U.S. Marine Corps considers a new jungle warfare training facility near the United States

January 7, 2013 Hideki Matsudo of the Ryukyu Shimpo reports from Washington D.C.

On January 2, the Marine Corps Times reported that the U.S. Marines have considered establishing a new jungle training facility near to continental United States. The Jungle Warfare Training Center (JWTC) is currently located in the Northern Training Area, and it is the only U.S. military facility for jungle combat training in the world.

The U.S. military has begun reviewing its costs due to financial difficulties. The aim of constructing new facilities near the American mainland is to reduce the cost of transporting troops there. If they set up a new jungle warfare facility of a similar scale as the existing JWTC, expeditionary forces to Okinawa and the frequency of operations in the Northern Training Area might decrease.

Infantry training for Marine ground forces and rescue drills in which air units participate using helicopters have been held at the JWTC. In this respect, the training center plays an important role in fostering effective joint operations for the United States Army, Marines and Air Force. Not only for the Marine Corps in Okinawa, but also for contingents from the United States that take part in the operations.

According to the Marine Corps Times, last September, the current commandant of the Marine Corps, James F. Amos, said that jungle warfare training is going to become increasingly important. He instructed that the training regime be reviewed within the next six months. This has been undertaken at the Training and Education Command (TECOM) in Virginia. Tom Murray, the commanding general of TECOM, stated that transporting large numbers of Marines to the JWTC in Okinawa is costly, so they are considering building a new facility. He said the Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California, is the right model for that.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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