Crafting the US Marine Corps Mystique: A Conversation With Heather Venable

CIMSEC – Professor Heather Venable discusses her new book, How the Few Became the Proud: Crafting the Marine Corps Mystique, 1874-1918. It is a fascinating look at how the U.S. Marine Corps, struggling to define its role as a small fighting force in the earlier days of the republic, crafted a reputation and truly — a mystique — to ensure the service’s survival.

New Marine Littoral Regiment, designed to fight in contested maritime environment, coming to Hawaii

Marine Corps Times – The Marine Corps is putting together a new force in Hawaii called the Marine Littoral Regiment that can operate inside a contested maritime environment and sink ships.

No Sure Victory: the Marines New Force Design Plan and the Politics of Implementation

War on the Rocks – A great deal of digital ink has been spilled about the Marines recently revealed Force Design Plan 2030 and its strategic implications and whether or not the commandant is steering the Corps in the “right” direction. This debate is obviously important, but it has thus far overlooked an equally vital question: can Berger implement his vision?

A new ‘Marine Littoral Regiment’ specializing in ship-to-shore capabilities is coming to Hawaii

Stars and Stripes – A new “Marine Littoral Regiment” coming to Hawaii — the first of its kind in the Marine Corps — represents a major shift for the service in the “great power” competition playing out in the Western Pacific and preparation for a high-tech missile war in the region.

Navy Wants To Buy 30 New Light Amphibious Warships To Support Radical Shift In Marine Ops

War Zone – Fleets of small, low-cost amphibious warships are absolutely critical to how the Marine Corps’ plans to fight in the coming years.

Getting the Context of Marine Corps Reform Right

War on the Rocks – Since reading the commandant’s Force Design report, we, too, have reflected on what the changes will mean for the Marine Corps — and by extension, the Department of the Navy, the joint force, our allies, partners, and most importantly, the American people. Regular War on the Rocks readers likely know that our writing team has, at times, been critical of the Corps’ decisions. In this case, however, we, like T.X. Hammes, are encouraged about the potential future that awaits our naval service.

Marine F/A-18 Hornets Fly Armed With Live Harpoon Anti-Ship Missiles In Japan

War Zone – The exercise sent a clear signal that Marine Hornets are ready to reach out and counter hostile maritime activities.

U.S. Marines Launch Amphibious And Air Assaults On Saudi Islands In The Persian Gulf

War Zone – The training exercises come amid a new spike in hostility with Iran, which uses its own nearby islands to stage various naval operations.

The Rest of the Story: Evaluating the US Marine Corps Force Design 2030

War on the Rocks – While the world is worried about pandemics, trade, and migration, U.S. defense leaders remain laser focused on treating China as the new pacing threat. Each service has marched in step to the 2018 National Defense Strategy and linked their force modernization to great power competition. The focus of the Marine Corps Commandant’s Planning Guidance and new force design report illustrate this trend. Are the concepts and formations called for in these documents flexible enough to respond to other, more likely conflicts?

Naval Surface Fire Support An Assessment of Requirements

RAND – Naval surface fire support (NSFS) has been a traditional mission of U.S. Navy surface combatants. Although naval guns have been viewed as a major instrument of sea control, they have also been seen, and widely used, as ways to directly influence the battle ashore by providing the equivalent of artillery support for U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) forces operating ashore. Although there is no denying that the Navy and the USMC have viewed NSFS as important, the actual requirements are sometimes vague.

Building a Marine Corps For Every Contingency, Clime and Place

War on the Rocks – Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger’s recently published Force Design 2030 has riled up both the “old guard,” who fear for the service’s future, and industry lobbyists, who fear for the future of contracts for amphibious ships and F-35s. The document rationally outlines the changes necessary for the Marine Corps to play its role as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness while meeting the modernization and operational requirements laid out in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Overall the proposal has been positively received, but critics have expressed concern that the proposed force does not hedge for the sorts of wars fought in contingencies like Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq.

Marines’ Force Design 2030 May Allow MEUs Tailored for Different Geographies, Adversaries

USNI News – The Marine Corps’ new force design may allow East Coast expeditionary units to look much different than West Coast or Japan-based units, a nod to the complex but different environments they’ll operate in and threats they’ll face in the future.

Marines Won’t Cut Planned F-35 Buy Totals for Now, But External Review Could Change That

USNI News – A Marine Corps decision to reduce the number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters per squadron from 16 to 10 won’t lead to a cut in the total number of planes the service wants to buy just yet – but the commandant warned industry that external factors could lead to programmatic changes down the line.

Short On Pilots, Marines Debate Size Of F-35 Fleet

Breaking Defense – “Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support” the program,” Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan.

Marine Corps Force Design 2030

US Marine Corps – This report describes the progress of the Marine Corps on my watch in preparing for the sweeping changes needed to meet the principal challenges facing the institution: effectively playing our role as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, while simultaneously modernizing the force in accordance with the National Defense Strategy (NDS) – and doing both within the fiscal resources we are provided.

New Marine Corps Cuts Will Slash All Tanks, Many Heavy Weapons As Focus Shifts to Lighter, Littoral Forces

USNI News – The Marine Corps will soon lay out its path to achieve a 2030 force optimized for conflict with China in the littorals – a force that will completely divest of its tanks and slash most of its artillery cannon battalions, instead focusing on developing light mobility options to get around island chains with the assistance of unmanned systems and mobile anti-ship missiles.

Marines Will Field Portfolio of JLTV-Mounted Anti-Ship Weapons in the Pacific

USNI News – Navy and Marine Corps leaders are confident a pair of ground-based anti-ship missile programs in support of the Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO) concept is leaving China “just scratching their head” trying to figure out how to counter U.S. naval force advancements.

Where is the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command?

CIMSEC – So, with all the calls for integration, where is the Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC)? After all, the Marine Corps itself is a naval expeditionary force according to the Commandant.

Marines Ditch MUX Ship-Based Drone to Pursue Large Land-Based UAS, Smaller Shipboard Vehicle

USNI News – The Marines have ditched their plan to field a very large drone on amphibious ships, instead breaking the four-year-old MUX program into a family of systems that will include a very large land-based unmanned aerial vehicle and a medium-sized one for shipboard operations.

The Marine Corps Has A Strategy To Beat China: Island-Based Anti-Ship Missiles

National Interest – Emplaced on islands dotting the Pacific Ocean, HIMARS and kindred missile launchers could give Chinese ships of war a very bad day.

To combat the China threat, US Marine Corps declares ship-killing missile systems its top priority

Defense News – The Marine Corps is all in on fielding mobile anti-ship missiles in the Pacific to challenge China’s growing Navy, declaring it in written testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee to be its highest ground modernization priority.

Interwar Navy-Marine Corps Integration: A Roadmap For Today

CIMSEC – The path to the level of integration blazed in the interwar period provides a blueprint for integrating today’s Navy and Marine warfighting and warfighters.

For Amphibious and Expeditionary Forces, ‘East-East/West-West’ Is Best

USNI Blog – Among the long list of Navy challenges resulting from cumulative program and budget decisions, two are of particular concern to Marines. The first is near term and centered on the poor availability of the current amphibious force. The second is the growing concern that the present amphibious force, even if funded to a better availability rate, may not be well suited to the likely conditions of modern peer warfare in regard to its primary purpose: the execution of amphibious assaults.