United States Marine Corps

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
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.
Honestly what comes to mind is the late 90's into early 2000's US Army transformational plan which led to the Stryker family of vehicles. As the theory was found to be somewhat lacking when confronted with real world situations, I strongly suspect that the USMC if it insists on adopting such a theoretical force construct will encounter similar problems.
 

stevenyeadon

New Member
The problems I have with CMC Berger's redesign of the Corps is that it leaves the amphibious assault behind and tailors the force too much against China.

The amphibious assault is already facing great problems I could go into, hey I'm writing an article on it ;). And so far I don't see enough solutions coming out of the USMC for landing Marines against an opposing force.

The enemy gets a vote, and the USMC should not expect any single potential enemy to go to war with the US and its allies. The Marine Corps must be able to win in a variety of wars against a variety of actors. Actors that will contest all domains and use increasingly potent anti-access/area denial weaponry. Actors that have access to lots of armor and artillery. This means the amphibious assault must be able to win in a variety of battles, that will include a variety of tactical situations against a variety of potential enemy militaries.

From small islands in the Western Pacific, to the shores of Eastern or Northern Europe, to the Korean Peninsula, to Taiwan, to the Persian Gulf, and the shores of Africa. There are a lot of different scenarios for the application of landpower from the sea.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The problems I have with CMC Berger's redesign of the Corps is that it leaves the amphibious assault behind and tailors the force too much against China.

The amphibious assault is already facing great problems I could go into, hey I'm writing an article on it ;). And so far I don't see enough solutions coming out of the USMC for landing Marines against an opposing force.

The enemy gets a vote, and the USMC should not expect any single potential enemy to go to war with the US and its allies. The Marine Corps must be able to win in a variety of wars against a variety of actors. Actors that will contest all domains and use increasingly potent anti-access/area denial weaponry. Actors that have access to lots of armor and artillery. This means the amphibious assault must be able to win in a variety of battles, that will include a variety of tactical situations against a variety of potential enemy militaries.

From small islands in the Western Pacific, to the shores of Eastern or Northern Europe, to the Korean Peninsula, to Taiwan, to the Persian Gulf, and the shores of Africa. There are a lot of different scenarios for the application of landpower from the sea.
I think the days of opposed landings where troops / marines go storming up the beach like Normandy or Iwo Jima are long gone because of modern sensors and weapons. It would be just one massive bloodbath. These days the collective wisdom appears to be to use amphib forces to get into an enemy's rear or hinterland and create havoc for a period of time, forcing them to divert resources to deal with the cause of the problem, allowing you to conduct your main operation against reduced opposition.

The other thing to remember is that amphib ops these days doesn't necessarily involve ship to shore connectors running up a beach. It can be forces being landed in the hinterland by rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft and then withdrawn the same way.

GEN Berger has identified an area where the USMC can field a capability that will cause red force navy cause for concern, and force them to respond to the USMC & USN because all of a sudden they are facing an A2AD threat which they hadn't planned for. I think that the Cmdt USMC is aiming for a modern, smarter, 5th Gen Corp capable of combat a peer level opponent who is technically and electronically very capable, and in some areas ahead of the US.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
The Pacific is larger than the Atlantic Ocean, and 16 times the size of the US. Operational and strategic mobility throughout this vast expanse can only be accomplished by naval forces. Land mobility is of little value in a theater where all manoeuvre is subject to the US Navy’s ability to control SLOCs, and where land maneuver space is always at a premium.

To understand Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO), the concept of manoeuvre has to encompass the entire joint force over the enormous expanses of the Indo-Pacific theater.

If the US Marine Corps is able to establish and defend key maritime terrain on which are emplaced fires-complexes capable of engaging ships and aircraft miles away, such efforts would relieve the US Navy of the responsibility of controlling a circle of the ocean. By placing A2D2 systems within the island chains, EABO gives US options.
The problems I have with CMC Berger's redesign of the Corps is that it leaves the amphibious assault behind and tailors the force too much against China.
Explain the basis of your conclusion, as I am not convinced you are on the right track in your reasoning process. Let me raise 3 points for your consideration:

One, I have serious doubt whether the C2 work in a Contested Environment. And after the US Marines land, what if they encounter enemy armour?

Two, the coming proliferation of anti-tank weapons and its evil cousin, loitering munitions, means no ship-to-shore connector, AAV, Amphibious Combat Vehicle or landing craft can conduct an opposed landing without tremendous losses against a non-state actor. The tactics adopted by non-state actors would pose a growing challenge to any military, even one as experienced in asymmetric operations as the IDF.
  • Hizbollah‘s style of fighting is based on three principles: Absorption, deterrence, and attrition.
  • Absorption refers to the organization’s ability to withstand attack or retaliation. Hizbollah has sought to maximize its absorption capacities by building intricate systems of underground tunnels and bunkers across southern Lebanon, which it uses to store and transfer weapons and fighters from one combat zone to another, and as shelter from IDF retaliation.
  • In regard to deterrence and attrition, both refer to Hizbollah’s ability to keep up its fight against Israel without suffering total destruction, thus drawing out the conflict to such an extent that it becomes difficult to bear the cost of sustaining it. Hizbollah’s massive arsenal ensures that Israeli towns and civilians will suffer a constant barrage of rockets and missiles. In order to destroy this arsenal and the infrastructure used to deploy it, Israel needs a combined air, ground, and sea attack.
  • To be successful, however, Israel will need to overcome Hezbollah’s advanced anti-air and anti-ship weapons, countless booby traps and ambushes, abduction attempts, advanced anti-tank missiles, and many other challenges.
Three, the Force Design 2030 document identifies the importance of war games, and many of these were classified. Without access to these classified documents on the threat matrix — how can you have such confidence in raising a valid critique?
The amphibious assault is already facing great problems I could go into, hey I'm writing an article on it ;). And so far I don't see enough solutions coming out of the USMC for landing Marines against an opposing force.
Let me throw in some disconnected thoughts — as the changes confuse me.

The US Army has more tanks than the US Marines but even with the support of US Navy vessels or US Marines assets, they are not relevant to the littoral fight. And they are investing to certain capabilities, like active protection systems, Future Vertical Lift, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and the Extended Range Cannon Artillery to stay relevant to the multi-domain battle.

The US Air Force after seeing the war plans and equipment purchases of Sweden and Singapore, in our preparation to fight in the littorals, has an epiphany and started to invest in the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range, the LRSM anti-ship missile and the AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon to stay relevant to the multi-domain battle.

Why is that?

In 2004, the Swedish Government received a request from the US Navy to lease HSwMS Gotland, a Swedish-flagged, commanded and manned, for a duration of one year for use in anti-submarine exercises. HSwMS Gotland is a small Swedish submarine displacing 1,600 tons. Yet despite making multiple attacks runs on the USS Reagan, in all 2005 exercises, the HSwMS Gotland was never detected. And Sweden is in the process of developing the even more capable Blekinge-class submarine.

Why did the US Navy’s carrier task force of numerous anti-submarine escorts consistently fail against HSwMS Gotland?

Conceptually, if an aggressor invests enough time and effort, they can defeat the armies of countries like Sweden. The Russians (by extension the US Navy and Marines) are the notional enemy that the Swedish Army trains against. They have a plan to make the aggressor pay a high price in blood and treasure to achieve any of its goals.

But even the Swedish model has its problems. The fact that the Swedish Army shrank from 32 army brigades to 2 during the last 30 years suggests that either the mission or the doctrine should be changed, or both. Since the Army does not choose its mission (to defend Sweden), and there is no sign of significantly increased resources for the Swedish Armed Forces, the only alternative is to adapt the doctrine to the current mission and available resources. As one study demonstrates, if the doctrine does not change, the Swedish Army may not even be able to meet the Supreme Commander’s statement that the Swedish Armed Forces only can defend Sweden in one defined area for one week once the changes are in place.
The enemy gets a vote, and the USMC should not expect any single potential enemy to go to war with the US and its allies. The Marine Corps must be able to win in a variety of wars against a variety of actors. Actors that will contest all domains and use increasingly potent anti-access/area denial weaponry. Actors that have access to lots of armor and artillery. This means the amphibious assault must be able to win in a variety of battles, that will include a variety of tactical situations against a variety of potential enemy militaries.
Agreed.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Let me ask 3 questions, to anyone who cares to answer:

Q1: What is the capability of the red force? Is it stronger than the USN?

Q2: Is the red force, a state actor or a non-state actor (with Hizbollah’s capabilities)?

Q3: Can anyone share your thoughts on the concepts of Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE)?
From small islands in the Western Pacific, to the shores of Eastern or Northern Europe, to the Korean Peninsula, to Taiwan, to the Persian Gulf, and the shores of Africa. There are a lot of different scenarios for the application of landpower from the sea.
In 1988, I took part in the Singapore’s Army 2000 Infantry Trials that resulted in our current force structure. Those trials taught me the importance of asking why and accepting risk (or trade-offs) to gain tactical flexibility. To address relative combat power concerns, due to manpower reductions, a bunch of us were trained to operate anti-tank weapons and the GPMG.

Being trained, I can better understand the limitations of the employment of such anti-tank forces and these teams can be countered by the correct use of tactics. It’s quite fun to go for weapons familiarisation.
 
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stevenyeadon

New Member
The problems I have with CMC Berger's redesign of the Corps is that it leaves the amphibious assault behind and tailors the force too much against China.

The amphibious assault is already facing great problems I could go into, hey I'm writing an article on it ;). And so far I don't see enough solutions coming out of the USMC for landing Marines against an opposing force.

The enemy gets a vote, and the USMC should not expect any single potential enemy to go to war with the US and its allies. The Marine Corps must be able to win in a variety of wars against a variety of actors. Actors that will contest all domains and use increasingly potent anti-access/area denial weaponry. Actors that have access to lots of armor and artillery. This means the amphibious assault must be able to win in a variety of battles, that will include a variety of tactical situations against a variety of potential enemy militaries.

From small islands in the Western Pacific, to the shores of Eastern or Northern Europe, to the Korean Peninsula, to Taiwan, to the Persian Gulf, and the shores of Africa. There are a lot of different scenarios for the application of landpower from the sea.
I think the need for opposed landing capability needs to be there as a credible option.

I totally agree on using USMC aviation for forcible entry. I have argued such with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory through an article submission. Problem seems to be the landing force has too many heavy assets. The SPMAGTF, meant for rapid response without amphibs, is having logistic difficulties because of this.

As for why opposed landings are important. The first reason is due to geography, since it is not possible to always outmaneuver an enemy. Northern Norway, the Baltics, Iran, North Korea, and the Western Pacific archipaelegos potentially have this problem.

There is a need for military deception that comes from a credible threat of force, a deception that can turn into a landing if an enemy does not put up a credible defense.

The Marine Corps’ forcible entry capability is necessary given the lightly armed forces, sustainment pitfalls, and other limitations and vulnerabilities of airborne and air assaults for forcible entry. Especially, against the most advanced air defenses.

Just my 2 cents.
 

stevenyeadon

New Member
The Pacific is larger than the Atlantic Ocean, and 16 times the size of the US. Operational and strategic mobility throughout this vast expanse can only be accomplished by naval forces. Land mobility is of little value in a theater where all manoeuvre is subject to the US Navy’s ability to control SLOCs, and where land maneuver space is always at a premium.

To understand Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO), the concept of manoeuvre has to encompass the entire joint force over the enormous expanses of the Indo-Pacific theater.

If the US Marine Corps is able to establish and defend key maritime terrain on which are emplaced fires-complexes capable of engaging ships and aircraft miles away, such efforts would relieve the US Navy of the responsibility of controlling a circle of the ocean. By placing A2D2 systems within the island chains, EABO gives US options.

Explain the basis of your conclusion, as I am not convinced you are on the right track in your reasoning process. Let me raise 3 points for your consideration:

One, I have serious doubt whether the C2 work in a Contested Environment. And after the US Marines land, what if they encounter enemy armour?

Two, the coming proliferation of anti-tank weapons and its evil cousin, loitering munitions, means no ship-to-shore connector, AAV, Amphibious Combat Vehicle or landing craft can conduct an opposed landing without tremendous losses against a non-state actor. The tactics adopted by non-state actors would pose a growing challenge to any military, even one as experienced in asymmetric operations as the IDF.
  • Hizbollah‘s style of fighting is based on three principles: Absorption, deterrence, and attrition.
  • Absorption refers to the organization’s ability to withstand attack or retaliation. Hizbollah has sought to maximize its absorption capacities by building intricate systems of underground tunnels and bunkers across southern Lebanon, which it uses to store and transfer weapons and fighters from one combat zone to another, and as shelter from IDF retaliation.
  • In regard to deterrence and attrition, both refer to Hizbollah’s ability to keep up its fight against Israel without suffering total destruction, thus drawing out the conflict to such an extent that it becomes difficult to bear the cost of sustaining it. Hizbollah’s massive arsenal ensures that Israeli towns and civilians will suffer a constant barrage of rockets and missiles. In order to destroy this arsenal and the infrastructure used to deploy it, Israel needs a combined air, ground, and sea attack.
  • To be successful, however, Israel will need to overcome Hezbollah’s advanced anti-air and anti-ship weapons, countless booby traps and ambushes, abduction attempts, advanced anti-tank missiles, and many other challenges.
Three, the Force Design 2030 document identifies the importance of war games, and many of these were classified. Without access to these classified documents on the threat matrix — how can you have such confidence in raising a valid critique?

Let me throw in some disconnected thoughts — as the changes confuse me.

The US Army has more tanks than the US Marines but even with the support of US Navy vessels or US Marines assets, they are not relevant to the littoral fight. And they are investing to certain capabilities, like active protection systems, Future Vertical Lift, the Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft and the Extended Range Cannon Artillery to stay relevant to the multi-domain battle.

The US Air Force after seeing the war plans and equipment purchases of Sweden and Singapore, in our preparation to fight in the littorals, has an epiphany and started to invest in the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile – Extended Range, the LRSM anti-ship missile and the AGM-183 Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon to stay relevant to the multi-domain battle.

Why is that?

In 2004, the Swedish Government received a request from the US Navy to lease HSwMS Gotland, a Swedish-flagged, commanded and manned, for a duration of one year for use in anti-submarine exercises. HSwMS Gotland is a small Swedish submarine displacing 1,600 tons. Yet despite making multiple attacks runs on the USS Reagan, in all 2005 exercises, the HSwMS Gotland was never detected. And Sweden is in the process of developing the even more capable Blekinge-class submarine.

Why did the US Navy’s carrier task force of numerous anti-submarine escorts consistently fail against HSwMS Gotland?

Conceptually, if an aggressor invests enough time and effort, they can defeat the armies of countries like Sweden. The Russians (by extension the US Navy and Marines) are the notional enemy that the Swedish Army trains against. They have a plan to make the aggressor pay a high price in blood and treasure to achieve any of its goals.

But even the Swedish model has its problems. The fact that the Swedish Army shrank from 32 army brigades to 2 during the last 30 years suggests that either the mission or the doctrine should be changed, or both. Since the Army does not choose its mission (to defend Sweden), and there is no sign of significantly increased resources for the Swedish Armed Forces, the only alternative is to adapt the doctrine to the current mission and available resources. As one study demonstrates, if the doctrine does not change, the Swedish Army may not even be able to meet the Supreme Commander’s statement that the Swedish Armed Forces only can defend Sweden in one defined area for one week once the changes are in place.

Agreed.
Wow, great reply. I won't argue with EABO in anyway. 7th Fleet needs that capability right now given the Western Pacific's tyranny of distance. I agree that without access to the wargames I should be less surefire.
 
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OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
Wow, great reply. I won't argue with EABO in anyway. 7th Fleet needs that capability right now given the Western Pacific's tyranny of distance. I agree that without access to the wargames I should be less surefire.
You can’t have EABO without first fighting to get there under the 2017 Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) concept. The group that wrote LOCE compiled an action plan with 18 tasks, including the development of the US Navy’s half of Expeditionary Advance Base Operations, a supporting concept that the Marine Corps has already embraced and begun experimenting. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) helped with this nine-month effort.

1. Do you know what are the 18 tasks identified and NECC’s role?

2. Each ship within the current carrier strike groups (CSGs) and ARG/MEUs provides capabilities critical to the force as a whole, meaning that the loss of a single ship would degrade the force’s ability to accomplish the mission. It is therefore imprudent to task those ships with inshore operations in complex archipelagoes or confined and shallow waters, where geography and battlespace geometry allow an adversary to concentrate diverse weapons systems to maximum advantage. “The coastal defender’s wide range of options and his freedom to initiate a strike practically any time he chooses to do so create a threat that is both continuous and immediate.” In the face of this unremitting threat, a surface platform’s self- defense systems—along with its crew’s vigilance and the captain’s decision-making—must perform flawlessly 100% of the time. As stated by one of the participants in the Naval Services Game, “A fleet commander needs some chess pieces he can wager without risking the whole game.”

3. The US Navy’s selection of the Fincantieri’s FREMM design for its next-generation frigate (the FFG(X) ship building program), with a price tag of between US$800 million (in 2018 dollars) to US$950 million, is informed by the need identified in these classified war games (i.e. to have a chess piece to risk). The US Navy is providing a significant portion of government furnished equipment, including a variant of the AN/SPY-6 radar destined for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a comms suite of the same.

4. Among the steps the US Navy took to retire risk with FFG(X) was to adapt many of the mature systems being designed for the Flight III DDG program. “Some of those efforts are still maturing, such as SPY-6, but from my standpoint I’m very comfortable with how that’s proceeding,” said Rear Adm. Casey Moton, Program Executive Officer, Unmanned and Small Combatants. Bringing industry to the process earlier helps reduce risk in the lead ship, Moton said. “In general, even before the solicitation went out, the fact that we had industry involved in the conceptual design phase...” The US Navy weighed heavily the ability to add new, energy intensive systems on to the ship later in their calculus in selecting FREMM for their FFG(X), according to US Navy officials. During the competition, Fincantieri highlighted that they could grow the electrical capacity of the ship fairly easily and that all the major computer and engine gear could be swapped out without cutting a hole in the ship, as is often necessary with current classes in the U.S. Navy’s inventory.
 
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stevenyeadon

New Member
You can’t have EABO without first fighting to get there under the 2017 Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) concept. The group that wrote LOCE compiled an action plan with 18 tasks, including the development of the US Navy’s half of Expeditionary Advance Base Operations, a supporting concept that the Marine Corps has already embraced and begun experimenting. Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) helped with this nine-month effort.

1. Do you know what are the 18 tasks identified and NECC’s role?

2. Each ship within the current carrier strike groups (CSGs) and ARG/MEUs provides capabilities critical to the force as a whole, meaning that the loss of a single ship would degrade the force’s ability to accomplish the mission. It is therefore imprudent to task those ships with inshore operations in complex archipelagoes or confined and shallow waters, where geography and battlespace geometry allow an adversary to concentrate diverse weapons systems to maximum advantage. “The coastal defender’s wide range of options and his freedom to initiate a strike practically any time he chooses to do so create a threat that is both continuous and immediate.” In the face of this unremitting threat, a surface platform’s self- defense systems—along with its crew’s vigilance and the captain’s decision-making—must perform flawlessly 100% of the time. As stated by one of the participants in the Naval Services Game, “A fleet commander needs some chess pieces he can wager without risking the whole game.”

3. The US Navy’s selection of the Fincantieri’s FREMM design for its next-generation frigate (the FFG(X) ship building program), with a price tag of between US$800 million (in 2018 dollars) to US$950 million, is Informed by the need in these classified war games (i.e. to have a chess piece to risk). The US Navy is providing a significant portion of government furnished equipment, including a variant of the AN/SPY-6 radar destined for the Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and a comms suite of the same.
1. I know about LOCE and EABO, but I don't know the NECC's 18 tasks identified. I'm all ears.

2. That is a problem I am well aware of. Amphibs are strategic chess pieces, and the loss of even one is a big blow given how few we have in relation to the ~54 desired by the COCOMs. I totally get your point about using important strategic assets in a vulnerable inshore operation. This just adds to the need for a new generation of amphibs that are risk-worthy. Something I support entirely. I personally think it may be time to sack the LPD-Flight IIs and build a plethora of medium sized vessels with the savings. Using the LPDs as exquisite vessels with good C2, that will still need upgrades for the current fight, and LHAs as mobile airfields. Both clearly strategic units.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member
I don't know the NECC's 18 tasks identified. I'm all ears.
Can you please find out?

After all you are the one interested in this doctrinal topic that is related to the US Marines capabilities — as a Singaporean, I am more interested in what the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Guards) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) can learn from the US Marines, especially on the employment and operations of the F-35B and the employment AH-1Z attack and UH-1Y helicopters (using the TopOwl helmet mounted sight for joint situational awareness for the crew of both types of helicopters via the Yankee-Zulu Poisonous Pair combination).

The RSAF has placed orders for the F-35B and TopOwl equipped H225Ms (with delivers due in late 2020) and LOCE is relevant to our joint force that operates in the littorals. See also: The best strategy to defending Singapore Island, for details of the 21-week Combat Qualification Course that adopts some of the TTPs used by the US Marines.
 
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stevenyeadon

New Member
Can you please find out?

After all you are the one interested in this doctrinal topic that is related to the US Marines capabilities — as a Singaporean, I am more interested in what the 7th Singapore Infantry Brigade (Guards) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) can learn from the US Marines, especially on the employment and operations of the F-35B and the employment AH-1Z attack and UH-1Y helicopters (using the TopOwl helmet mounted sight for joint situational awareness for the crew of both types of helicopters via the Yankee-Zulu Poisonous Pair combination).

The RSAF has placed orders for the F-35B and TopOwl equipped H225Ms (with delivers due in late 2020) and LOCE is relevant to our joint force that operates in the littorals. See also: The best strategy to defending Singapore Island, for details of the 21-week Combat Qualification Course that adopts some of the TTPs used by the US Marines.
Thank you for the kick in the rear. These look like great reads:


 

Blackshoe

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
Well, I'll take a swing.

Let me ask 3 questions, to anyone who cares to answer:

Q1: What is the capability of the red force? Is it stronger than the USN?
I can think of several Reds but the top three that I would think about:
Red 1: R1 is a peer-force to the USN, and probably stronger in the likely conflict area.
Red 2: R2 is a legacy force that on a naval basis, is no match for the USN, but in a littoral fight, has significant strategic, land and aviation assets that make them to be even
Red 3: R3 is greatly constrained by technological shortfalls that make it significantly weaker. However, it is has significant asymmetric and unconventional capabilities that allow it inflict significant damage on the USN in the likely conflict area.

Q2: Is the red force, a state actor or a non-state actor (with Hizbollah’s capabilities)?
R1/R2: No
R3: No, but have significant connections with them, and could use them in a conflict.

Q3: Can anyone share your thoughts on the concepts of Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE)?
It's a fun, nice read. My favorite part was talking about using LCS for landing forces. Sure, why not? That's probably a module we could actually get fielded.

On the other hand, like lots of doctrinal publications I've seen, it assumes a level of competence that always feels way more aspirational than actual. I suspect plans for things like this will, as always, run into the cold, hard, truth of budgetary cycles.

Finally, and I may be accused of being a traitor to my Sea Service background, like many things coming out nowadays, I find many doctrinal shifts to make sense operationally, and to really make sense budgetarily for the proposing service, but don't seem connected to any kind of national strategy.

Or, said differently, I could see why we ("we" here being the Navy and Marine Corps) would want to push for DL and LOCE...but with some of the Reds listed above, even if you made them work (something I am EXTREMELY skeptical of), I don't know how that gets you closer to winning the war, which frankly has been most of the DoD's problem over the last 20-ish years.
 

stevenyeadon

New Member
The Department of the Navy seems to be going forward with a plan for 28-30 smaller amphibs reminiscent of old landing ship, tanks (LSTs).

I want to say that it's about time. I agree with the new CMC that amphibious transport docks and amphibious assault ships aren't worth risking on amphibious operations when you can expect opposition. These ships will be great in that hopefully just one or two will allow an expeditionary advance base (EAB) to be created.

 

Takao

The Bunker Group
The Department of the Navy seems to be going forward with a plan for 28-30 smaller amphibs reminiscent of old landing ship, tanks (LSTs).

I want to say that it's about time. I agree with the new CMC that amphibious transport docks and amphibious assault ships aren't worth risking on amphibious operations when you can expect opposition. These ships will be great in that hopefully just one or two will allow an expeditionary advance base (EAB) to be created.

These are smaller than HMAS Kanimbla, which was too small to support the Australian Army. In what way will they be enough, or survivable? 14 kts in the SCS? Ha!
 

stevenyeadon

New Member
These are smaller than HMAS Kanimbla, which was too small to support the Australian Army. In what way will they be enough, or survivable? 14 kts in the SCS? Ha!
The 14 knots did strike me as too slow for an area as vast as the first island chain.

The design seems geared for a ship that can create EABs and then transport the Marines to a new island in an archipelago every couple of days. Confusing an enemy.

It's faster than an LCU at 11 knots, according to the USN Fact File.

However, it is too slow for an ARG at 14 knots, since the USN Fact File says the San Antonio-class have a speed of over 22 knots. That means getting to an archipelago like the Spratlys or the islands in the Taiwan Straight is a problem.

It won't be able to do really anything but make EABs with just 75 Marines. It might be able to do raids if it is low observable, but that's a big 'if.' They will all need to be positioned forward to respond at a moment's notice with such a low speed. Not suitable for the surge layer.

Once to the theater, these things will need fuel, but oilers will be big targets until smaller drones that can do the same thing get built.

The ships will also need the sea denial of an EAB to prevent an enemy from hunting such ships. I don't know if these small vessels will have countermeasures sufficient for the kind of high-threat environments it can expect.

Additionally, Chinese aircraft could hunt the things if the EABs established do not have HIMAD capabilities to deny airspace.

Lastly, the CSBA published a simulation showing a need for a multi-layered air defense for EABs to survive. I have not heard of the USMC investing big in anti-air capabilities outside of SHORAD.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
The 14 knots did strike me as too slow for an area as vast as the first island chain.

The design seems geared for a ship that can create EABs and then transport the Marines to a new island in an archipelago every couple of days. Confusing an enemy.

It's faster than an LCU at 11 knots, according to the USN Fact File.

However, it is too slow for an ARG at 14 knots, since the USN Fact File says the San Antonio-class have a speed of over 22 knots. That means getting to an archipelago like the Spratlys or the islands in the Taiwan Straight is a problem.

It won't be able to do really anything but make EABs with just 75 Marines. It might be able to do raids if it is low observable, but that's a big 'if.' They will all need to be positioned forward to respond at a moment's notice with such a low speed. Not suitable for the surge layer.

Once to the theater, these things will need fuel, but oilers will be big targets until smaller drones that can do the same thing get built.

The ships will also need the sea denial of an EAB to prevent an enemy from hunting such ships. I don't know if these small vessels will have countermeasures sufficient for the kind of high-threat environments it can expect.

Additionally, Chinese aircraft could hunt the things if the EABs established do not have HIMAD capabilities to deny airspace.

Lastly, the CSBA published a simulation showing a need for a multi-layered air defense for EABs to survive. I have not heard of the USMC investing big in anti-air capabilities outside of SHORAD.
Do you have a link for that CSBA report. Sounds like it could be interesting reading.
 

OPSSG

Super Moderator
Staff member

Takao

The Bunker Group
Nothing over 30 mm and no well deck. Just what does this thing actually provide? Non-stealthy, slow, poorly armed, cumbersome to offload and little flexibility with operations....

I also like the don't carry tanks, but do carry an RT240 with container (something that is about the same mass but with higher point loading)...

 

OldTex

Member
These are smaller than HMAS Kanimbla, which was too small to support the Australian Army. In what way will they be enough, or survivable? 14 kts in the SCS? Ha!
The USMC outgrew the Newport News class of LST (2 of which became Manura and Kanimbla) with the introduction of the M1 tanks, etc. Just as the ADF outgrew the Kanimbla and Manura when a proper amphibious capability was developed (rather than just logistics-over-the-shore). Now that the CMC is looking at divesting the heavy armour and associated support the Corps is looking for smaller ships. These ships are possibly around the size of the US Army LSVs (Besson class). I note that the reference to 14 kts speed was a minimum and probably the 18-22 kts might be more desireable, so long as it doesn't detract from the vessel's range. Ultimately I doubt the vessels will be armed to a level capable of extensive self-defence against air and sea attack as that will detract from its load carrying capacity.
 
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