A Long and Illustrious History
Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic (EWTGLANT) has a long and illustrious history, which began following World War II. The U.S. Navy saw a need for both retaining knowledge of expeditionary operations and providing an amphibious training capability responsible for amphibious warfare instruction for the Army and Marine Corps.
On April 1, 1946, Troop Training Unit Little Creek was established and then redesignated as the Landing Force Training Command on Jan. 3, 1956. The purpose of this command was to standardize training for the U.S. naval service in the conduct of amphibious operations. This schoolhouse instructed Sailors, soldiers, and Marines in the tactics, techniques and procedures for landing forces ashore, establishing a foothold, and flowing follow-on-forces and logistics into the contested area. It would also serve to provide a continuity of lessons learned during World War II and the Korean War, further enhancing the education of newer generations of leaders across the armed services. Landing Force Training Command continued to serve the Navy and Marine Corps for the next several decades on the instruction and training of amphibious operations. (Boose, 2008)
The 1992 Navy-Marine Corps paper “From the Sea” defined the strategic concept intended to carry the naval service beyond the Cold War and into the 21st Century. It signaled a change in focus and therefore, in priorities for the naval service away from operations on the sea towards power projection and the employment of naval forces from the sea to influence events in the littorals. The purpose of U.S. naval forces remains to project the power and influence of the nation across the seas to foreign shores in both peace time and war.
The American victory during Operation Desert Storm proved to the world that amphibious operations were still relevant on the modern battlefield. In the years following, Navy and Marine Corps leadership looked to establish a primary schoolhouse capable of serving two large services able to centralize ideas and teach concepts for the Navy and Marine Corps team. This schoolhouse would focus on the renewed emphasis of fundamentally sound amphibious doctrine that would continue to ensure the relevancy of a modern naval service. This fundamental shift was a direct result of the changing strategic landscape-away from having to deal with a global maritime threat and towards projecting power and influence across the seas in response to U.S. interests.
In 1994, Adm. Henry Mauz, Commander in Chief, U.S Atlantic Fleet and Adm. Robert Kelly, Commander in Chief, U.S Pacific Fleet, merged several Navy and Marine Corps assets made available through the disestablishment of Landing Force Training Command (LFTC) and naval amphibious schools into the establishment of Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic and Pacific. The Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic stood up in a ceremony on May 20, 1994 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek. U.S. Marine Corps Col. Robert Renier assumed command with Gen. Fulford and Adm. Dyer in attendance. Adm. Dyer described the ceremony as “the combination of tremendous achievements of two fine schools into a fleet tactical training facility of the future.”
The mission of EWTGLANT is to provide training in shipboard engineering, naval gunfire support, naval science, seamanship; conduct training in tactics, techniques, and procedures of amphibious force maritime prepositioned forces, and water borne operations with an emphasis on landing force matters for the Atlantic fleet. The establishment of EWTGLANT is in keeping with the littoral warfare theme and provide a single training center on the east coast dedicated to teaching and developing the principles of expeditionary operations. Since its inception in 1994, EWTGLANT has produced warfighters that have contributed to the success of countless amphibious or expeditionary operations in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Expeditionary Warfare Training Group, Atlantic and the Philippines.
Over time, EWTGLANT began to broaden its scope of instruction as military technology and methods changed to meet the adapting threats on the battlefield. During the early years of the Global War on Terrorism, EWTGLANT emphasized and expanded the Joint Expeditionary Tactical Trainer (JETT) to over 6,000 square feet to accommodate more students, created space for an Expeditionary Fires Module (EFM) and began construction on the Multi-purpose Supporting Arms Trainer (MSAT) to facilitate tactical air control party/forward air control training.
In 2004, EWTGLANT expanded facilities for the Marine Corps Amphibious Basic Reconnaissance Course in order to accommodate the demand for 600 more Recon Marines for service in the operating forces. Throughout the next several years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the demand for formal course instruction at EWTGLANT continued to increase. This demand led to the need for mobile training teams to continue instruction to Marines and sailors on hostile battlefields in theater. This expansion of educational opportunities was spurred by a demand from the operating forces, EWTGLANT adapted and responded.
In 2011, Training and education in support of higher echelon amphibious capabilities continued to be developed and executed under the Bold Alligator exercise series with EWTGLANT providing the venue for planning, as well as instruction, on all amphibious related curriculum.
In 2014, EWTGLANT expanded and improved the modern virtual and live at sea portions for Exercise Bold Alligator, thus enhancing the Marine Corps Expeditionary Warrior Service level exercise in order to accomplish the pre-deployment training program for the amphibious ready groups and Marine expeditionary units preparing for deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve Iraq. Today’s courses provide instruction on a wide variety of expeditionary warfare topics that contribute to the U.S. global maritime engagement strategy.
For more than 20 years, EWTGLANT has distinguished itself as a premier center of excellence for expeditionary warfare; teaching the critical skills needed by both Navy and Marine Corps personnel in the rapidly changing strategic world in which naval forces must operate. Resourced to support both Navy and Marine Corps current and future expeditionary warfare educational and training needs, the command provides world-class training to our nation’s expeditionary forces with an emphasis on amphibious operations.