Monday, September 18, 2017

Another Hurricane about to hit the VI? Will the MEU have to sail away?

We are seeing what looks like a very ACTIVE hurricane season.  It's to be expected.  Things have been ABNORMALLY quiet for a few years so a rebound isn't a surprise.

Neither are the hits on the US Virgin Islands.

The difference?

This time we live in an age of 24 hour news and social media.

This time we have infrastructure on the islands to support tourists that will probably be damaged beyond repair.

This time the world will be watching.

Which leads to the question.

Will the MEU have to sail away?

I warned about the folly of being assigned the mission in the Virgin Islands. Much risk and little reward.  The Marine Corps jumped all over it despite my misgivings and they deployed an "Aviation Centric" force to deal with the problem.


Now with another hurricane approaching we face the nightmare scenario.  Not only for the inhabitants of those islands but also for the USMC.

Does the MEU stay in port and ride out the hurricane (stupid on a stick) or does it sail away to return later?  How will the media react if they do the prudent thing and leave to return after the next storm to resume relief efforts?

It won't be pretty.

Climate change zealots will crow about the USMC having to run away from a storm.  Environmentalists will crow too.

Why do guys with stars on their shoulders not see this stuff?

Anyway my recommendation is that the Public Affairs Office get going now.  They should be flooding the zone with MORE news about the Navy/Marine Corps team doing its work down there.  THEY SHOULD be emphasizing that the force is there for the people and that first responders have to ensure that they 're capable of providing assistance to the affected people.

Then they should bite the bullet and assign another infantry battalion, get another couple of engineer battalions (Army, Marine Corps, Sea Bees don't care) with heavy equipment on ship and to the islands as soon as the latest storm passes.

They should ACT NOW!  NORTHCOM's Commander has proven that she's in over her head and is incapable of decisive action.  So you work around her and MAKE SHIT HAPPEN!

Get on it Marines!

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