Are the US Army and US Marine Corps competing for missions in the Pacific?

Defense News – With the U.S. military locked in on what it sees as a long-term competition with the People’s Republic of China for ascendency in the Indo-Pacific region, two services seeking to pivot away from heavy ground conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are looking toward missiles as a ticket to relevance in a potential future conflict.

U.S. Marines Lobbing Cruise Missiles—A Preview Of Pacific War

Forbes – On Sept. 20, the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy showed off one tactic that could be critical to the plan. Marines slipped ashore on an uninhabited island near Guam. They picked a target on a military bombing range and relayed the coordinates to a Navy cruiser. Minutes later, a Tomahawk cruise missile slammed onto the range.

Land-Based Anti-Ship Missiles And The U.S. Marine Corps: Options Available

Naval News – Peter Ong reports on the Land-Based Anti-Ship Missile (LBASM) options on the table for the USMC and US Army ground forces to use against threatening enemy ships, with the latest from Virtual Modern Day Marine Expo 2020.

America’s top Marine says the US must shake up its military presence in the Pacific

Defense News – The way the United States military has had forces arrayed in the Pacific for the last 70 years must change to meet a new threat environment, the US Marine Corps’ top general said Wednesday, arguing that the force must be in more places and spread across a wider area.

Marines’ New Amphibious Combat Vehicles Will Start Arriving at Units Ahead of Schedule – Marine Corps modernization officials said Tuesday that the service has completed testing of its new amphibious combat vehicle, or ACV, and will begin fielding the replacement to the older amphibious assault vehicle next month, ahead of schedule.

Marine Corps’ Builds New Littoral Regiment, Eye On Fake Chinese Islands

Breaking Defense – The Marine Corps is moving quickly to develop a new kind of infantry unit to challenge Chinese claims on small islands in the Pacific, while the Navy is developing new and smaller ships to move and supply them once they deploy.

US Marines wants to move fast on a light amphibious warship. But what is it?

Defense News – The U.S. Marine Corps is moving as fast as it can to field a new class of light amphibious warship, but it remains unclear what it will do, where it will be based or what capabilities it will bring to the fight.

Did the US Marine Corps give up on a big ship-based surveillance drone too soon?

Defense News – The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps both say they need expanded surveillance capabilities for a potential fight with China, but the Marines have cut bait on a big, ship-based system that some analysts say would make a big difference for both services.

The Plan For Making Aging USMC F/A-18 Hornets Deadlier Than Ever For A Final Decade Of Service

War Zone – The U.S. Marine Corps is moving towards a streamlined fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35B and C-model Lightning IIs for all of its tactical aircraft (TACAIR) needs post-2030. While USMC leadership juggles the exact planning over the number of the stealthy fighters it will need to meet future requirements, both the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II and F/A-18A-D Hornet fleets will continue to provide Close Air Support (CAS) for Marines on the ground and air cover above the battlefield. Under current plans, the Harrier II will bow out in Fiscal Year 2028, followed by the Hornet in 2030. 

Marines Placing Small UAVs into Ground Combat Element, As Aviators Still Refining Large UAS Requirement

USNI News – While the Marine Corps is still charting its path forward for large drones, the service is moving smaller unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) into its ground combat units.

Marines and Mercenaries: Beware the Irregular Threat in the Littoral

CIMSEC – The world is increasingly urban and littoral. This convergence between urbanization and the littoral, or littoralization, can lead to “the worst of both worlds” and may remake the littorals into hotspots of instability and conflict. At the same time, the U.S. Marine Corps is shifting its focus away from decades of counterinsurgency and irregular warfare in the Middle East.

‘If It Floats, It Fights:’ Navy’s New Small Ship Strategy

Breaking Defense – Existing amphibious ships might be the “Swiss Army Knife of the fleet,” but the Navy and Marines want an enemy who “jumps on it in the opening gambit…they’re gonna have the shock of their life.” 

The Commandant Needs Our Help: Accelerating Marine Corps Force Development

CIMSEC – There are three ways that Marines can help the Commandant reduce the inevitable friction associated with changing the Marine Corps to match emerging operational realities: creativity, concepts, and communications.

It took 36 hours for the US Marine Corps to 3D print buildings intended to hide military vehicles

3D Adept Media – Professionals in the 3D printing for construction sector are moving the industry around the world with new funding and new projects. The last project we discovered is that of the ICON team, the non-profit organization whose mission is to 3D print homes in underserved communities. This time around, their latest project will take on another dimension as the team has worked with the U.S. military to support military operations and crisis response efforts around the world.

(Thanks to Alain)

Winning the Spectrum: Securing Command and Control For Marine Stand-In Forces

CIMSEC – EABO and DMO are the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ bid for success in disrupting the fait accompli strategies of great power competitors, providing the deterrence by denial called for in the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) and 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS). In order to succeed in the A2/AD environment cultivated by America’s adversaries, EABO and DMO will necessarily be facilitated by emerging fires, ISR, and communications technologies. But the critical vulnerability to EABO, DMO, and consequently to deterrence by denial, is signature management.

Declawing the Tiger: A Rebuttal of the Decision to Phase Out Marine Tank Battalions

Strategy Bridge – While General Berger proposes important changes, such as a focus on China and the need to revisit the Marine Corps’ amphibious strategy, the abandonment of the tank does little to benefit the infantry’s fighting power. The future of the Marine Corps rests in the adaptation of a cost-effective light tank that can bring suitable firepower to bear on islands, in cities, and in maneuver warfare.

“Cocaine Logistics” For the Marine Corps

War on the Rocks – In a future conflict with China, how would the Marine Corps supply small units deep inside enemy controlled areas, hundreds or even thousands of miles from their logistics bases?

The US Navy and Marine Corps should acquire Army watercraft

Defense News – Rather than accepting a new amphibious design built from the ground up, decision-makers should take advantage of the fact that many key requirements of the new vessels are very similar to the capabilities of vessels operated by U.S. Army Transportation Command. The Navy and Marine Corps should delay any new construction and immediately acquire some of these existing vessels to drive experimentation and better inform their requirements for the LAW program.

Marines Considering Adding Land-Based Hypersonic Weapons to Arsenal

USNI News – The Marine Corps is in talks with the Pentagon’s research and development community over how a land-based hypersonic weapon could be incorporated into the smallest service’s quick-maneuver concept.

Marines Look to Two New Ship Classes to Define Future of Amphibious Operations

USNI News – The Navy and Marine Corps are looking to quickly overhaul their Cold War-era way of moving Marines around, with the services already agreeing on the basic requirements for a new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) and in the early phases of looking at a separate small amphibious ship class.

Thinking Like a Pirate: Contesting Southeast Asia’s Chokepoints

CIMSEC – The Marine Corps’ future method toward strategic chokepoints and littorals could be taking the pirate’s approach and ramping it up with new weaponry, ships, superior ISR, and tactical creativity.

Marines Testing Regiment at Heart of Emerging Island-Hopping Future

USNI News – The Marine Corps is starting to form and experiment with the littoral regiment at the heart of its modern-day island-hopping strategy.