Marines face tougher swim training as war theater shifts to Indo-Pacific

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The U.S. Marine Corps is going to hold its troops to an “elevated” swimming standard, according to the new training revision released Tuesday.

The 24-page Training and Education 2030 document is one of several guidelines issued by the Marines over the past few years, aimed at “reimagining the future force,” the report said.

“To fully realize our intended warfare benefits, we must make a similar commitment to modernize our training and education system,” the document reads.

U.S. Marines participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. The Marines released an updated education and training planning document on Tuesday focusing on swimming, a sign that the Pentagon is shifting its focus to the Indo-Pacific region.
Olivier Douliery/TUSEN/Getty Images

Educational updates include finding ways to review the Marine Corps Water Survival Training Program and Underwater Egress Training. As the Training and Education 2030 plan reads, the goal is to “strengthen Marines’ ability and confidence to operate in a maritime environment.”

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“All Marines should expect standards to be raised and require additional in-water training,” the document reads.

The emphasis on in-water evaluation for troops comes as the US military shifts its focus to the Indo-Pacific region in preparation for a potential conflict with China over influence in the region. As Military Times writes, the heavily aquatic environment is a major change from the arid, desert-like environment of the Middle East and Afghanistan, which the military has paid close attention to in the past.

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“We actually want to build confidence and capability in the water so they’re ready for the Pacific theater,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Iiams, commander of the Marines’ Training and Education Command, according to the Time report.

While the Pentagon has spent billions on Asia-focused initiatives in recent years, Politics reported last month that several critics argue that the US is falling far behind its goal of increasing its presence in the Indo-Pacific region. Criticisms include the Pentagon temporarily cutting off its naval vessels and aircraft in the region to replace them with “more modern versions,” it writes. Politics.

The US is also not alone in its efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the region. This month, US defense officials met with their Japanese counterparts to discuss the modernization of the US-Japan alliance, with Japan increasing its own defense spending to equip its typically conservative military with “counter-attack” capabilities, such as News Week Previously reported.

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The Marines also recently restructured their military forces stationed in Japan’s southwestern islands, about 70 miles from Taiwan. China, which claims Taiwan is under its jurisdiction, has increased its military aircraft presence around the sovereign Indo-Pacific island.

News Week has contacted the Center for Strategic and International Studies for comment.

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