Strategic Vision of the Marine Corps

1,862 Views | 19 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by WBBQ74
Red1
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Has anyone been following the strategic vision of General Berger's of the Marine Corps? Unless something has changed, he is proposing a Marine Corps eschewing the Amphibious Operations missions to smaller unit missions to protect the fleets with long range fires. If my memory serves me properly, and I do have a poor memory, this requires getting rid of the tanks, reducing artillery and I believe air power.
bigtruckguy3500
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Tanks are already gone. Arty is being boxed up. One light attack helo squadron is set to be gone soon, and another in short order.
74OA
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AG
Yes. Here you go: USMC
Red1
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The question I have is who will conduct large amphibious operations if it is needed?
clarythedrill
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Red1 said:

The question I have is who will conduct large amphibious operations if it is needed?
The Army will if necessary, we have done it in the past. However, I dont think we will have months of lead-up/train-up time to prepare as we did in WWII and Korea. I would think the Army would assign a division to become a defacto amphibious assault division and get trained up for the task.

If the powers that be in the Army had any sense, they would use this as a pretty good excuse to stand up another division and ask for much more funding to make this happen.
Red1
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clarythedrill said:

Red1 said:

The question I have is who will conduct large amphibious operations if it is needed?
The Army will if necessary, we have done it in the past. However, I dont think we will have months of lead-up/train-up time to prepare as we did in WWII and Korea. I would think the Army would assign a division to become a defacto amphibious assault division and get trained up for the task.

If the powers that be in the Army had any sense, they would use this as a pretty good excuse to stand up another division and ask for much more funding to make this happen.
Is this opinion or established doctrine?

clarythedrill
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Red1 said:

clarythedrill said:

Red1 said:

The question I have is who will conduct large amphibious operations if it is needed?
The Army will if necessary, we have done it in the past. However, I dont think we will have months of lead-up/train-up time to prepare as we did in WWII and Korea. I would think the Army would assign a division to become a defacto amphibious assault division and get trained up for the task.

If the powers that be in the Army had any sense, they would use this as a pretty good excuse to stand up another division and ask for much more funding to make this happen.
Is this opinion or established doctrine?


Is obviously my opinion, based on Army amphibious assaults conducted in WWII and Korea. Who else is going to do it if the Marines arent built to do it, the Air Force?

One of the ten Army divisions could be trained so as to be available if needed in this capacity. I hope the Army leadership is forward thinking and at least mulling it over. Lots of defense dollars could come their way is they pitch it to congress properly.
Get Off My Lawn
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Here's the deal: the Afghanistan invasion was "Amphibious" in that it came from the sea.

LCACS are **** in a fight (skirts deflate if they take a few 7.62 rounds head on) and AAVs are barely still floating. The EFV got canned. We don't have a traditional assault force. A modern invasion involves skipping over contested beaches and then -once the beach/port is secured- bringing in landing ships.

So... the question is how Marines can be an expeditionary force in readiness in conjunction with a navy who is facing asymmetric pressures (increasing shore-to-ship ranges, swarm attack tactics, drones, etc).

The current train of thought is EAOB: drop a temporary force on a worthless pile of rock to support naval maneuver by killing / discouraging enemy threats. Mutual cooperation to help shape enough of a permissive space to launch airborne assault elements.
Red1
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I find using the army for amphibious operations problematic for many reasons. I see it as shrinking the Marine Corps mission and increasing the Army mission.
Get Off My Lawn
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There's a fun article about "mud" that got floated around a while back. The point was that we've become spoiled and forgotten the challenges of fighting a war in a non-arid region. The Corps is getting lighter to try to stay mobile and quick. Tanks are great... until it rains in Ukraine and it forces you to cannalize into a 300km convoy on a single MSR. I've said before, but Russia would've been far better off crossing the border with tens of thousands of Hilux'es than thousands of tanks and troop carriers.

The Army can bring in tanks on ships shortly after the ports are secured in a future fight where they'll be needed - but MEU infrastructure has always struggled to support any real number of tanks, anyhow, so a large tank buildup will take a concerted (rather than forward deployed and ready) effort.
clarythedrill
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Red1 said:

I find using the army for amphibious operations problematic for many reasons. I see it as shrinking the Marine Corps mission and increasing the Army mission.
I agree with your first point, as it would be very problematic for the Army to attempt to get good at amphibious ops. Its been 70 some odd years since the Army got its feet really wet.

As for your second point, up until WWII, the Army was EVERYWHERE, and not just seen as a heavy force used only for large scale operations. I believe there were more Army divisions in the Pacific theater than Marine division, but I could be wrong. You could say that the Marines pretty much brought this upon themselves by getting back to their "roots".

I am not advocating for the Army to take some of the Marines mission per se, but having a division size element that has at least trained on amphibious ops would not be a bad thing.
Red1
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clarythedrill said:

Red1 said:

I find using the army for amphibious operations problematic for many reasons. I see it as shrinking the Marine Corps mission and increasing the Army mission.
I agree with your first point, as it would be very problematic for the Army to attempt to get good at amphibious ops. Its been 70 some odd years since the Army got its feet really wet.

As for your second point, up until WWII, the Army was EVERYWHERE, and not just seen as a heavy force used only for large scale operations. I believe there were more Army divisions in the Pacific theater than Marine division, but I could be wrong. You could say that the Marines pretty much brought this upon themselves by getting back to their "roots".

I am not advocating for the Army to take some of the Marines mission per se, but having a division size element that has at least trained on amphibious ops would not be a bad thing.
I believe the Army provided two divisions to fight with the Marines. MacArthur used four divisions to retake the Philippines. I don't know if the US had four or six Army divisions in the Pacific area.

My concern is what if we get into a large conventional war that becomes a slugfest. There will be a possibility that the Marines, approximately a little less than 200,000 in force, will be watching the army slugfest from the ships.
JABQ04
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AG
I know Wikipedia and all, but 21 army divisions fought in the pacific
Get Off My Lawn
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Red1 said:

clarythedrill said:

Red1 said:

I find using the army for amphibious operations problematic for many reasons. I see it as shrinking the Marine Corps mission and increasing the Army mission.
I agree with your first point, as it would be very problematic for the Army to attempt to get good at amphibious ops. Its been 70 some odd years since the Army got its feet really wet.

As for your second point, up until WWII, the Army was EVERYWHERE, and not just seen as a heavy force used only for large scale operations. I believe there were more Army divisions in the Pacific theater than Marine division, but I could be wrong. You could say that the Marines pretty much brought this upon themselves by getting back to their "roots".

I am not advocating for the Army to take some of the Marines mission per se, but having a division size element that has at least trained on amphibious ops would not be a bad thing.
I believe the Army provided two divisions to fight with the Marines. MacArthur used four divisions to retake the Philippines. I don't know if the US had four or six Army divisions in the Pacific area.

My concern is what if we get into a large conventional war that becomes a slugfest. There will be a possibility that the Marines, approximately a little less than 200,000 in force, will be watching the army slugfest from the ships.
The army is a sledge hammer. Big & slow with lots of assets, lots of logistics train to stand up, and lots of brute force power. The Marine Corps is knife. Fast and sharp. As a former Marine, I'm fine with the Marines and Navy securing inroads into China that the Army uses to stage their land war from.

And of course, if we're talking about massive land war, all branches would inflate their numbers rapidly.
Red1
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Get Off My Lawn said:

Red1 said:

clarythedrill said:

Red1 said:

I find using the army for amphibious operations problematic for many reasons. I see it as shrinking the Marine Corps mission and increasing the Army mission.
I agree with your first point, as it would be very problematic for the Army to attempt to get good at amphibious ops. Its been 70 some odd years since the Army got its feet really wet.

As for your second point, up until WWII, the Army was EVERYWHERE, and not just seen as a heavy force used only for large scale operations. I believe there were more Army divisions in the Pacific theater than Marine division, but I could be wrong. You could say that the Marines pretty much brought this upon themselves by getting back to their "roots".

I am not advocating for the Army to take some of the Marines mission per se, but having a division size element that has at least trained on amphibious ops would not be a bad thing.
I believe the Army provided two divisions to fight with the Marines. MacArthur used four divisions to retake the Philippines. I don't know if the US had four or six Army divisions in the Pacific area.

My concern is what if we get into a large conventional war that becomes a slugfest. There will be a possibility that the Marines, approximately a little less than 200,000 in force, will be watching the army slugfest from the ships.
The army is a sledge hammer. Big & slow with lots of assets, lots of logistics train to stand up, and lots of brute force power. The Marine Corps is knife. Fast and sharp. As a former Marine, I'm fine with the Marines and Navy securing inroads into China that the Army uses to stage their land war from.

And of course, if we're talking about massive land war, all branches would inflate their numbers rapidly.
You are probably right. The situation can cause a change of mission.
AggieFlyboy
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AG
No offense to to my Marine Corps brethren, but the best option is to return the marines to their original mission as ship defense and put the remainder as an amphibious division in the army
Red1
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What is interesting is the Marine Corps kept itself off the chopping block before WWII by missioning itself with amphibious operations.
CT'97
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AG
We will never conduct large scale amphibious operations against a defended coast line again. The cost would be too great to establish a beach head against modern weapons. Even in Desert Storm the Marines in the ships were just a distraction.
Texas A&M - 144 years of tradition, unimpeded by progress.
Eliminatus
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AG
AggieFlyboy said:

No offense to to my Marine Corps brethren, but the best option is to return the marines to their original mission as ship defense and put the remainder as an amphibious division in the army
Nah. America needs a Marine Corps element. When you break it down it is just another light and responsive force vs a heavy juggernaut debate. The Army has some capability with it's airborne, 10th Mountain, and even Ranger batts but there is always going to be a need for larger numbers of a swift tripwire type of standing force. It's not even an amphibious vs land force debate really in my eyes. It is a large ponderous force vs a flexible, small unit based, capable of autonomy, strike/rapid defense force. Look at the Fall of Afghanistan if you want a very current example. The Marine Corps fills that size need between a Ranger Battalion and a mechanized/airborne division. We are seeing more and more each year that goes by that hours, not days, matter in warfare. Marine Corps already has that mission and the ethos to enforce it along with a very rich history to draw upon.

I am sure the Army could spool up to it in time but now? In these times of geopolitical upheaval? Not smart to even attempt.

Something that is not truly quantifiable but a factor in my mind is also mentality. Dedicated light amphibious assault troops need a certain mindset that Big Army does not have, to be blunt. Organized units of proud and capable lightfighters NOT under full Big Army aegis is absolutely needed even to this day IMO. (Bias acknowledged as a former USMC grunt)
WBBQ74
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AG
I would be interested in Ulysses90 take on all this. The world changes and we need to be ready for the next conflict, not the last one. Someone who knows tell me and the crowd how many MEB/MEUs are currently on float and where abouts do they hang out? I think the relatively quick reaction to some flash point is always going to be needed. Kinda like a fire/police deal. Rescue an embassy, save civilians on a ship, or take back an airport, etc. That is a small unit action by definition. Not a heavy/mechanized/armor thing.

I think the concept of dedicating an Army division to an amphib mission is worth study. Not just the combat assets getting ashore but the follow on logistics tail to keep them going. Plenty of points to ponder.

Taiwan is watching.
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