The U.S. Marine Corps will begin keeping its troops at a “high” swimming level, according to its new training overhaul released Tuesday.

The 24-page Training and Education 2030 document is one of many directives from Marines in recent years aimed at “reimagining the future force,” the report read.

“To fully realize our envisioned combat advantages, we must make a similar commitment to modernize our training and education system,” the document reads.

Marines will face tougher swim training
U.S. Marines participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in honor of Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery November 11, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. The Marines released an updated education and training planning document on Tuesday that emphasizes swimming, a sign the Pentagon is focusing on the Indo-Pacific region.
Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images

Education updates include finding ways to revise the Marine Corps water survival training curriculum and underwater egress training. As the Training and Education 2030 plan calls for, the goal is to “build the ability and confidence of Marines to operate in a maritime environment.”

“All Marines should expect standards to be high and require additional training in the water,” the document read.

The focus on in-water troop assessment comes as the US military focuses on the Indo-Pacific region in preparation for a potential conflict with China over influence in the region. As military times writes, the heavily aquatic environment is a major departure from the dry, desert environment of the Middle East and Afghanistan, where the military has concentrated heavily in the past.

“We actually want to build confidence and capability in the water, so they’re ready for the Pacific theater,” said Lt. Gen. Kevin Iiams, commander of Training and Education Command. of the Marines, according to the Times report.

While the Pentagon has spent billions on Asia-focused initiatives over the past few years, Politics reported last month that several critics say the United States is way behind its goal of increasing its presence in the Indo-Pacific region. Among the points of criticism include the Pentagon temporarily cutting off its warships and planes in the region as it works to replace them with “more modern versions”, writes Politics.

Nor is the United States working alone in its efforts to combat China’s growing influence in the region. This month, U.S. defense officials met with their Japanese counterparts to discuss modernizing the U.S.-Japan alliance, which includes Japan increasing its own defense spending to staff the typically conservative military. “counter-attack” capabilities, such as Newsweek Previously reported.

The Marines also recently restructured their forces based in Japan’s southwestern islands, about 70 miles from Taiwan. China, which claims Taiwan is under its jurisdiction, has increased its presence of military aircraft around the sovereign Indo-Pacific island.

Newsweek has contacted the Center for Strategic and International Studies for comment.

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