The Marine Corps is gearing up for one of its largest war games in decades at 29 Palms

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VIDEO: Marines conduct a company-sized attack during ITX 1-20

VIDEO: Marines conduct a company-sized attack during ITX 1-20

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The Marine Corps hasn't done anything like it in decades.

Ten thousand Marines, sailors and NATO troops have descended on Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in California's Mojave Desert for a massive training exercise.

The troops will be pitted against each other in a force-on-force battle as they prepare for a different kind of fight -- one against an enemy with sophisticated equipment and skills.

Most of the Marines participating are from the North Carolina-based 2nd Marine Division, which hasn't conducted a multi-regimental live-maneuver exercise in decades.


U.S. Marine Corps Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV), belonging to Second Marine Division (2d MARDIV), are staged at Camp Wilson, Marine Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, Oct. 6, 2019. The AAVs will be utilized in MAGTF Warfighting Exercise (MWX)
(U.S. Marine Corps/Pfc. Patrick King)

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The unscripted Marine Air-Ground Task Force Warfighting Exercise, or MWX, will run for days. In a Wednesday release announcing it, Marine officials called it "unlike any exercise held at the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center."

"An exercise of this scale – force-on-force, multi-regiment outfitted with significant information operations and assets – hasn't been conducted in the Marine Corps in my lifetime," Maj. Gen. David Furness, 2nd Marine Division's commanding general, said in the release.

It will test Marines to operate against a "thinking enemy," he added. That's something that was on Gen. David Berger's mind since before he became the Marines' top general.

This article originally appeared on Military.com

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