Originally Posted by Waylander
I am not sold on the plan described in the article of establishing static land bases inside the area where the enemy can reach out and touch you.
The idea of creating a bubble of air support to attack emerging threats to the amphibious assault force is not new and may work. Replace the fancy UAV swarm with LHD based rotary air and LHD/CVN based fast air and it is what they are doing these days anyway. As mentioned in the article, getting the ISR bubble to work is the challenge.
But the idea that an enemy won't hit these fixed forward bases due to camouflage, fortifications and protection systems is not based on real world capabilities IMHO.
The Donbass conflict has shown that artillery is still king on the battlefield. Such a base won't be safe from a battery of Smerchs firing bomblets from some 70 klicks away and never will. And these artillery strikes are extremely hard to prevent and hard to counter.
And to think that a company of Marines, their vehicles, some artillery and AD assets and a rotary/VTOL service point is not worth a couple of battery shots of an enemy rocket or tube artillery unit is delusional.
The commentary of the army general in the article is quite right. Everything standing still for too long is dead meat on todays battlefields.
The take I had on it was that it wasn't necessarily to create bases that will turtle in the middle of a hostile environment. Rather the static bases would put friendly forces in very enabling positions that will allow them to reach out and touch the enemy instead. The key is to get them there in the first place (with the help of ISR assets), then make them survivable enough to accomplish the neutralization of enemy assets before they themselves get taken down (which is accomplished by making them small and numerous). The fight as a whole would be a race to see who could deal the necessary amount of damage the quickest.
The plan seems to be rather unsustainable in of itself, but it doesn't need to be. It's a very aggressive, offense-minded, high-risk plan that only needs to last for however long the marines need to open up the way for more forces to penetrate the AD/A2 wall.
IIRC it's like trying to push open a door someone else is trying to hold closed. ISR assets push and open up the door just a crack, then the marines jam their fingers into the crack and wiggle it just open enough for someone to slide in the doorstop. Once the doorstop is in, you've penetrated the A2/AD and its just a matter of pushing.
Probably not 100% accurate, but that's the vibe I got. I think there's definitely merit in the concept.