US Marines – Army’s ‘Pacific Pathways’ initiative sets up turf battle with Marines

- Washington Post – As the Obama administration winds down the Army-centric war in Afghanistan, Pentagon leaders are seeking to place the Air Force, Navy and Marines in dominant roles to counter threats in the Asia-Pacific region, which they have deemed to be the nation’s next big national security challenge. Fearful that the new strategy will cut its share of the defense budget, the Army is launching an ambitious campaign to transform itself and assert its relevance in the Pacific. And that, in turn, is drawing the Army into a fight. With the Marines.

US Marine Corps – Fleet of air cushions vital to safeguarding island chain

- Stars and Stripes – Defending territory and allies in the Pacific largely comes down to the ability to strike quickly from the sea, control a beachhead and secure it with troops and equipment. One of the U.S. military’s main weapons in that mission is the Landing Craft Air Cushion, a hovercraft that can travel across 70 percent of the world’s beaches compared to conventional craft’s 20 percent, and can hit a beach at upwards of 46 miles-per-hour with a full load of Marines, tanks and light armored vehicles. LCACs are also integral to humanitarian operations where ports and piers are damaged or blocked.

US Navy – F-35B DT 2 Update: A few hours on the USS Wasp

- Aviation Week – The U.S. Marine Corps invited the media Aug. 28 to visit the USS Wasp amphibious assault ship where the second set of developmental test trails for the F-35B are taking place. Being the savvy PAs that they are, USMC shipped us out and back on their newest rotorcraft, the Bell/Boeing MV-22 to see their newest fighter. (They also happen to be the Pentagon’s most expensive rotorcraft and fighter).

US Marines – Marching toward the Sweet Spot: Options for the U.S. Marine Corps in a Time of Austerity

- US Naval War College Review – Before leaving his position as Secretary of Defense in 2010, Robert Gates offered a wake-up call in a speech to the Marine Corps Association in 2010: “It [is] time to redefine the purpose and size of the Marine Corps.” The perception
even then was that the Marine Corps had become too big, too heavy, and too far removed from its maritime roots…

US Marines – Marines See Asian Allies as Their Best Weapon Against China

- National Defense – Analysts predict that as Navy and Marine Corps forces expand their presence in the Asia-Pacific region, they will face so-called “anti-access” threats from emerging powers such as a China. But Marine leaders in the region do not fear such scenarios, and believe that by establishing close ties with Asian allies, the United States will have access when it needs it, said Brig. Gen. Richard L. Simcock, deputy commander of Marine Forces Pacific. The command is the Corps’ largest, with approximately 83,000 Marines and sailors.

US Marines – Navy's New Mobile Landing Platform, Montford Point, To Revolutionize Amphibious Warfare

- AOL Defense – Saturday saw the formal christening of the USNS Montford Point, the first of a new class of Navy vessel, the Mobile Landing Platform, meant to revolutionize the conduct of amphibious operations. By serving as a kind of floating pier, the MLP allows an amphibious force to offload heavy combat vehicles and bulk supplies at sea, without having to capture a major seaport — which can be a bloody chokepoint in seaborne operations.

US Marines – Marines reset training for the next war

- San Diego Union Tribune – The U.S. military spent the last decade fighting entrenched insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. What will the next war be like? Will it involve desert, mountains or jungle? An enemy who speaks Farsi or Korean? A national army fighting with tanks, or guerillas planting homemade bombs? It is impossible to know. While future wars remain unseen over the horizon and budget woes squeeze the military budget, the Marine Corps is resetting its combat training to get back to the basics and play to its strengths.