High-ranking military officials and delegates from 22 nations gathered here Aug. 26, marking the conclusion of the field training exercise and start of the three-day leadership portion during the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar.
“For well over a decade, the U.S. Marine Corps continues to advance the development and use – tactics, techniques and procedures – of non-lethal weapons,” said Brig. Gen. Richard Simcock, deputy commander of MarForPac.
“As a Marine infantry officer, I am intimately familiar with the application of lethal force,” Simcock said. “We all know that we must be able to apply lethal force when the situation dictates, but what is equally important today is how to de-escalate a potentially lethal engagement.”
Non-lethal weapons are designed to disable equipment and incapacitate personnel but minimize permanent injury.
The intent of the NOLES series of exercises is to promote both the awareness and effective use of non-lethal weapons, which increases the options available to commanders during low-intensity conflict or civil unrest scenarios, said Col. Brad Bartelt, senior U.S. representative attending the leadership seminar.
Mongolia’s top uniformed official praised the training and its relevance to his troops’ current operations.
“Countries have increased their interest and efforts for keeping peace (in the region),” said Lt. Gen. Ts. Byambajav, Chief of General Staff, Mongolian Armed Forces. “We are confident that the NOLES exercises … will assist our personnel in carrying out (these mission) requirements.”
MAF service members and Mongolian police personnel showed off what they learned during training through multiple demonstrations focusing on non-lethal tactics and weapon deployment, including one in which a combined platoon brought a mock riot under control.
After witnessing examples of effective non-lethal tactics, techniques and procedures, the more than 70 participants in the leadership seminar transitioned to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to begin discussions on NLW’s.
“Your presence makes this event special, but your active participation will make this event even better,” said Simcock, addressing the leadership seminar participants. “We all have different perspectives, and I challenge each and every one of you to share your experiences and insight and contribute to make this 11th anniversary the most productive NOLES yet.”