Wednesday, May 10, 2017

US Marine Corps Ground Combat Element (especially armor) is doing nicely...

Only two Marine Corps officials have had the courage to talk to your friendly neighborhood blogger.  General Mullen was one of them.  That poor son of a bitch is out at 29 Palms roasting his ass off and taking in the sweet scent of that Marine Corps lake (is he still there...if he is then God save him...who did he piss off????).

But the short conversation about the ACV and AAV upgrade was memorable.

Dude is a flag officer.  But he's also a grunt so while he tries to be all nice and shiny you can pick up clues to what he's really trying to say.  I'm betting that when he picks up another star he'll be all politician but for now I can read him like a book.

During the conversation he covered the pace of the programs, the theory behind them and how it was all planned out.  In short he was saying with a gleam in his eye to sit down, shut the fuck up, chill the fuck out...he's got this shit.

I took a look at the programs today.  Checked my records/files/mini-database and ya know what?  He was right.  These programs are on track, have NOT deviated from plan (except for an outside protest that was handled quickly) and from my chair it appears that the ACV and AAV upgrade will be delivered on time AND ON BUDGET!

I climbed a hill and banged on a drum, but Marine Corps armor is about to be properly sorted out. I couldn't be more pleased.  The timetable doesn't make me cheer but I'm not dealing with the budget realities that HQMC has to deal with.

So what are we seeing????

1.  New Rifles for Marine Ground....whether its the M27 for everyone or we build our own, the M4 will be improved.

2.  Assistant Squad Leader Billet...reduced load on the Squad Leader...the chance to see an EVEN MORE aggressive Marine Rifle Squad.

3.  Expeditionary Squads & Company Landing Teams...unprecedented opportunities for junior leaders.

4.  ACV on time, on budget due for testing this year.

5.  AAV Upgrade already undergoing evaluation.

6.  The M1A1 is scheduled for upgrades.  They will remain in the active force (if I'm wrong here, I stand ready to be corrected).

7.  Enhanced emphasis on HIMARS..deconfliction exercises are being run to make greater use of the rocket system.

8.  Polaris ATVs, similar to the models being used by SOCOM are being integrated into the Marine Corps to lighten the load for our grunts.

9.  JLTV is coming along without delay.


Not only is Marine Armor coming along nicely but it can be argued that the Ground Combat Element is in the midst of a type of revitalization.

Maybe this has been the plan all along but putting it all together instead of taking it in by bits puts things in a different light.

Quite honestly the Wing is in trouble (see my article on the cost explosion related to the CH-53K)...the GCE is just lovely....

Side Note:  Someone needs to head down to HQMC and tell them to work on messaging.  It would have saved me some walls, and calmed the tribe.  Get out of the crouch gentlemen!  Tell the warfighting story...its going well...but you have to talk about it...

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