Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Question of the day. What is the proper balance between the USMC's ground and aviation sides of the house?
Jeff made a comment that I think deserves a bigger stage and its own post. To paraphrase he stated that the USMC is probably the only force in the world that is organized, built and designed to engage across the ENTIRE spectrum of warfare. From low to high intensity, counter insurgency, advanced mechanized warfare and humanitarian assistance....you'll find no other force that sends units out on deployment with the basic tools to do everything we ask of the Marine Corps.
Having said that. HQMC we have a problem.
The aviation side of the house is being designed to engage first tier opponents with ultra expensive/high tech gear while the ground forces are languishing. Exhibits A and B is the AAV and M1A1. Our premier ground combat vehicles are obsolete in ways that can barely be described.
Quite honestly we're behind most of the BRIC nations and some third world forces when it comes to our armored vehicles. China is on the cusp of achieving both a quality and numbers superiority when it comes to armored vehicles if they're facing off against a USMC division. The same could be said of Russia. Even Taiwan will have vehicles that are of the same make, but at least refurbished to the latest standard. Brazil can be said to have more effective combat vehicles...the list goes on.
The opposite applies to aviation. We have cutting edge, bordering on overkill for our mission sets with the equipment that we're buying.
So what is the proper balance?
Do we live with the idea that our ground equipment will be a generation behind the US Army/Allies/Opponents or do we prioritize it like we seem to be doing with aviation?
Oh and let me leave you with this. Using the AAV till 2030 would be the same as using the LVT-1 in Desert Storm.