MANZANILLO, Mexico -- As part of two multinational, combined military training exercises, Partnership of the Americas and Southern Exchange, U.S. Marine and Navy forces recently docked in the Pacific port of Manzanillo to train with Marines in Mexico on their way Peru, this year’s host nation for POA-10 and SE-10.
The exchange was the first stop of two concurrent multinational training exercises, POA-10 and SE-10, based in Ancon, Peru, in which the United States and nine other partner nations, including Mexico, will train to improve military-to-military relations and focus on peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance training.
U.S. Marines attached to Charlie Company, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, 1st Marine Division, were chosen to participate in this unique cross-training exercise that united cultures and cross-pollinated skill sets. As part of the first stop in Mexico, the U.S. Marines taught their Mexican counterparts methods and techniques of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, instructing skills such as punches, chokes, and knife techniques. By the afternoon the two countries were fighting hand to hand, testing their strength in combatant drills using pugil or striking sticks.
The following day the platoon taught the Mexican Marines basics in Military Operations in Urban Terrain-- the tactics used to enter buildings to ensure that each room is safe and clear of enemy combatants.
In turn, the Mexican Marines showcased their skills and taught their U.S. counterparts a variety of rappeling techniques tailored for different tactical situations such as, lowering Marines from a rooftop down to enter a building window or rappeling off a cliff to gain a tactical advantage.
The Mexicans also expanded the Americans' knowledge regarding how to safely surprise, overwhelm and subdue wanted criminals or violent offenders—a tactic and role that U.S. military forces do not normally use.
The joint military training exercise is designed to enhance the partnership of each country involved and expand their military and tactical knowledge to better handle the challenges that face a 21st century military.
Concluding the training at Manzanillo, the two countries played a competitive soccer game — their own version of the World Cup. Later, the Mexicans hosted a ceremony at their Marine base to commemorate the military training event.
Both U.S. and Mexican Marines embarked on the USS New Orleans en route to Peru where they began cross-training with Marines from eight other nations to include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
Marines deployed as part of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force 24 in support of Partnership of the Americas 2010 and Southern Exchange 2010.