– USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps will deploy a second Amphibious Ready Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit team to the Southern Pacific beginning as early as 2019, to allow the Japan-based forward deployed forces to focus on the northern and eastern parts of the vast Asia-Pacific theater.
– Marine Corps Times – The Islamic State group is about to feel the sting of this 27-year-old gator as it heads out on its first major deployment in more than a decade.
– USNI News – The Marine Corps intends to add improved sensors and precision-strike capability to its entire KC-130J Super Hercules tanker/transport plane and MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor fleets, applying the “Harvest Hawk” concept to make both aircraft more multi-mission.
– USNI News – A three-pronged approach is helping the Navy keep its strike fighter inventory shortfall at a “manageable” level –speeding up legacy Hornet life extension work, preparing to conduct the Super Hornet life extension program more efficiently, and buying new Super Hornets – though the Marines’ legacy Hornet fighter inventory is so strained there are hardly any planes available for day-to-day squadron training.
– USNI News – Sailors and Marines assigned to the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit will begin returning from a seven-month deployment to the Middle East starting today. However, an artillery detachment from the 26th MEU assigned to a collation fire support base in Iraq will remain until an unnamed Army unit relieves them.
– Reuters – The U.S. military’s MV-22 Osprey aircraft has been a lightning rod for opposition to U.S. bases in Japan since 24 of them were deployed on the southern island of Okinawa in 2014. By sending eight of the tilt-rotor Ospreys to help with relief efforts for survivors of recent earthquakes on Kyushu island, both U.S. and Japanese military planners have been able to showcase an aircraft they see as necessary for Japan’s defense.
– USNI News – Eight Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys have been tasked in assist relief efforts following two severe earthquakes that struck southern Japan over the weekend.
– USNI News – The MAGTF (pronounced MAG-TAF) is the soul of how the Marines organize themselves, from the 500 Marine special purpose units forward deployed in Europe, to the Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEB) built around a 15,000 Marine infantry regiment, to the 40,000 strong Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF).
– Breaking Defense – With the rise of high-tech threats from Russia and China, the Marine Corps plans a major increase in its forces devoted to jamming, hacking, and deceiving enemies.
– Washington Post – Photographs and information released by the U.S. military provide new details about a fire base recently established by the Marine Corps in northern Iraq to target Islamic State militants, including its austere nature and how troops arrived there last week.
– CNN – The Marine killed in an ISIS rocket attack in Iraq on Saturday was at the first American firebase that had only become operational a few days earlier CNN has learned.
USNI News – The commandant of the Marine Corps and the chief of naval operations have been discussing how to design a more effective naval campaign that leverages both the carrier strike group and the amphibious ready group to fight a near-peer competitor.
– National Interest – Last July, the United States Marine Corps declared their short takeoff/vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35B Joint Strike Fighter operational. However, a new Pentagon operational test and evaluation report shows that the jet is far from ready. Even at the time, many had suspected that the service’s initial operational capability (IOC) was more hope than reality—now there is data to back that up.
– USNI News – 280 Marines serving with the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis-Response Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) are set to return home to Camp Lejeune, N.C., later this week after a six-month deployment to Spain and Italy.
– USNI News – The 3rd Marine Division is exploring ways to not only put Marines infantry on non-traditional ships but to push those vessels into higher-level military operations.
– USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps amphibious fleet is on the cusp of two major changes – the introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter and the growth of the fleet from 30 to 33 ships – that will change the way the fleet trains and fights.
– Washington Post – Marines are regularly flying over both Iraq and Syria to provide an airborne force capable of responding quickly if a coalition aircraft goes down and a pilot or air crew needs rescuing, said the commanding officer of a unit that returned from Iraq this fall.
– USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps should explore ways to make Marine aircraft a more useful part of the naval battle force – using alternate mixes of aircraft types on amphibious ship flight decks, finding additional missions for those aircraft, and pursuing increased connectivity to the rest of the naval fleet.
– US Naval Institute Proceedings – A worst-case ‘pre-mortem’ analysis of the Marine Corps’ latest operating concept is the way ‘to avoid failure when failure is not an option.’
– USNI News – The Auxiliary Platforms and Payloads Council at the Pentagon has focused its efforts on using the Expeditionary Fast Transport for Marines’ afloat command and control requirements, as well as looking at technical enablers to allow Marines to operate from the Littoral Combat Ship.
– San Diego Union Tribune – When Gen. Robert Neller was promoted to commandant about 10 days ago, he inherited one of the most contentious issues in Marine Corps history – whether women should serve as infantry. During a talk Monday at Camp Pendleton, the new leader of Marines made it clear they would salute and carry on whether or not restrictions barring women from ground combat jobs are lifted by year’s end, ensuring that combat effectiveness does not suffer.
– USNI News – The U.S. Marine Corps is in the midst of several acquisition programs that will extend the reach of the force and keep Marines safer while on the ground however the Corps is struggling how to fit the new kit on the Navy’s existing amphibious ships.
– Military Times – The Marine Corps has made strides to improve standards for the MV-22B Osprey nearly two years after a report found unsettling evidence the service was deploying squadrons that were not mission-ready. But some problems persist due to high operational demand and a lack of resources.
– USNI News – The Marines are shaking up their force in Europe, adding a one-of-a-kind Combined Arms Company to the Black Sea Rotational Force to train with local partners and allies on anti-tank capabilities.
– Foxtrot Alpha – The Marine Corp has declared initial operational capability for their first squadron of F-35Bs. The announcement is seen by some as more of PR achievement as the aircraft still has years of testing ahead of it. Others will argue that it represents a major accomplishment for the beleaguered F-35 program. But regardless of who you agree with, the USMC have succeeded at ramming the aircraft through a marker post that has always been a huge point of contention.