Our friend BJ has a must read on a something that I have wanted to see us return to early and often. Sure it is a little Victorian/Edwardian in construct - but it has a fair history of Americana about it as well.
Some things are not worth years of American blood and treasure, but they do need killing and their stuff needs to be broken and there is a time proven way to do that and go home early - the Punitive Expedition.
That is one thing to call it - another is Maritime Raid. Read it all.
The Navy/Marine Corps team has a long and storied past, operating together in everything from ship versus ship combat in the Age of Sail to the mastery of small wars and the amphibious warfare that has become its staple over the past half century. Operationally, many of the successful missions conducted by the Navy/Marine Corps team have involved maritime raiding.He gives the historical context and then a good entering argument for the 21st Century version.
As the Navy welcomes the Marine Corps’ return to the sea in the 21st century following a decade of war ashore, the modern redevelopment of the historic maritime raiding capability is just as vital to the future of the Sea Services as sharpening the dulled skills needed for a full amphibious assault.
Today’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers are not being used for maximum efficiency. While the “fighter gap” is not projected to hit the Navy for another couple of years, the reality is that today’s carrier air wing is smaller than the Nimitz class was designed to deploy. The Gerald R. Ford class will have even more room. The power of today’s super carriers comes from the precision fires that can be delivered more than the sheer number of airframes on the flight deck. This leaves room available for a few more airframes and a few more people, and the potential to increase the capability of the modern carrier strike group.... and we can do it now with what we have ... now.
The greatest strengths of the Osprey are its speed and range. The ability to get to targets over 1,000 miles away, while maintaining the element of surprise through speed far above that of an assault helicopter, can prove decisive when used for the right mission. One of the weaknesses identified of using the MV-22 in an ARG/MEU is the inability of current escort helicopters such as the AH-1 Cobra to keep up with the assault force. That isn’t a problem with the dozens of fixed-wing jet aircraft available from the deck of a carrier.
Recent interoperability training between Marines and Navy MH-60S helicopter detachments on board amphibious ships has demonstrated the ability of Navy helicopters to deliver Marine assault elements. For short distances, and missions that are better suited to assault helicopters than tilt-rotors, the helicopter sea combat and maritime strike squadrons that are part of today’s carrier air wings provide an established capability. Operating as a Navy/Marine Corps team, smaller assaults for missions to include non-compliant or opposed visit, board, search, and seize missions (such as the Magellan Star takedown) would be possible from the deck of the carrier.
The Marine Corps is already hard at work on developing smaller and more mobile combat units, as demonstrated by the exercises for Enhanced Company Operations, and the Company Landing Team. A great deal of experimentation has already been done, and exercises completed to develop the concept. A notional CSG Maritime Raid Force would be roughly the size of an embarked squadron, taking up the same number of racks and the same amount of space for equipment and aircraft.
Organized as a Marine Air-Ground Task Force in miniature, it would be made up of a CoLT, an MV-22 detachment, and a small logistical element. When not conducting raiding operations, the CSG MAGTF could provide expanded capabilities for theater security cooperation missions by the strike group. The size and shape of each element would require development by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and Navy Warfare Development Command and could be tailored for the maritime raiding capability desired and the space available.