Author Topic: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat  (Read 4294 times)

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2020, 15:06:39 »
That's not quite true. It would be more accurate to say that has been USMC doctrine since 1934, when their first amphibious doctrine, the "Tentative Manual for Landing Operations" was written. Prior to that, from 1775 to 1933, they did other things, most notably small-scale low-intensity expeditionary wars. And if assault from the sea becomes technologically unfeasible, because of the ever increasing capabilities of anti-ship and anti-air area denial, then maybe their doctrine should shift back to doing those other things. There are likely to be plenty of small wars to go around for the next few centuries.

Maybe a model where the US Navy deters/fights China in the Pacific while the USMC deters/fights China in Africa?

During a tour of the USS Wisconsin I learned that the USMC also provided guns crews to secondary armament on USN BBs. 
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Offline Rifleman62

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2020, 15:22:47 »
Royal Marines provided turret crews also. I believe you can see that in the movie, Battle of the River Plate, when one of the main turrets is knocked out of action and it is referred to as "The Royal Marine turret".
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2020, 19:22:05 »
A friend of mine who wrote a book on the USMC Armor (he commanded M103) says one of his old Lieutenants now a serving Colonel said this recently:


This will cause the Marine Corps to become irrelevant to any CINC that needs heavy or medium forces in a theater of operations. Poorly thought out, border line stupid decision. Does not surprise me considering the current environment in the Corps.  All we are is a light infantry force with little or no ability to survive or sustain itself for anything longer than 20 days. Bottom-line if we get into a serious shooting war USMC units will get their *** kicked

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2020, 20:30:47 »
A friend of mine who wrote a book on the USMC Armor (he commanded M103) says one of his old Lieutenants now a serving Colonel said this recently:


This will cause the Marine Corps to become irrelevant to any CINC that needs heavy or medium forces in a theater of operations. Poorly thought out, border line stupid decision. Does not surprise me considering the current environment in the Corps.  All we are is a light infantry force with little or no ability to survive or sustain itself for anything longer than 20 days. Bottom-line if we get into a serious shooting war USMC units will get their *** kicked

So they’re planning on being more like the Airborne? Ironically, the 82nd Airborne is ‘armouring up’ https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24543/armys-newest-airborne-unit-gets-second-hand-but-air-droppable-usmc-lav-25-armored-vehicles

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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2020, 22:18:31 »
So they’re planning on being more like the Airborne? Ironically, the 82nd Airborne is ‘armouring up’ https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24543/armys-newest-airborne-unit-gets-second-hand-but-air-droppable-usmc-lav-25-armored-vehicles

Smart Finn tweeted, don't think any other country has had in effect two armies:

Quote
As the US already has an Army, why do the #USMC need to mirror that structure is IMO a valid question. Will be interesting to see if he can get it past the politicians, though... #turpo=#säkpol
https://twitter.com/CorporalFrisk/status/1243283499597148161

And from the end of a recent post of mine:

Quote
...an excellent book by Heather Venable (tweets here) on how the Marines, a tiny service most of the time, preserved and protected themselves in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries–early masters of modern PR amongst other things:



https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/radically-re-shaping-us-marines-to-take-on-china-e-g-no-more-tanks/

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Offline Underway

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2020, 22:23:35 »
A friend of mine who wrote a book on the USMC Armor (he commanded M103) says one of his old Lieutenants now a serving Colonel said this recently:


This will cause the Marine Corps to become irrelevant to any CINC that needs heavy or medium forces in a theater of operations. Poorly thought out, borderline stupid decision. Does not surprise me considering the current environment in the Corps.  All we are is a light infantry force with little or no ability to survive or sustain itself for anything longer than 20 days. Bottom-line if we get into a serious shooting war USMC units will get their *** kicked

Isn't that the point?  Are marines supposed to be heavy or medium forces.  Do they really need to be able to sustain longer than 20 days?  In the pacific war, the marines took the beach and then often handed the place over to the army to finish the job.  In many ways, this looks like they are going back there.  Given the evidence of Turkey in Syria perhaps a combination of naval and marine artillery, combined with targeting from persistent UAVs and infantry it could work.  Not the worst idea ever.

Then if the situation is requiring a long siege or extended campaign the army takes over.  The marines return to their strategic movers, reload and wait out for the next thrust.  The marines are there for strategic mobility/threat, the army is there for long term extended campaigns.  The army doesn't sit for months off an enemy coast.  I wonder if this is an attempt to get back to what marines are really for.

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2020, 22:47:55 »
Isn't that the point?  Are marines supposed to be heavy or medium forces.  Do they really need to be able to sustain longer than 20 days?  In the pacific war, the marines took the beach and then often handed the place over to the army to finish the job.  In many ways, this looks like they are going back there.  Given the evidence of Turkey in Syria perhaps a combination of naval and marine artillery, combined with targeting from persistent UAVs and infantry it could work.  Not the worst idea ever.

Then if the situation is requiring a long siege or extended campaign the army takes over.  The marines return to their strategic movers, reload and wait out for the next thrust.  The marines are there for strategic mobility/threat, the army is there for long term extended campaigns.  The army doesn't sit for months off an enemy coast.  I wonder if this is an attempt to get back to what marines are really for.
Haven't seen any mention of the AAVs: would getting rid of tanks and tubes allow a better focus on developing a more varied and flexible Marine-specific fleet of fighting vehicles?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2020, 22:48:23 »
Smart Finn tweeted, don't think any other country has had in effect two armies:

And from the end of a recent post of mine:

Mark
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"The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's."

Harry S Truman
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Old Sweat

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2020, 07:46:55 »
"The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's."

Harry S Truman

President Truman is also said to have commented when the photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima was published, that this guarantees the existence of the Marine Corps for [several hundred] years.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2020, 10:33:28 »
President Truman is also said to have commented when the photo of the flag raising on Iwo Jima was published, that this guarantees the existence of the Marine Corps for [several hundred] years.

IIRC that the Falklands War did the same for the Royal Marines...
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Colin P

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #35 on: March 27, 2020, 15:12:55 »
Isn't that the point?  Are marines supposed to be heavy or medium forces.  Do they really need to be able to sustain longer than 20 days?  In the pacific war, the marines took the beach and then often handed the place over to the army to finish the job.  In many ways, this looks like they are going back there.  Given the evidence of Turkey in Syria perhaps a combination of naval and marine artillery, combined with targeting from persistent UAVs and infantry it could work.  Not the worst idea ever.

Then if the situation is requiring a long siege or extended campaign the army takes over.  The marines return to their strategic movers, reload and wait out for the next thrust.  The marines are there for strategic mobility/threat, the army is there for long term extended campaigns.  The army doesn't sit for months off an enemy coast.  I wonder if this is an attempt to get back to what marines are really for.

So far most USMC deployments have been long term, they are basically the poor cousin branch of the army with the ability to work with the navy and get their feet wet.

Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2020, 17:13:50 »
Now this from USMC commandant:

Quote
Short On Pilots, Marines Debate Size Of F-35 Fleet
“Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support" the program," Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan.

The Marine Corps’ inability to recruit enough pilots has led the commandant to question the F-35’s place in the already budget-constrained Corps’ future plans, a potentially huge shift for the service that first fielded the Joint Strike Fighter and fought harder than any other service to build it and buy it.

 “Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support” the program,” Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan. He calls for an external assessment of the aircraft’s place within the service relative to what he’s being asked to do in the National Defense Strategy and the forthcoming Joint Warfighting Concept, a document the Joint Staff is expected to wrap up later this year.

Berger not only singles out pilot shortfalls, but also notes high costs of maintaining and flying the F-35B as factors he’s weighing “in reconciling the growing disparity between numbers of platforms and numbers of aircrew.”

The general has been very clear he does not expect his annual budgets to grow at any point in the near future, suggesting the best case scenario is that they remain flat as he wrestles with fleets of aging planes, helicopters and vehicles which grow increasingly costly to maintain.

The new document also makes it clear Berger has had enough of the service’s Abrams tanks, which were so effective in Iraq’s Anbar province, but offer little utility on small islands in the Pacific. A series of wargames conducted between 2018 and 2019 led the Corps to the conclusion  that the tanks are “operationally unsuitable for our highest-priority challenges in the future,” the document states.

While questioning time-tested and iconic weapons like Abrams tanks, and the massive capabilities that the F-35 can bring, “they’re looking at the totality of the force” said Dakota Wood, senior research fellow for defense programs at The Heritage Foundation. “Berger has been very bold in saying we just can’t afford to have small batches of everything,” so he has set out on a path to bear down on what is most critical to fighting a war in the Pacific against a modern Chinese military.

The new force design is slated to phase in over the next decade, but the changes will be seen as early as  the fiscal year 2022 budget, slated to drop next February.

That gives the Marines months to build their case for reimagining the force, which includes buying new capabilities like mobile rocket artillery and long-range fires while scrapping legacy platforms like heavy- and medium-helicopter squadrons and towed artillery. The plan also calls for eliminating law enforcement units, bridging companies, three infantry battalions, and anti-aircraft units.

General Dynamics, which makes the Abrams, and Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35, will certainly have opinions on these moves, as will the other major prime contractors who build the helicopters and ground vehicles and artillery systems to be tossed over the side and the lawmakers who have plants in their states and districts.

“Resistance to change is likely to be strongest for programs that already exist and have stakeholders that support them,” RAND analyst Jonathan Wong wrote in a short essay, but the jury is out on how Congress and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will eventually weigh in on these issues.

It’s not just industry who will want in on these discussions, but policymakers in the Pentagon and lawmakers on the Hill, as well.

“There’s going to be a lot of pushback by people who aren’t up to speed on these current issues who are reaching back to their own previous references of 10, 20, 30, years ago,” Wood said. “Tanks are awesome in urban warfare environments, but if you haven’t thought about the operating environment the Marine Corps will encounter in the near future, these ideas might be difficult to understand.”

Berger appears to be keenly aware he needs to bring the rest of Washington along with him: “A certain degree of institutional change is inevitable when confronting modernization on this scale, and that type of change is hard.”

How hard will become clearer as Berger and his deputies get out there to evangelize for their vision of the future.
https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/short-on-pilots-marines-debate-size-of-f-35-fleet/

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2020, 22:56:37 »
Marines whose jobs will be lost will be able to try for another specialty or can be transferred to the Army.  ;D

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/commandant-marines-who-lose-jobs-in-the-new-force-plan-will-have-other-opportunities-1.624514

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2020, 23:23:43 »
Marines whose jobs will be lost will be able to try for another specialty or can be transferred to the Army.  ;D

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/commandant-marines-who-lose-jobs-in-the-new-force-plan-will-have-other-opportunities-1.624514

I don't doubt that they'll be able to get other jobs. The Army has been reroling units and individuals from one specialty to another as needs change for quite some time.

It'll be interesting to see how these new organizations will shake out.

 :cheers:
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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2020, 23:27:35 »
I don't doubt that they'll be able to get other jobs. The Army has been reroling units and individuals from one specialty to another as needs change for quite some time.

It'll be interesting to see how these new organizations will shake out.

 :cheers:

So what I am hearing is there will be a lot of used but in good condition tanks and other equipment coming on the market soon? sounds like a golden opportunity for the CAF to add capabilities for a discounted cost.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #40 on: April 01, 2020, 23:48:10 »
True. But the CF wouldn't want an all new inventory that would require training tank crews to operate the Abrams an the supply issues would you ?

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2020, 00:02:21 »
So what I am hearing is there will be a lot of used but in good condition tanks and other equipment coming on the market soon? sounds like a golden opportunity for the CAF to add capabilities for a discounted cost.

There's already more stuff that we could ever use by a hundred fold at the Sierra Army Depot in California.



 :nod:

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Online MilEME09

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2020, 02:47:34 »
What your saying FJAG is we might get a bulk discount, Costco for the army Haha
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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #43 on: April 02, 2020, 10:27:34 »
What your saying FJAG is we might get a bulk discount, Costco for the army Haha

Quite possibly. The US runs programs for getting rid of surplus equipment such as the Excess Defence Articles (EDA) programme for allies and the European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) for former Soviet countries having become NATO partners.

http://defense-studies.blogspot.com/2015/11/us-offers-m109-sph-to-malaysia.html

https://defence-blog.com/army/u-s-government-to-donate-bradley-infantry-fighting-vehicles-to-croatia.html

Get them while they're hot or all gone.

Betcha if we agreed to forward deploy an armoured brigade in Latvia that the US would provide at a minimum all the forward deployed gear for the brigade (if not another one or two for training and reinforcement within Canada) If we then paid for the enhancements to bring everything up to the most recent standards in Canada, everyone would win.

 :cheers:
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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #44 on: April 02, 2020, 14:06:00 »
Betcha if we agreed to forward deploy an armoured brigade in Latvia that the US would provide at a minimum all the forward deployed gear for the brigade (if not another one or two for training and reinforcement within Canada) If we then paid for the enhancements to bring everything up to the most recent standards in Canada, everyone would win.
Would that be an application where having a split fleet would be manageable? A fleet of Abrams in e.g. Latvia?

Offline FJAG

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2020, 16:40:58 »
Would that be an application where having a split fleet would be manageable? A fleet of Abrams in e.g. Latvia?

Not sure what you mean by "split fleet" but in this hypothetical scenario you should have the same type of tanks in Canada to train on. Like I said: hypothetical! Way hypothetical!

 :cheers:
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Online MilEME09

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #46 on: April 02, 2020, 16:56:30 »
Not sure what you mean by "split fleet" but in this hypothetical scenario you should have the same type of tanks in Canada to train on. Like I said: hypothetical! Way hypothetical!

 :cheers:

Having Leo 2s and Abrams, mind you same gun so the delta for gunners and loaders would be small.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #47 on: April 02, 2020, 17:04:49 »
Having Leo 2s and Abrams, mind you same gun so the delta for gunners and loaders would be small.

Except our track record with buying used gear from other countries isn't all that great.
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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #48 on: April 02, 2020, 17:33:14 »
Except our track record with buying used gear from other countries isn't all that great.

I think a lot of those Abrams and Bradleys might be new since Congress kept buying them long after the Army stopped wanting new ones and they went right out into deep storage so as to keep the assembly line in Lima Ohio open. Also they do rebuilds on them in Lima and at Anniston in Alabama, literally taking them down to the bare hull and refurbishing/replacing worn parts and adding improvement upgrade packages. That said, a lot of the tanks in the US Active and NG inventory are not yet the latest versions.

Our track record sucks but every once in a while one needs a faint hope that someday we'll get our s**t together.

 :cheers:
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Marines to Retool to Meet China Threat
« Reply #49 on: April 02, 2020, 23:29:07 »
While we are at it, we should lease a battery or two of M109's/Paladins