U.S. Marines are intensifying their training for a possible conflict with China by conducting island war simulations in islands off the Japanese mainland, placing an emphasis on small, dispersed troop units and command centers, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The latest exercises come 2½ months after the Marines engaged in a Noble Fury 21, a drill where the objective is a high-mobility version of the World War II-era strategy of “island hopping” developed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Adm. Chester Nimitz.
The more recent version is intended to make troops and equipment harder to locate and target, the Journal reported.
“We’re trying to get away from tents, from computer screens, because, 1.) it’s very stationary and, 2.), it has a huge electromagnetic signature,” the Journal quoted said Lt. Col. Neil Berry, commander of the third battalion of the Eighth Marine Regiment, based in Camp Lejeune, N.C.
During a recent simulation, a few dozen Marines inserted via a CH-47 helicopter followed by Japanese troops in V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, to avoid detection before recapturing a port.
It was one of the first to be directed from a command hub consisting of three armored vehicles that can be set up or moved in minutes and emit fewer traceable signals.
The exercises have come as Pentagon and intelligence officials have increasingly pointed to China as a growing threat, expanding its territorial reach by building islands in the South China Sea, bolstering its military, intensifying repressive efforts on ethnic minorities at home and in Hong Kong while also expanding its computer and technological efforts.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.