Defense News – The U.S. Marine Corps is expanding its vision of connectivity among aircraft and with ground units below, creating local networks to share situational awareness and targeting data even in communications-denied environments.
1945 – James Holmes writes: Repeat after me: “Force Design 2030” is not mainly about the South China Sea, no matter what General David Berger’s detractors say.
USNI News – As Russia prepared to invade Ukraine, the head of U.S. European Command asked for a Marine Expeditionary Unit and Amphibious Ready Group to deploy early to Europe as a hedge against the conflict expanding. But the Marine Corps couldn’t meet the request.
Navy News – The U.S. Navy’s upcoming Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) is one of the top acquisition priorities for the U.S. Marine Corps in their strategy to counter China’s Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2AD) in the Indian Pacific Command (INDO-PACOM) region. The LAW is meant to patrol the INDO-PACOM region, transporting around 75 U.S. Marines and their vehicles and equipment for about a 30-day tour as part of Force Design 2030, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Commandant General David Berger’s concept strategy of utilizing lighter, faster, more mobile and deployable assets in the Asian Pacific Rim to counter peer nations’ vast arsenal of tactical ballistic, cruise, supersonic, and hypersonic (Anti-Ship) missiles. The LAW is still in the preliminary design stages, but the U.S. Army has ample experience transporting heavy armored tracked fighting vehicles and tactical trucks around the INDO-PACOM region using their own large Landing Craft Utility (LCU) ships.
War Zone – The vast Pacific gives even the Marines’ long-range vertical-takeoff-and-landing phenom, the MV-22 Osprey, a major logistics workout.
Defense News – The expeditionary warfare community is eyeing ways to use all its forces in future operations, with fleet experiments looping special operations forces, mine countermeasures sailors, Seabees and more into traditional naval operations.
1945 – James Holmes reviews the commentary currently on offer against the Marine Corps reorganization plans and see whether they land any haymakers.
War on the Rocks – A professional discourse on innovation, warfighting, and roles and missions is warranted to ensure the Marine Corps remains “ready to fight.” To wait until consensus or clarity, though, is to impose paralysis on innovation and adaptation. Iterating on ideas while simultaneously taking near-term action is the right approach. Given the national defense strategy, Berger is headed in the right direction, but there are important questions, as identified here, still needing answers.
USNI Proceedings – Current proposals for littoral combat teams stretch too few people too thin.
War on the Rocks – For the Marine Corps to fulfill its core purpose, it needs to anticipate and respond to the future battlefield’s challenges and ensure that it can be a critical and decisive component of a modern naval campaign. It may be true that the Marine Corps is still here precisely because of its ability to radically reshape itself to meet the emerging demands of warfare. Change, however, is never an easy process, and criticisms surrounding the Marine Corps’ current initiatives are not a radical departure from historical resistance to change within the service.
USNI News – After years of working together on naval integration, there is a growing split between the Navy and Marine Corps, showing how the services have come to an impasse over the future of the amphibious fleet.
USNI Proceedings – Small, mobile, and lethal, Marine Corps stand-in forces will be ready to deploy on short notice to disrupt an adversary’s plans at every point.
War on the Rocks – While it is too soon to reach any definitive lessons learned from the ongoing war in Ukraine, some immediate insights can inform ongoing U.S. and NATO military force design and defense investment priorities.
War Zone – Early this coming April, United States Marine Corps F-35Bs from three squadrons will converge aboard the USS Tripoli (LHD-7) to fully test the ‘Lightning Carrier’ concept. The idea to basically turn big-deck “Gator Navy” amphibious assault ships into light aircraft carriers packed with F-35Bs first emerged five years ago, but it has its roots in AV-8 Harrier operations going back decades. A whopping 20 F-35Bs will be conducting sustained operations followed by surge operations from the USS Tripoli. The event will test the ability of the Marines to operate two full F-35B squadrons from one ship at one time and could have major impacts on what the stealthy jets, and the ships they deploy on, can bring to the fight in the future.
CIMSEC – This is the third part of our conversation series with General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret.) on leadership, strategy, learning, and the art and science of warfighting.
USNI News – The Marine Corps’ plan to resume waterborne operations with Navy ships takes a big step when assault combat vehicle crews and infantry Marines team up for the next stage of return-to-water training.
Defense News – The U.S. Marine Corps this week will officially stand up its first Marine littoral regiment, a linchpin of its plans to conduct small-unit expeditionary advanced base operations and to move high-end gear into and throughout the Pacific.
USNI News – The U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and Japanese Self-Defense Force teamed up in the Philippine and East China seas to test the ideas behind the Marines’ Force Design 2030 plan.
Defense News – The Navy and Marine Corps should delay any new construction and immediately acquire some of the Army’s existing vessels to drive experimentation and better inform their requirements for the light amphibious warship program.
Defense News – The U.S. Navy’s program office for amphibious connectors is confident it can get its Ship to Shore Connector production line up to the desired four-a-year delivery rate in 2022 — despite past technical problems that led to production line slowdowns.
Defense News – A study on amphibious warship requirements that will help inform upcoming budgets is looking less likely to yield the results the U.S. Marine Corps wants.
USNI News – About 200 soldiers with the JGSDF’s 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment are training with I Marine Expeditionary Force and Amphibious Squadron 5 for the bilateral exercise that began in 2006.
Marine Corps Gazette – James Holmes reminds us that the home team has the advantage
1945 – James Holmes says that the US Marines are right to downplay fixed facilities and defenses as a warfighting implement.
Naval News – In order to cover the “tyranny of distance” problem of hundreds to thousands of miles from the objective(s), attacking nations will require a naval force for amphibious assault. Thus, the USMC is developing Land-based Anti-ship Missile units centered on the 6×6 HIMARS, the Tactical Maritime Tomahawk missile, and the 4×4 JLTV.