Building Partners Strengthens All
By Colonel Bryan Salas, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command
From the savannas of Africa to the jungles of South America, Marines serve as trainers and advisers to partner nations. This not only supports those governments, it also deters terrorism. Previously Marines formed ad hoc, provisional teams from various parts of the Corps, teaching everything from infantry tactics to the Law of Armed Conflict. The teams disbanded after the short-term mission was complete—and much of the hard-earned knowledge garnered through these experiences disappeared.
For this reason, a new organization was formed in late 2007 to provide continuity and cohesion for these important missions. The Marine Corps Training and Advisory Group (MCTAG) works either directly with host nation forces or Marine units that have partnered with them. The aim is to build capacity for civil and military operations.
MCTAG's function is to assist geographic combatant commanders, through component commanders, with security cooperation and Phase 0 operations (routine military actions to prevent and prepare for crises).