VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --
Marines from Marine Forces Reserve completed the Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group pre-deployment training program at MCSCG on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek– Fort Story, Virginia, March 26, 2015. The Marines are currently deployed to the Republic of Georgia for six months in support of the Georgia Deployment Program’s Resolute Support Mission.
The MCSCG pre-deployment training program’s objective is to properly prepare Marines by providing knowledge which will enhance their ability to engage foreign security forces in order to conduct planning, training and achieving national level objectives effectively.
“The MCSCG training program is going to arm us with all of the advising skills that we will need to advise a foreign military as well as familiarization with the weapons that we’re likely to see once we’re in country,” said 1st Lt. Henry L. McClure, Charlie Company tactical advisor for Georgian Battalion, Weapons Co., 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division.
20 Marines spent 24 days in training that taught them advisor skills, training management, force protection techniques, weapons familiarization, language proficiency and culture and customs in the Republic of Georgia.
“The training has increased mission readiness exponentially,” said Staff Sgt. Dane J. Humble, licenser and operator trainer from Truck Co., 23rd Marines, 4th MarDiv. “We have several junior Marines that have never deployed before prior to this training and they needed absolutely every step of this training to provide them what they needed before they leave here.”
The Georgia Training Team is part of the Georgia Deployment program and its purpose is to advise the 22nd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion and Krtsanisi National Training Center staff in order to build a partnership and enhance readiness within the Georgian forces.
“We’re making sure that the Georgian troops are fully ready and able to move forward as a military,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua S. Faller, administrative specialist for the GTT with 3rd Battalion, 23rd Marines, 4th MarDiv. “We’re helping them complete their mission as well as promoting better ties with a foreign country and our allies.”
According to Humble, Marines advising and providing support to Georgian military training strengthens the bond between American and foreign militaries by promoting mutual trust and a better understanding of how each counterpart works.
“We’re in more of a peacetime environment,” said Humble. “Peacetime doesn’t mean we’re taking a break, this is a time when we reach out and help our allies.”
United States Marine Corps Forces, Europe is the lead component for coordinating the GDP, while the MCSCG is the lead command responsible for training the Georgian battalions with support from other Marine Corps Units.
In 2009, the Georgian Minister of Defense agreed to contribute an infantry battalion to serve under the United States supporting the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. To prepare the Georgian unit for deployments, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe began a training program called the Georgia Deployment Program – ISAF.
The Georgian army deployed one battalion per rotation in support of Marines in southern Afghanistan for six months at a time. To prepare Georgian soldiers for deployment, Marines chosen for the program underwent five months of training with their Georgian counterparts in training and liaison teams to drill troops on the basics as well as mentor Georgia trainers. U.S. Marine Corps contributions to the Georgia Liaison Teams and the Georgia Training Teams are sourced from both the Active and Reserve Component Force Providers.
More than 2,000 active-duty and Reserve Marines as well as other U.S. military personnel, have deployed to Georgia over the last five plus years as part of the GDP-ISAF program. The Georgian Armed Forces and U.S. Marines have trained 14 Georgian Battalions to deploy in support of the ISAF mission.
Since then, GDP-ISAF combat operations have concluded in Afghanistan and the mission has transitioned from ISAF to Resolute Support Mission, which Georgian soldiers and Marines focus on training, advising and assisting Afghan Security forces in ensuring stability and security in the region.