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Marine Corps international education and training.

[We would like the thank the editorial staff of the Marine Corps Gazette, for granting us permission to reprint the following article. This article appeared in the Marine Corps Gazette, Volume 6, Issue 12, December 2002, and is as applicable today as it was then. The Marine Corps Gazette web site]

Since 1943, the earliest date for which records exist at the Marine Corps University, the Marine Corps has provided education and training to over 7,500 international military students who have attended approximately 10,000 individual courses at Commands and Detachments throughout the Corps. Quantico alone, through the Marine Corps University and its predecessor schools, has trained over 3,500 international military students.

During fiscal year 2002, over 500 international military students attended over 800 courses. These courses cover the entire spectrum of Marine Corps education and training, from Command and Staff College to basic electronics. They encompass most Marine Corps military occupational specialties, from aviation to supply and included most Marine Corps weapons systems, from assault amphibian vehicle to non-lethal weapons. These courses embraced most Marine Corps operating areas, from mountain warfare to urban terrain.

An umbrella term that covers this training is security assistance. The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, Joint Publication 1-02, defines security assistance as follows:
 Groups of programs authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of
 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as
 amended, and other related statutes by which the United States
 provides defense articles, military training, and other defense
 related services, by grant, loan, credit, or cash sales in
 furtherance of national policies and objectives.

As the term implies, security assistance directly supports our National Security Strategy and our National Military Strategy and is a major component of the Theater Security Cooperation Plans of each regional Combatant Commander. Security assistance supports security cooperation by building military to military relationships with potential coalition partners and by assisting nation-building efforts of current or potential allies. Security assistance is a Department of State initiative executed by the Department of Defense. These programs promote regional stability, maintain U.S. defense alliances and promote civilian control of the military.

Training and education have often been described as the most enduring elements of security assistance. The Marine Corps provides training and education through several major security assistance programs, International Military Education and Training (IMET), Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and Foreign Military Financing (FMF).

* IMET provides training, primarily in the United States, to selected foreign military and related civilian personnel on a grant basis. Congress, as a part of the Department of State's foreign operations appropriation, appropriates funding to support this program annually. Congressional support for this program is increasing with the program doubling in size between fiscal year 2001 and fiscal year 2004. Examples of training provided under IMET include:

** Military Operations in Urban Terrain Mobile Training Team to the Argentine Army

** Command and Staff College

** Expeditionary Warfare School

** Basic Officer Course

** Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Academy

* Foreign military sales is a non-appropriated program through which eligible customer country governments purchase defense articles, services, and training from the United States Government. The purchasing government pays all costs that may be associated with a sale in accordance with the terms of a signed government-to-government agreement. Recent examples include:

** Marine Corps Training Assistance Group to the Royal Saudi Marine Force

** Marine Corps trainers with the Saudi Arabian National Guard

** Marine Corps trainers with the Bahrain Defense Force

** Marine Corps trainers with the Kuwait Armed Forces

** School of Advanced Warfare

** Command and Staff College

** Command and Staff College Distance Education Program

** Expeditionary Warfare School

** Basic Officer Course

** AV-8B Flight Proficiency Training

** AV-8B Combat Capable Training

** AV-8B Maintenance Training

** Light Armored Vehicle Officer/Staff Non-Commissioned Officer Course

* Foreign military financing consists of Congressionally appropriated grants and loans which enable eligible foreign governments to purchase U.S. defense articles, services, and training through either FMS or direct commercial sales channels. Recent examples include:

* Recently returned Non-Commissioned Officer Development Training Team to Romania.

Regardless of the program under which education or training is provided, the Marine Corps is reimbursed for what it provides. In fiscal year 2002, these reimbursements totaled $11.2 million. Projections for fiscal year 2003 anticipate reimbursements of approximately $13.1 million. All indications suggest that this increased demand for Marine Corps training will continue into the foreseeable future.

Policy oversight for Marine Corps security assistance programs resides at Headquarters Marine Corps with the Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations (D/C, PP&O). International training and education management and execution is the responsibility of the Commanding General, Training and Education Command. Coalition and Special Warfare (CSW) Center accomplishes the day-to-day management of Marine Corps security assistance education and training on behalf of the Commanding General.

In executing its mission of security assistance training and education management, Coalition and Special Warfare Center is the clearinghouse for all requests for such training from international customers. Requests may come from a variety of sources. Most requests are provided during one of the annual security assistance training program management reviews conducted by each of the regional combatant commanders. Their representatives, known as the security assistance officer (SAO), of the various U.S. country teams within the geographic region present their host country's requirements. The Coalition and Special Warfare Center program managers collect these requirements and apply them to available quotas obtained through the Marine Corps' Training Input Plan process. If more quotas are requested than are available, which is frequently the case, Deputy Commandant for Plans and Plans, Policies, and Operations prioritizes countries to receive quotas.

At Marine Corps training commands and detachments, an International Military Student Officer (IMSO) coordinates international student education and training. The IMSO, who may be an officer, a staff non-commissioned officer, a non-commissioned officer, or a civilian, is responsible for the day-to-day administrative support of the international military students at the command or detachment.

The International Military Student Officers also coordinate an Informational Program for assigned international students. This Congressionally mandated, and separately funded, program is designed to complement the education or training provided in the formal course of instruction. The objectives of this program are to assist the international student in acquiring a balanced understanding of U.S. culture, institutions, and goals. The program also underscores the U.S. commitment to the basic principles of internationally recognized human rights and the Geneva Convention concerning the rules and laws of armed conflict. As a part of this program, each year international students from Command and Staff College tour various battlefields, such as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, visit the various government institutions in Washington, D.C., and tour historical sites such as Williamsburg, Virginia. Other schools participate as well. Internationals at the Marine Corps Combat Service Support School routinely travel to Charleston, South Carolina, to visit the historical sites in that city.

Formal schools seats are not the only Marine Corps education or training provided internationals. Under security assistance, the Marine Corps also deploys training assistance teams to requesting countries. These teams range from short-term (less than 179 days) mobile training teams to long-term (typically one year or longer) teams where the Marines deploy on permanent change of station orders.

Training assistance team deployments are also managed by the Coalition and Special Warfare Center. As with formal schools, requests are provided during one of the annual security assistance training program management reviews, however, security assistance officers may forward requests for training teams at any time. The Coalition and Special Warfare Center coordinates team deployments with Headquarters, Marine Corps, and appropriate Marine Corps commands and activities.

During fiscal year 2002, the Marine Corps deployed eight training assistance teams including:

* Saudi Arabia, Marine Corps Training assistance Group (MCTAG) which provides assistance to the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Marine and Special Naval Security Forces in the areas of training, maintenance, doctrine development and exercise support.

* Saudi Arabia, Marine Corps trainers who provide Light Armored Vehicle advisory assistance to the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

* Kuwait, Marine Corps advisors who provide assistance in communications and operations.

* Bahrain, Marine Corps trainers who provide assistance in the areas of air space integration and missile control.

* Romania, an Extended Training Services Support Specialist team, which spent three years helping the Romanian Armed Forces develop a non-commissioned officer training academy that will facilitate their future entry into North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

* Argentina, a MTT that provided instruction in MOUT and urban tactics to Argentinean officers and senior non-commissioned officers.

* Bulgaria, a MTT that provided assistance to their senior professional military education institution.

* Colombia, a reconnaissance and advanced marksmanship MTT in support of the Colombian Marine Corps.

Providing education and training to internationals is a win-win situation for both the individual receiving the training and the Marine Corps. The international military student unquestionably receives some of the best training available in the world. Like the officers whose names appear in the first paragraph, and more than a score of other internationals who attended Marine Corps schools and colleges and subsequently achieved flag rank, this training has been a key element in their success in their own military organizations. The benefit to the Marine Corps of having a relationship with these officers is far-reaching. In addition to the professional or technical military skills they gain, these officers typically return with a broader understanding of the United States and the principles that are our foundation. They also form strong professional bonds with fellow Marines who they all too often find themselves standing side by side with against a common foe.

Internationals, and their parent services, are not the only ones that win. The Marine Corps also benefits. It begins in the classroom or seminar group where the internationals bring a fresh prospective and unique experience to the subject at hand. It continues after graduation when our Marines find themselves sitting around a table with a former international classmate as a combined exercise or operation is planned. The Marine knows what the international brings to the table and the two are able to plan based on a common understanding. This benefit should not be underestimated.

Marines deploying to friendly foreign countries as a part of a training assistance team also gain. They obtain invaluable hands-on experience living and working in the country involved and as a result their professional development is significantly enhanced. When they return to their parent commands they become a valuable source of expertise for the area they visited.

Finally, the Marine Corps gains simply by participating in security cooperation. Many training areas, ranges, and support bases routinely utilized by deploying Marine Expeditionary Units are available because the Marine Corps previously engaged in some form of security cooperation with the country involved.

In today's changing international landscape, security assistance programs provide an invaluable link between the Marine Corps and our friends and allies. The goodwill and cultural awareness gained through these programs improves our ability to operate with coalition partners and has broadened the horizons of all of the Marines who have participated. The regional combatant commanders have recognized security assistance as a highly valuable engagement tool, one that has gained increasing prominence since the events of September 11, 2001. Since it is likely that in any operation in our war on terrorism we will be working with allies and coalition partners security assistance programs will continue to be a valuable tool for the Marine Corps.

What do the following foreign military personnel have in common?

* Major General Henry Ahnyidoho, Ghanan Army;

* Major General Ammar AI-Qahtani, Commander Royal Saudi Naval Forces Marine and Special Naval Security Forces;

* General Rudy Blazon, former Commandant, Philippine Marine Corps, former Chief of Staff of the: Philippine Armed Forces, and member of the Philippine Senate;

* General Domingos de Mattos Cortez, former Commandant of the Brazilian Marine Corps;

* Lieutenant General Peter J. Cosgrove, Chief of the Australian Army;

* Major General Romeo Dallaire, Deputy Commander, Canadian Land Forces;

* Major General Pedro Diaz Fernandez, Former Commandant of the Spanish Marine Corps;

* General Sigurd Frisvold, Chief of Defense, Norway;

* General Lee Kap Jin, former Commandant of the Korean Marine Corps;

* Lieutenant General Shaul Mofaz, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Force;

* General Jose Luis Munoz, former Commandant of the Mexican Marine Corps;

* VADM Victor K. Ombu, former Chief of the Nigerian Naval Staff; and

* General Roy Spiekerman, Commandant of the Dutch Marine Corps They are all graduates of Marine Corps schools and colleges.

Paul Askins International Programs Section Coalition and Special Warfare Center Training and Education Command
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Author:Askins, Paul
Publication:DISAM Journal
Article Type:Reprint
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2003
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