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

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  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Much of the discussion of the changes the Marine Corps is executing focuses on the Pacific. This is a reminder that the Corps is still engaged in NATOs northern flank. The closest the article gets to a mention of the Marine Littoral Regiment is "increased opportunities for large-scale exercises of Marine Corps tactical units.”

    https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/new...ent-to-norway/

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  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    Interesting article focused on the Marine Corps as the test bed for adapting to the National Defense Strategy.

    https://mwi.usma.edu/first-to-adapt-...-marine-corps/

    Key paragraph:
    As other service chiefs seek ways to adapt their forces to support the nation’s strategy, they can look at the Marine Corps as a test bed. Per the NDS, the Marine Corps will play a role in the contact and blunt layers—during steady-state operations short of war and during initial escalatory phases. While this charge gives the service different tasks than the surge forces described in the same document, these larger forces will still find value in the Marine Corps’s tests. The Corps’s goal of persistent mobilized maritime operations is only attainable if the forces are combat credible. This means that the Marine Corps, with its Navy counterparts, will have to create parity with the same long-range, networked, precision missile systems that concern the overall joint force. Dealing with these advanced sensors and munitions will surely be a part of the joint force’s playbook. Furthermore, every service’s force-employment concepts will need to explore enhanced distribution and mobility for survivability inside sophisticated enemy observation and threat bubbles. As the Army works to analyze how it will reorganize to integrate its Multi-Domain Operations concept, it can look to the Marine Corps as an already-deployed force integrating the latest Joint All Domain Command and Control methodology. Furthermore, the Army’s Multi-Domain Task Force currently experimenting in the Indo-Pacific region will have service-level data provided by the Marine Corps to help frame further concept employment. The myriad after-action reports that come from the commandant-directed war games will serve well for other services to understand concept viability. The Marine Corps’s experience will serve as a basket of lessons learned for the larger DoD.

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  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    There is an improved LCAC on the way.



    Navy Awards Big Contract for LCAC Replacement Ship-to-Shore Connectors

    17 Apr 2020
    Military.com | By Gina Harkins
    The Navy has awarded a new contract for the long-awaited replacement connector that will ferry Marines, weapons and other equipment ashore.

    Textron Systems was awarded $386 million to build 15 new ship-to-shore connectors, Naval Sea Systems Command announced on Thursday. The connectors will replace the aging fleet of Landing Craft, Air Cushion vehicles, known as LCACs, which have been in operation since the 1980s and are nearing the end of their service lives.

    The new 92-footlong connectors will have further range and lift capabilities than the legacy LCACs. They can carry 74 tons and will be compatible with amphibious ships that have well decks, along with expeditionary transfer dock and sea bases.

    "As the program continues to move forward with delivering these important capabilities to the fleet, the procurement of these additional craft is critical," Tom Rivers, program manager of the Amphibious Warfare Program Office for the Program Executive Office Ships, said in a statement.

    The contract award is an important milestone for a program that plays a big part in the Marine Corps' future missions. That service is focusing its sights on the Asia-Pacific region, where Commandant Gen. David Berger said Marines and sailors will likely be called on to respond to China's growing influence.

    China has militarized tiny man-made islands in the South China Sea. The islands have airstrips, hangars, barracks and lookout points.

    As the country's military invests in new weapons systems that can target ships further away from the shore, the Navy and Marine Corps will need next-generation landing craft to get people and equipment from amphibious ships onto nearby beaches.

    The new connectors can be loaded with an enclosed personnel transport module that can carry up to 145 Marines in full combat gear, according to Textron. The craft can also carry vehicles and other heavy equipment.

    Textron will do most of its work on the 15 new vessels in New Orleans. The Navy already accepted delivery of the first next-gen landing craft, called the Ship to Shore Connector Craft 100, in February.

    The sea services will continue testing it and training on that platform in Panama City, Florida.

    The Navy plans to buy 73 of the new ship-to-shore connectors, according to its program summary.

    -- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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  • kato
    replied
    Originally posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Why are we going for an oversize LCU instead of an improved/larger LCAC? If the intent is to seize/occupy the island chains this makes no sense at all. The RMA in amphibious landings was the LCAC. With it you go from being able to land on 10% of the worlds beaches to 90%. LSV/LAWs would be great for landing on places that have port facilities and steep gradient beaches. Throw a sandbar in the mix and you don't make it to the beach.
    In my opinion the concept is a bit of a straightup rehash of what France did in the 70s with the Guepard concept - on a different scale of course. Guepard was the concept behind the BATRAL medium-sized LSTs, which had a company-sized marine force (120 men and up to 400 tons equipment) semi-permanently assigned and forward-deployed with them, intended for rapid insertion and intervention, hopping from theater to theater within their AoR.

    Primary mission for a larger engagement would have been to secure facilities (ports and air) for further troops to be moved in by LPDs or aircraft, more in a specialized forces fashion than as amphibious infantry. Insertion of troops for such was possible and trained using beaching where permissible, by two LCVPs carried, or by a large number of RHIBs deployed from the bow doors at sea.

    The ships additionally were intended and used for logistics support missions, in particular for setting up and supplying outposts without port facilities, something that i see similarly straight-up mirrored in the US EABO concept. In fact the radar stations the French ran on inslands in the Madagascar channel this way were basically textbook representation of stuff you can find conceptionalized in EABO.

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    However, using the Army LSVs / LCUs to experiment / exercise the new Navy/Marine Corps doctrinal thoughts may have merit. If (IF) it works, then buy new LSVs and/or LCUs for the Navy/Marine Corps. Existing design and supply chain may help keep costs down as long as the inevitable changes are kept to a relative minimum.


    Totally agree with this concept. It is actually a JCIDS requirement before going to developing a new program. When the US Army was considering the Stryker vehicle and concept we borrowed about 75 mothballed Cougars from the Canadian Army (those of you who remember Shek can remember those stories.)

    It is a great, low cost way to use existing equipment and to parametric testing and proof of concept.

    Leave a comment:


  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    I would not like to see the Navy and Marine Corps acquiring existing Army watercraft, per the authors suggestion, as they serve a distinct Army mission. (Moving APS 5 out of KNB to Salalah in Oman would at least get those ships out of the bottle neck of the Gulf... but that's a different discussion.)

    However, using the Army LSVs / LCUs to experiment / exercise the new Navy/Marine Corps doctrinal thoughts may have merit. If (IF) it works, then buy new LSVs and/or LCUs for the Navy/Marine Corps. Existing design and supply chain may help keep costs down as long as the inevitable changes are kept to a relative minimum.


    The US Navy and Marine Corps should acquire Army watercraft
    By: Capt. Walker D. Mills and Lt. Joseph Hanacek   June 22
    34343

    U.S. Navy sailors conduct a simulated disaster relief supply offload from a General Frank S. Besson-class logistics support vessel at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on July 10, 2016. (MC1 Nardel Gervacio/U.S. Navy)
    The Navy intends to acquire up to 30 new light amphibious warships, or LAW, to support new Marine Corps requirements. The vessels are needed to meet the challenges of “evolving threats in the global maritime environment,” according to the Navy program office, and are tied to the new operational concepts of Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and Distributed Maritime Operations as well as the Marine Corps’ Force Design 2030 effort. Once complete, the acquisition will have almost doubled the number of L-class amphibious ships already in naval service. Rather than accepting a new amphibious design built from the ground up, however, decision-makers should take advantage of the fact that many key requirements of the new vessels are very similar to the capabilities of vessels operated by U.S. Army Transportation Command.

    The Navy and Marine Corps should delay any new construction and immediately acquire some of these existing vessels to drive experimentation and better inform their requirements for the LAW program.

    The key requirements of the future LAW include having 8,000 square feet of cargo space, a range of 3,500 miles, a speed of up to 14 knots, accommodation for a crew of up to 40 Navy personnel and 75 embarked Marines, and up to 200 feet in length. The vessel also needs to have a roll-on/roll-off capability, preferably with a stern ramp.

    U.S. Army Transportation Command has over 100 vessels, and dozens have similar capabilities to those required of the LAW. The Army’s LCU-2000s, also called the Runnymede-class large landing crafts, are smaller, with roughly half of the cargo space designed for the LAW and slightly slower, but they boast nearly double the range. The Runnymede-class vessels have nearly 4,000 square feet of cargo space and can travel 6,500 miles when loaded and at 12 knots; and they can unload at the beach with their bow ramp.

    The Army’s General Frank S. Besson-class logistics support vessels are larger than the future LAW, at 273 feet in length but can claim 10,500 square feet of cargo space and a 6,500-mile range loaded to match the LCU-2000. These vessels also have both a bow and stern ramp for roll-on/roll-off capability at the beach or ship-to-ship docking at sea. The version built for the Phillipine military also has a helipad.

    Army Transportation Command has 32 Runnymede-class and eight General Frank S. Besson-class vessels in service. Mostly built in the 1990s, both classes of vessel have many years left in their life expectancy and more than meet the Navy’s 10-year life expectancy for the LAW.


    These vessels are operable today and could be transferred from the Army to the Navy or Marine Corps tomorrow. In fact, the Army was attempting to divest itself of these watercraft less than a year ago, which underscores the importance of this opportunity even further. Congress is firmly set against the Army getting rid of valuable, seaworthy vessels and has quashed all of the Army’s efforts to do so thus far, but transferring this equipment to the Navy is a reasonable course of action that should satisfy all parties involved.


    While acquiring “surplus” military equipment might lack the allure and promise of designing a new ship class from the ground up, the reality of the situation is that this overlapping of service needs couldn’t come at a better time. By acquiring a watercraft that meets most of their requirements from the Army, the Navy and Marine Corps simultaneously fill current capability gaps and obtain an invaluable series of assets they can use to support the evaluation and experimentation of new designs and concepts. This will allow Navy and Marine leaders to give their units the maximum amount of time to evaluate and experiment with new designs to get a better idea of what they need both in future amphibious craft as well as operational and support equipment.

    The significance of so rapidly acquiring the Army’s amphibious craft isn’t just limited to developing a better amphibious force either. There is a very real capability gap that exists in the fleet today in the areas of surplus seagoing capacity, and acquiring these Army watercraft would go an extremely long way toward addressing it. Often overlooked, the availability of surplus vessels is absolutely critical to the process of developing new technologies, developing the tactics to employ them, conducting training, and providing decision-makers the requisite capacity to remain flexible in the face of unexpected challenges.

    The Navy and Marine Corps today are hurtling toward a new future of distributed operations and unprecedented levels of integration in the littorals. The Marine Corps commandant has clearly specified that force design is his No. 1 priority and that significant changes to the Marine Corps are in the works.

    At the same time, the Navy and Marine Corps continue to serve as the first responders for many of the nation’s emerging challenges around the globe. They’ve long been in need of a boost in their amphibious capabilities so as to be better positioned to meet the demands of today and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, and taking possession of the Army’s Runnymede- and Frank S. Benson-class vessels is a solution on a silver platter.

    Capt. Walker D. Mills is a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer serving in Cartagena, Colombia. Lt. Joseph Hanacek is a U.S. Navy surface warfare officer based in Dam Neck, Virginia. The views expressed here are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent the views of these military branches or the Defense Department.

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  • avon1944
    replied
    Yes they USN wants to have "many more" smaller amphibious ships! I have not heard why but, I feel the USN doesn't need for a few large ships for an amphibous assault versus, the large invasion capability of mass invasions force with fewer smaller ships. If the USN has to force their way into another country it will not be a small invasion with many ships instead of a few large ships. If the PRC invades Taiwan, the invasion would be over before US forces could arrive. Even if US Intel tips gives US forces time to counter the PRC's invasion effects, the USN's main efforts would be to protect its surface forces reguardless of the fleet composition.
    If the Navy feels that they can not protect large ships then how can they protect many smaller ships? I have not found the reason the USN feels this need to change?

    Leave a comment:


  • Gun Grape
    replied
    I read all these articles and I realize that the Corps has forgot everything it knew about amphibious warfare. The Middle East wars killed us.

    Why are we going for an oversize LCU instead of an improved/larger LCAC? If the intent is to seize/occupy the island chains this makes no sense at all. The RMA in amphibious landings was the LCAC. With it you go from being able to land on 10% of the worlds beaches to 90%. LSV/LAWs would be great for landing on places that have port facilities and steep gradient beaches. Throw a sandbar in the mix and you don't make it to the beach.

    This is a goat rope
    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/y...against-china/

    A battalion takes over an airfield (from the enemy) to use as a FARP? We need the Army and USAF to set up that FARP? And we need a C-130 to fly in Himars for an artillery raid. And the enemy isn't going to do their own version of "Steel Rain" while we do all these great things? All for a VTOL aircraft that is suppose to be more capable than the the VTOL aircraft that we operated from a soccer field in ODS? WTF?


    The Navy has excess VLS capability, so why does the USMC want to fire land based antiship missiles? And why dos the Corps need long range artillery in a regimental size combat team that should be a Corps/Army level theater asset?

    Have we forgot OMFTS and the sane idea expressed by General Krulak " "The Marines fight battles. The Army fights wars"

    My head is about to explode so I'll stop now

    Leave a comment:


  • looking4NSFS
    replied
    As the Marines look towards a “Littoral Regiment”, according to this USNI article a new “Light Amphibious Warship” (LAW) to augment the traditional larger amphibious fleet is on the table.

    https://news.usni.org/2020/06/08/mar...20Bird%20Brief

    The article states the “ships would be 200 to 400 feet long with a maximum draft of 12 feet and displacement between 1,000 and 8,000 tons.”
    This paces closely with the current size of the Army LSV’s. A typical LSV carries approx. 2,000 tons of cargo with a displacement of 4,200 tons.

    https://transportation.army.mil/mari...atercraft.html

    If you compare the LAW requirement to the current Army LSV fleet, it seems there may be some synergy between the two.
    More importantly, the mission set of the LAW and the LSV have similarities, though I would not at this time say they are interchangeable.
    The Marines are looking for “shore-to-shore movement….. of Marines and gear – and support for the Marine Littoral Regiments moving quickly from one piece of land to the next to conduct missions under the Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO) concept.” Strangely, the article does not mention utilization with the ESBs.

    LSVs (well, almost all Army Lighterage craft) are used to transport equipment, cargo and personnel between ships, from ship-to-shore or for intra-theater transport.
    In 2012-13 we practiced this quite a bit with the APS-5 stocks, especially the LSVs. 2016-17 not as much as the Kuwaitis were starting to upgrade KNB (Kuwait Naval Base) and OIR was by far the main effort.

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  • HKDan
    replied
    Marine Corps setting up new littoral regiment in Hawaii

    https://taskandpurpose.com/news/mari...egiment-hawaii

    https://news.usni.org/2020/06/04/mar...hopping-future


    “A new “Marine Littoral Regiment” coming to Hawaii — the first of its kind in the Marine Corps — represents a major shift for the service in the “great power” competition playing out in the Western Pacific and preparation for a high-tech missile war in the region.”


    A question for those of you more in the know about USMC organization. It is mentioned that the fires component of this new regiment will be a battery of the new JLTV based ROGUE fires vehicles that they are hoping to introduce(in fun news, a live test is apparently only weeks away). Roughly how many launchers would be in a battery? I seem to think that for a USMC HIMARS battery there are six launchers, is that correct? Count me underwhelmed if an entire regiment would be essentially be relying on 6 launchers to try and contest sea control. Even with modern munitions, you will require some volume to take out a target that intends to defend itself like one of the newer PLAN Destroyers. Or am I grossly uninformed and have no idea what I am talking about?
    Last edited by HKDan; 09 Jun 20,, 13:48.

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  • HKDan
    replied
    AN article from T.X. Hammes, where he comes out in wholehearted support of the proposed changes. I'm not sure that I agree with all of the assertions that he makes, but for the purposes of discussion...

    https://warontherocks.com/2020/04/bu...ime-and-place/
    Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger’s recently published Force Design 2030 has riled up both the “old guard,” who fear for the service’s future, and industry lobbyists, who fear for the future of contracts for amphibious ships and F-35s. The document rationally outlines the changes necessary for the Marine Corps to play its role as the nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness while meeting the modernization and operational requirements laid out in the 2018 National Defense Strategy. Overall the proposal has been positively received, but critics have expressed concern that the proposed force does not hedge for the sorts of wars fought in contingencies like Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq.
    Last edited by HKDan; 20 Apr 20,, 06:04.

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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by JRT View Post
    The US Army has their own naval transport ships.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ed_States_Army
    Yeah.....but an LSV ain't the same as an LPD/LPH.

    The Army has approx 300 vessels right now, the majority are LCMs. A definite brownwater force.

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  • JRT
    replied
    Originally posted by hboGYT View Post
    So why do the marines have to have their own branch? Why couldn't they have put army tanks in navy ships and accomplish the same?
    The US Army has their own naval transport ships.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...ed_States_Army
    Last edited by JRT; 15 Apr 20,, 21:04.

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  • HKDan
    replied
    Originally posted by hboGYT View Post
    So why do the marines have to have their own branch? Why couldn't they have put army tanks in navy ships and accomplish the same?
    Makes me think of the quote from Marine legend Gen. Krulak. Something to the effect of, America doesn't need a Marine Corps, it wants a Marine Corps.

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  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by hboGYT View Post
    So why do the marines have to have their own branch? Why couldn't they have put army tanks in navy ships and accomplish the same?
    Every time I hear about Army mixing with Navy, not the football game, I think of Nimitz and MacArthur...

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