Thursday, July 13, 2017

Aviation Centric Marine Corps? We've been here before during the late 40's/50's...

Take the time to watch the above video!

The name of it is "U.S. Navy / Marine Corps Helicopter Assault Amphibious
Operations "Vertical Envelopment", and it explains that the USMC has been in this exact same spot before.

The threat during the late 40's and 50's?  Nuclear weapons.  The solution? Vertical envelopment by helo.  If you want the history and how they arrived at this solution then go here, to read "Marines and Helicopters 1946 - 1962".

How did the Marine Corps implement this plan?  They developed the Iwo Jima class LPH (below).

These ships served us a remarkably long time and as a sidenote, we should be building modern vessels of this size.  At full displacement it weighed in at 18K tons and supposedly carried 2K troops (not sure if that was done in real world conditions).

But back on task.

Today's Marine Corps is facing the scourge of long range, high speed anti-ship missiles.  The solution that they've come up with is to reach into the past and dust off the "vertical envelopment" concept and simply upgrade it to match the force we have now.

Remember, this course of action is being followed despite the former Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Greenert (how I wish I could find this statement!) stating that the Navy would do what it has always done.  Rollback enemy defenses.

When people pointed out that these forces would be as vulnerable to anti-air defenses as the ships to anti-ship missiles, we heard the new talking point that we would work with the Navy to degrade anti-access/area denial systems by deploying Marines by MV-22 to destroy networks on the ground.

It's silly in a handbag.

Until I get a firm explanation on why this course of action is going to be followed I'll keep beating on my drum.  Just remember this.  We've been here before and the ultimate realization was that the entire and complete combined arms team was necessary to win the fight.

Focusing on supporting the infantryman on the ground and "every Marine a rifleman" were unifying concepts that I believe are being forgotten in the rush to embrace this new concept...this new way of doing things.

In essence, change for the sake of change. Distributed Operations, Disaggregated MEUs and even Company Landing Teams have their roots in past Marine Corps efforts to deal with what they thought would be the "nuclear battlefield".

It took Vietnam, a new focus on the coming fights in the Middle East (the genesis for the Rapid Deployment Force and later CentCom) and a lack of land mobility during Desert Storm to get the Marine Corps to once and for all shake itself out of 50's tactical mindset.

What will it take to make the same happen to today's Aviation Centric Marine Corps.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.