Magazine article National Defense

Marines to Take over Responsibilities for Training Foreign Forces

Magazine article National Defense

Marines to Take over Responsibilities for Training Foreign Forces

Article excerpt

The Marine Corps will set up a specialized unit dedicated to training foreign troops. The unit-scheduled to begin operations on October 1-will be staffed by up to 400 Marines. It will supplement the training program that had been solely the responsibility of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

By creating this unit, the Marine Corps assumes a permanent role in the training of foreign troops. Previously, Marines had done this on an ad hoc basis. They helped train, for example, military forces in Georgia, Chad and Niger, noted Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps.

SOCOM sought help from the Marine Corps in this area, Hagee told reporters. The decision to invest in a permanent training unit further recognizes that U.S. forces ultimately benefit from working more closely with foreign troops, Hagee said.

"We believe that this is one of the most important things to do," he said. "People usually think of special operations forces as the 'high-end' operations. …

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