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Thread: New Marine Corps Cuts Will Slash All Tanks, Many Heavy Weapons As Focus Shifts to Lig

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    Senior Contributor HKDan's Avatar
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    New Marine Corps Cuts Will Slash All Tanks, Many Heavy Weapons As Focus Shifts to Lig

    This has been coming for some time, but it looks like the details of the new USMC force structure are being released. No more tanks, significant cuts to tube artillery to free up resources for long range fires, drones. They appear to be positioning themselves to be the forward deployed "inside the A2AD bubble" force that has been talked about. What do you think? Forward thinking? Or the beginning of the end for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children? I am personally quite interested in what a "Marine Littoral Regiment" will look like. Also, could they have possibly given it a name less associated with one of the most well known procurement disasters of recent times?

    https://news.usni.org/2020/03/23/new...ittoral-forces


    The heaviest cuts, Benson said, come to aviation and heavy ground units.

    “By the year 2030, the Marine Corps will see complete divestments of Law Enforcement Battalions, Tank Battalions and associated Military Occupational Specialties (MOS), and all Bridging Companies. Additionally, the Corps will reduce the number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21; artillery cannon batteries from 21 to 5; amphibious vehicle companies from 6 to 4; and reduce tilt rotor, attack, and heavy lift squadrons,” he said.

    The service will also trim its F-35B and C Joint Strike Fighter squadrons, reducing them from 16 Primary Aircraft Authorized (PAA) to 10 per squadron.

    Additionally, the service will deactivate Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462; Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469; Marine Wing Support Groups 27 and 37; 8th Marine Regiment Headquarters Company; and 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. Additionally, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines will be realigned to 2d Marines; and 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines will be realigned to 6th Marines.
    Last edited by HKDan; 25 Mar 20, at 04:33.

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    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    I can sought of see why the Corps might reduce/eliminate their heavy artillery and armored components. I suppose you could go full throttle and eliminate their fixed wing elements as well thereby becoming solely focused on 'light' infantry operations. But I must admit I would thought their rotary aircraft would be immune to cuts given those assets ability to amplify mobility etc.

    Well I suppose they have plan for where they want to be in 5 years time or so. O guess we'll all get to see what it looks like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    I can sought of see why the Corps might reduce/eliminate their heavy artillery and armored components. I suppose you could go full throttle and eliminate their fixed wing elements as well thereby becoming solely focused on 'light' infantry operations. But I must admit I would thought their rotary aircraft would be immune to cuts given those assets ability to amplify mobility etc.

    Well I suppose they have plan for where they want to be in 5 years time or so. O guess we'll all get to see what it looks like.
    A quick math count suggest that the USMC is eliminating 10-12 combat arms battalions. Therefore, you no longer need heavy lift for absent battalions. If I understand this right, guns are no longer organic to MEU's but rather a corps' asset to be attached when needed. I'm assuming that there was too much firepower with the F-35s and that they could make do with 10 instead of 16. I'm kinda leary the absence of heavy armour.

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    if there's a fight with China, things will likely be decided before heavy armor comes into play.
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    Sounds like they are going back to their within 200 miles of the coast mission?

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    if there's a fight with China, things will likely be decided before heavy armor comes into play.
    If it's China, they would likely have guns and arm'd in place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    If it's China, they would likely have guns and arm'd in place.
    They appear to be adjusting their force structure with the intention of having forces in place to contest the waters inside the First Island Chain at the onset of a potential conflict with China. Cutting the tanks and the tube artillery in order to buy more rocket artillery, anti-ship missile, and UAVs. Cuts to aviation appear to be partially because with the reduced number of other units the requirement is lesser, and also, in the case of the F-35 recognizing that they are unable to train the number of pilots to fit their original goal for fighters(I also wonder if this is a cost saving issue). Theye are already buying anti-ship missiles in the form of NSM and Tomahawk(did not see that one coming), so they do appear to be moving quickly.

    I wonder how successful this ends up being, and this is definitely just the starting point for a USMC that will look very different in the future, but I applaud them for being forward thinking. I am also concerned that between the loss of all the tanks, and Gen Berger's recent comments about LAV being unsuited for future conflicts, that the USMC will lack an armored direct fire platform before long. There is no scenario where that ends well.
    Last edited by HKDan; 02 Apr 20, at 14:34.

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    We are F*cked.
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    ^^^^^

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    YES! That's how it feels!

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    Welcome to the wonderful world of re-org where HQ promises everyone that we can do more with less

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    I was listening to a podcast interview with General Berger earlier, and he said something to the effect that if the Marines are reorganized to be optimized for the high-end fight, that they will necessarily be able to conduct other operations as well. Im not really sure that logic works for me. He acknowledges that a full scale war with China is a less likely scenario than responding to natural disasters(almost a given), civilian evacuation, or the sort of interventions that the Marines are so often called upon to do. I just don't really see how he comes to the conclusion that they will not be worse off when it comes to these kinds of operations.

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    Why is the Marine Corps necessary as a separate service? The US Army has Airborne and Ranger divisions performing specialized roles. The Marine Corps. infantry can be merged into the US Army as new Amphibious Assault Divisions. Their organic Armor, Artillery, Engineer and support assets can be merged into the corresponding forces of the US Army. Same with their rotary assets (transport as well as Attack and Recon).

    The one extra thing they have which the Army doesn't is fixed wing air assets. The US Army is able to operate relying on the USAF and the USN for fixed-wing air support. The new Amphibious assault divisions of the US Army (former Marines) can rely on them too.

    You can save a lot of the Administrative costs of operating a separate service without suffering any significant loss of capability.

    I am going to disappear now before the current/former Marines here come after me with pitchforks :D
    Last edited by Firestorm; 08 Apr 20, at 17:37.

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post

    I am going to disappear now before the current/former Marines here come after me with pitchforks :D
    LOL, more likely flamethrowers...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    LOL, more likely flamethrowers...
    Those need to be transferred to the Army as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    Those need to be transferred to the Army as well.
    That leaves them with just sling shots unless those too...

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