who claimed the Commandos were able to wipe out a large portion of the unit and force the USMC into requesting a “reset” during Exercise Green Dagger 21 in the Mojave Desert.
Telegraph defense correspondent Dominic Nicholls, who is responsible for the article, claimed that the Brits managed to emerge “victorious” after wiping USMC command units and seizing a considerable amount of territory.
However, the story was extremely lacking in details, including which USMC units were involved and which ones allegedly “surrendered.”
Now, it appears that the story was not even remotely close to accurate- to include the outcome.
As it turns out, surrender is not an option in the exercise, and there was no score-keeping. Rather, the exercise was designed to heighten individual unit performance and readiness.
“’Winners’ are never determined,” said Capt. Zachary Colvin, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Air Ground Center. “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.”
Furthermore, the Royal Marines involved were under the command of the US 7th Marine Regiment, who played the role of “Red Force.”
Playing “Blue Force” was the 3rd Marine Regiment, who had just finished a one month-long integrated training exercise.
Other forces included troops from the Netherlands, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, in what was described as a “sandbox”-type learning environment (no pun intended).
“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,” Colvin said.
Marine Corps Officials (who were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on anonymity) also stated that the exercise did not go anything like it was described in the British tabloids.
When Task & Purpose attempted to reach Nicholls of The Telegraph, he was not available for comment.
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