Experiment Could Change the Way Marines Deploy

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January 30, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: January 30 on

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — The future Marine Corps fighting force is taking shape in the desert this summer with the start of an 18-month experiment that could transform the basic infantry unit into a deadlier revolutionized team.

The Marine Corps must be prepared to counter and defeat a range of adversaries in high-tech environments, leaders say. And the company landing team, which has long been considered the backbone of the infantry, could get a major makeover.

Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, was tapped by Commandant Gen. Robert Neller earlier this year to help the Corps figure out what these teams need to be successful. The grunts were recently sent out to the desert in varying-sized teams, equipped with new high-tech gear like drones, robotic vehicles — some with weaponry — and self-supporting energy systems. 

The goal is to make this updated force, which was coined the expeditionary landing team, more self-sufficient and combat ready.