Peace Time: September 4, 2002


Every time there's a war, the troops adjust their peacetime training routines to reflect the realities peacetime training tends to drift away from. The brief (about a month) presence of about a thousand U.S. Marines in Afghanistan had that effect. Several changes are going to be made in marine training because of the Afghanistan experience. For one thing, marines will be given more training in how to dig holes in the ground (foxholes, trenches and the like). Over the last decade, government environmental regulations have restricted how much the marines can dig in their training areas. The only way you learn to quickly create field fortifications (as foxholes and trenches are called) is to practice. The marines thought they could placate the environmentalists, and not have their guys dig a lot of holes during field exercises. The thinking was, digging is simple. The young marines will catch up real quick when they are in hostile territory. Since this sort of thing had never been done before, there were no senior NCOs who could say, "but sir, that won't work." But once the marines landed in Afghanistan, and were ordered to start digging in, the NCOs who knew how to dig effective fortifications (before environmental concerns limited combat training), saw that it wasn't work. The marines say they will work out some kind of deal so they can do more digging in peacetime. But digging wasn't the only training lapse the marines discovered. They found that their ability to deal with landmines was very inadequate. Ancient mine clearing equipment and not enough realistic training caused the marines more trouble with mines than with hostile Afghans. 


Article Archive

Peace Time: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close