Friday, October 28, 2016

US Army evolving its ground power while the Marine Corps ignores it...

via Breaking Defense.
The Army’s long-range artillery rocket, ATACMS, will get upgraded to strike moving targets on land and at sea, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced today. After at least two years of pressure from Congress and vague promises from Pentagon leaders, and for the first time since the Coastal Artillery Corps was disbanded 66 years ago, the Army is officially back in the business of killing ships. That gives the largest service a big new role in countering Russian aggression in the Baltic and Black Seas or defending allies like the Philippinesagainst China.
Read the entire article but the upshot is clear.  The Marine Corps continues to focus on mirroring capabilities found in the Air Force and Navy while the Army is evolving its ground combat power.

In my opinion its cause for alarm.

First, you have the highest levels of the Pentagon supporting this move.  By default the US Army is going to be a major player in Air-Sea Battle and will get a seat at that table.

Next, the Army will be a major player in littoral combat.  We can expect air power to be challenged and perhaps even nullified. The ironic thing is that Army long range artillery might be the fulcrum to allow our Navy to operate effectively.

They could also become a shield of the fleet.

The enemy will orient toward defeating our air power.  Add an attack from a land mass that is capable of sinking a destroyer in the mix and shooting the archer becomes a much desired capability.

Last is the most irritating to me.  The Marine Corps prides itself on innovation but we saw (at least I didn't) no thought given to using MLRS in the anti-ship role.  No thoughts about the possibility to use cannon artillery to fire on ships operating off shore.  Instead it came from the Army.  That bugs the hell outta me.  Have we swung so far to the aviation side that we no longer see these "no shit" ideas sitting on a plate for us?

Buckle up boys.  Davis and his cabal are leading the Marine Corps down a path that will see the Army drinking our milkshake.

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