In 2020 the Marine Corps laid out the initial force design plan for the Corps’ next decade.

The smaller, tankless, more mobile force laid out in spring 2020 is still missing a few details the Corps hopes to work out over the next few years, during “phase three” of the force design.

The three-year experimental phase will see Marines heading to the field more, spending more time working with the Navy, and having Marines experiment more with nonscripted training events against equal or superiorly equipped opponents.

“No longer will our Marines be the only ones with UAS, advanced communications or air support during the exercises,” 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Division, said about the unit’s training in 2021.

“The adversary force will have those capabilities and, more importantly, will be able to take our capabilities away,” he added.

Marines also should expect more cross-training with the Navy.

“One notable change in FY21 is likely to be a reorientation on integrated training opportunities with the Navy,” 1st Lt. Dan Linfante said of the 2nd Marine Division’s plans in 2021.

“As Division units experiment with Force Design concepts, there will inevitably be a need to increase integration with the Navy,” Linfante added.

Though the 3rd Marine Division declined to discuss specific future training exercises, Maj. Kurt Stahl, a unit spokesman, said the division will increase its training with allied forces and the Navy as the Marine Corps shifts its focus toward China.

This is an excerpt from “21 Things Marines Need To Know For 2021,” in the January print edition of Marine Corps Times.

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