United States Marine Corps

ngatimozart

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I really do like their thinking, because it will create all sorts of problems for an OPFOR, especially in an archipelago. I noticed in the article they were talking about 'drone' trucks as missile launchers, so UGV as launcher vehicles does make sense in a way, especially if the sensors providing the targetting data are far way from the launcher, such as on a P-8A, F-35B, or Triton etc.

EDIT: I actually think that it's concept that NZDF should have a look at.
 

Boagrius

Active Member
Yep, and with mobile launchers they would be extremely difficult for OPFOR to find and destroy. A large part of the PRC's A2/AD expansion has come from investment in land based missile systems. High time we responded in kind IMO.
 

ngatimozart

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Yep, and with mobile launchers they would be extremely difficult for OPFOR to find and destroy. A large part of the PRC's A2/AD expansion has come from investment in land based missile systems. High time we responded in kind IMO.
It depends upon the circumstances, CONOPS, cost, the type of missile you intend using (range etc.,) and whether or not it can be made mobile. IMHO it has to be a mobile unit because fixed launchers are a weakness - easily targeted. Same has to be for the sensors.
 

alexsa

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Ranger25

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The USMC is looking at add the NSM paired with a new JLTV to add mobile OTHAshM to their forces. Landing a company landing team on small islands in the first island chain, now armed with NSMs would make those choke points more Dangerous for approaching forces and give the MAGT a significant independent and dispersed ASM capability The goal is to have fielded by 2022-2023 with plans to look into a mobile GLCM as well






 

Ranger25

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In a move designed to be more Agile in a Peer level Fight, specifically in the Pacific, the USMC has a ten year plan to divest its tank battalions and greatly reduce tubed ARTY units. The move will free up manpower and shift focus to Long range fires, antiShip missiles and drones with the goal of moving more quickly from Island to Island in support of USN operations. They‘ve already testing launching a NSM from a HIMARS platform earlier this year.



more details here. Aviation units also being cut.


 

FormerDirtDart

Active Member
A graphic summary from a Wall Street Journal article: Marines Plan to Retool to Meet China Threat (it's pay-walled)
The Tank Battalions loss is shocking. More so when you add it to their planned 50% reduction in TOW systems announce like a year and a half ago. Now, it was announced that they would increase Javelin systems 1-for-1 with TOW reductions, but still.

The massive reduction in cannon artillery batteries is also shocking. With the announced direction of the USMC deploying anti-ship missile systems you have to assume that the increase of missile/rocket batteries will still leave a huge gap in ground support fires.

The cut in Heavy Lift squadrons is sure to mean a huge reduction in CH-53K acquisitions. Which will certainly mean increase per unit initial cost, and future support costs. Will likely also mean it will be more challenging for other countries to adopt it as a replacement for their aging Sea Stallions. Germany and Israel are already looking hard at the CH-47

USMC 10 year plan.jpg
 
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t68

Well-Known Member
In a move designed to be more Agile in a Peer level Fight, specifically in the Pacific, the USMC has a ten year plan to divest its tank battalions and greatly reduce tubed ARTY units. The move will free up manpower and shift focus to Long range fires, antiShip missiles and drones with the goal of moving more quickly from Island to Island in support of USN operations. They‘ve already testing launching a NSM from a HIMARS platform earlier this year.



more details here. Aviation units also being cut.



From a historical perspective that doesn't seem logical to me, long range fires are important but sooner or later long range engagement becomes up close an personal. Time and time again its the humble tank that has shown to be the advantage on the battlefield
 

ASSAIL

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From a historical perspective that doesn't seem logical to me, long range fires are important but sooner or later long range engagement becomes up close an personal. Time and time again its the humble tank that has shown to be the advantage on the battlefield
I think your second link explains the logic of the cuts precisely.
The Corps has spent decades as an anti insurgency force in continental deployments.
Berger says that must change in order to counter Chinese activity in the littoral, particularly in Westpac. Small, quick moving agile forces with the ability to hit with AShMs and LR artillery is the concept which has proved successful in war gaming.
i have no doubt that there will be pushback to Berger’s proposals from the traditionalists but I also feel that force agility has become an overriding requirement for a Corps which has not had to face a peer force since the end of the Cold War.
Interesting times ahead which will have ramifications for lesser amphibian forces such as the Australian Army.
 

ASSAIL

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Talking of the Marines, would have to be doubtful for a Darwin rotation this year.
so far we have 6 cases of COVID19 infection in the NT and all of these are people returning from either overseas or interstate. The borders are now closed so if the deployment occurs a 14 day quarantine is enforced there shouldn’t be a problem for either the troops or the population.
However, without any pubs or other entertainment centres open and with limits on social gathering it would be like the troops being sent to a penal colony (we have past form) away from their families and friends.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
so far we have 6 cases of COVID19 infection in the NT and all of these are people returning from either overseas or interstate. The borders are now closed so if the deployment occurs a 14 day quarantine is enforced there shouldn’t be a problem for either the troops or the population.
However, without any pubs or other entertainment centres open and with limits on social gathering it would be like the troops being sent to a penal colony (we have past form) away from their families and friends.
Are all ADF Exercise called off at the moment?

What’s happening with ADF pers are they being isolated in barracks and married quarters, I imagine we would be operating on BRL staffing levels
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
Are all ADF Exercise called off at the moment?

What’s happening with ADF pers are they being isolated in barracks and married quarters, I imagine we would be operating on BRL staffing levels
That would be my guess to, stay at home and practice Social distancing for all non essential personal, Mess Bars and Boozers would be shut. Kitchens and Mess Dinning rooms open only.
 

Takao

The Bunker Group
In a move designed to be more Agile in a Peer level Fight, specifically in the Pacific, the USMC has a ten year plan to divest its tank battalions and greatly reduce tubed ARTY units. The move will free up manpower and shift focus to Long range fires, antiShip missiles and drones with the goal of moving more quickly from Island to Island in support of USN operations. They‘ve already testing launching a NSM from a HIMARS platform earlier this year.
More agile in a peer fight - against a threat that has tanks and significant artillery. Something there doesn't make sense. Especially as missiles / rockets are easier to intercept, harder to resupply and larger than 155 mm shells. Plus all the drones being used by ground forces are either very limited or easy to intercept, so what does that grant?

No bridging units or AVLB (because of no armour)? Hope there are no obstacles just behind the beachhead. Obviously the USN CB's are there. but they'll be slower than an AVLB with tank support.

F-35B from 24 jets / Sqn to 10? Ha! Sucks to be those maintainers. Watch availability plummet, and the F-35C's are going to be too busy fighting to defence the fleet.

So this is a light infantry force with limited fire support. And this is to fight a peer? Hmmmm.....

But it gets better. A light infantry force with less air lift! That's hilarious. 'Agile"....

Still not really convinced that land-based AShM are feasible either. I think the targeting problem is under-estimated by most.

At a higher level, I'd also beg the question - support USN operations? In modern times, the USMC has rarely (never?) done that. Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa - that was all to support air operations. Olympic, Inchon - that was to support land operations. Plus, sea control isn't really possible by land forces, it's too amorphous and just plain big.
 
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FormerDirtDart

Active Member
As of last week the intent was to still deploy
Initial elements arriving in April, full task force closing by July
Marines headed to Australia will have to undergo quarantine for two weeks - via Marine Times
Well, never mind (maybe)
The military has suspended all travel, deployments, exercises for the entire force - via Military Times
All movements. deployments. exercises stopped for the next 60 days. This includes combat rotations
There are some exemptions:
  • Travel for military medical patients or providers.
  • Movements of Navy ships, as long as they observe 14-day quarantine periods.
  • Those who are already in the process of traveling.
  • Those who are away on temporary duty.
And, Combatant commands, service leadership can grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
So, we'll see
 

Volkodav

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Posted this elsewhere but apparently Mother Nature is dealing with the First Island Chain, which while built quickly, apparently weren't built to last. Not sure on the veracity but I have read that currents and storms are undermining Chinas man made islands and they are slowly collapsing back into the South China Sea.
 

buffy9

Active Member
More agile in a peer fight - against a threat that has tanks and significant artillery. Something there doesn't make sense. Especially as missiles / rockets are easier to intercept, harder to resupply and larger than 155 mm shells. Plus all the drones being used by ground forces are either very limited or easy to intercept, so what does that grant?

No bridging units or AVLB (because of no armour)? Hope there are no obstacles just behind the beachhead. Obviously the USN CB's are there. but they'll be slower than an AVLB with tank support.

F-35B from 24 jets / Sqn to 10? Ha! Sucks to be those maintainers. Watch availability plummet, and the F-35C's are going to be too busy fighting to defence the fleet.

So this is a light infantry force with limited fire support. And this is to fight a peer? Hmmmm.....

But it gets better. A light infantry force with less air lift! That's hilarious. 'Agile"....

Still not really convinced that land-based AShM are feasible either. I think the targeting problem is under-estimated by most.

At a higher level, I'd also beg the question - support USN operations? In modern times, the USMC has rarely (never?) done that. Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa - that was all to support air operations. Olympic, Inchon - that was to support land operations. Plus, sea control isn't really possible by land forces, it's too amorphous and just plain big.
I'd argue the plan isn't to go head to head against tanks and artillery in a combined-arms situation. Looking at current territory likely to be contested over in Northeast Asia, you find the Ryukyu Islands (including the Senkaku Islands and Okinawa) and the Kuril Islands. You also have the Korean Peninsula but the situation there seems to have eased. You also have the South China Sea, which is a tad more complex.

The Ryukyu Islands are already garrisoned by American and Japanese personnel. China would gain from controlling the islands both as a means of force projection outwards (forcing the USN further outwards) and in terms of isolating Taiwan should a more forceful means of pressure be required. China certainly has the capacity to strike American/Japanese force elements on Okinawa and in the vicinity of the Ryukyu Islands with the USN potentially vulnerable to a wide variety of threats - the most significant being ASBM. The DF-21D and the DF-26 are perhaps the most famous examples, though developments in this field are almost certain to continue. These ASBM can act as enabling "bubbles" whereby the PLAN can manoeuvre forwards in conjunction with air support from it's carriers and the mainland itself (the H-6 and J-20 fleets are noted for their long range and ASuW/AAW roles respectively). (The below link more or less indicates strong Chinese interest in the Ryukyu Islands, rather than signifying a purely expansionist strategy).


If the USN is forced to remain East of the Ryukyu Islands due to such threats then the ability to land "agile" and/or "light" forces onto the islands can become an effective means of support. Creating another A2/AD bubble from the islands themselves can help to prevent a surge forward of PLAN assets, though the establishment of fixed sites (i.e. Patriots, THAAD) could be easily identified by space based assets with little overall terrain to be concealed by (unlike mainland China) and would likely result in targetting by PLARF assets. Therefore, at least from an outsiders perspective, the idea behind the reforms in the USMC appear to be a rapidly deployable A2/AD concept to prevent a surge forward in PLA assets. The below JLTV AShM concept appears to be (relatively) mobile by airland capability whilst at the same time reducing risk to manpower - considering these assets would likely be targetted at earliest opportunity by PLA assets. The comparatively small size of these launchers could allow them to also deploy and conceal themselves more effectively before emerging in the event of a Chinese attack.


There are certainly serious doctrinal questions over the concept however. C3 is a big one in regards to controlling these launchers, specifically what assets may need to be deployed in support of them. The kill chain could be supported by data fusion from what is a robust US ISR network (including the JSF), whereas a (or a series of) more mobile CP/HQ could provide island wide C3 support to the launchers themselves, which could simply "plug and play" with these CPs to provide an attritional capability (tying into the fact that the concept is unmanned). The next is lift with the vulnerability of modern airlift assets likely to be a problem when flying them into contested airspace. The push for greater air superiority capabilities (AIM-260, LREW, "light" JSF carriers, etc) could be a means to provide support to these airland assets by allowing larger systems ("mother systems") to remain at distance from PLA A2/AD assets. Still I have doubts regarding the employing of C-17 or C-130J systems in such a theatre, even with quality and quantity escort/support. This is especially notable if the SAM bubble of PLAN assets moves forward, exposing non-stealthy and vulnerable airlift aircraft to potent AAW systems. NEMESIS may come in handy here, but relying on it may be sketchy.


This is entirely a rough analysis of the operational/strategic thinking behind the USMC reforms. It doesn't cover in depth the wider reforms in terms of multi-domain operations, multi-domain battle or electronic warfare. I argue there is weight behind such major reforms that are more operational/strategic than the tactical fight. I agree the tactical fight should not be neglected and that there is a historical precedant for investing into such equipment/organisation. Regardless prevention comes before intervention and keeping the threat of ground forces away from the Ryukyu Islands (via a deployable A2/AD bubble) is more effective than directly defending against them. Besides, keeping PLAN assets at standoff could allow for the deployment of additional ground forces to reinforce the Ryukyu Islands without the risk of SAM bubbles preventing this.

In summary, the infantry and armour team are best to fight off said force. Missiles are best to keep away said force, at least in terms of recent USMC/USN thinking. I've been away for a while and I am not expert, but I am researching to "catch up" in terms of doctrine and thinking. This is a rough analysis and two cents. No offence intended.
 
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