Tuesday, January 06, 2015

USMC to sea; back to the future

Looks like the USMC is getting remarried to the non "L" fleet. 

A little something old, a little something new, a little something borrowed, a little something blue.  What it has a lot of is goodness.

With a too small amphibious fleet and the positive aspects of a distributed ability to have forces in place to respond to short notice national security requirements - this move is to be welcomed and encouraged.

BZ to those who led the long march back to ... well ... in a fashion, something out Marines have always done, and done to great affect.

Via Joshua Stewart;
If Marines become fixtures on ships of Military Sealift Command, carriers, and surface combatants, they'll have a type of sea duty that's different from the deployments they've had on amphibious ships. They wouldn't be in a Marine expeditionary unit embarked on gators alongside thousands of other Marines, but rather with sailors who aren't used to deploying with leathernecks.
"We will evaluate and experiment with Marine detachments on ships other than amphibious vessels such as afloat forward staging bases, destroyers, littoral combat ships, mobile landing platforms, and joint high-speed vessels," they wrote in the June 2013 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute's June 2013 Proceeding Magazine.

That concept was also mentioned in Expeditionary Force 21, a long-term Marine Corps planning policy that emphasizes maritime missions and recalibrating the service after the wars in Iraq in Afghanistan.
Experimentation is good, but there are some things to keep in mind - always think about what happens when the enemy decides to shoot back.
The CSIS study also warns that putting Marines on non-combatants come with a unique set of risks and limitations. MSC ships are less survivable than amphibious ships and they have poor defenses. They also have limited support, they don't have the same command and control capabilities, nor can they do intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Also, if Marines are on non-combatants, legal restrictions and treaties could limit the types of missions that they undertake, the study states.

Despite these shortfalls, the report said that non-amphibious ships can still help Marine missions, especially humanitarian relief efforts or bilateral training events. They might also be good options for chasing low-threat drug runners.

And following the recent experiments, Corps officials are trying to determine what Marines could do from other types of vessels, Wheeler said.

"Right now we have tested concepts from three vessels," he said. "We are expanding this concept and developing capabilities with additional platforms in the future."
Good. Good. Especially having USMC detachments back on CVN and DDG/CG.

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