Monday, August 27, 2018

CIMSEC On Australia's Amphibious Capability...

Further, utilizing landing craft with high capacities such as LCMs, with a capacity of 170, or an LCU 1700 which can carry 350 troops, presents a small number of highly dense targets.9 If it only deployed from embarked landing craft Australia’s entire amphibious landing force could present just nine targets. An opponent could counter this force before it lands with a handful of guided missiles or several accurate barrages of cluster or airburst artillery.
Story here. 

If you read the story then you might get the impression that Australia is in a hurt locker with regard to their amphibious capability.

I've come around.

Early on I was critical.


Now I buy into the crawl, walk then run concept they're pushing.  Additionally consider this.  How many nations on this little globe of ours can conduct an opposed amphibious landing solo?  The correct answer is two.

How many can conduct credible, forceful amphibious raids?  I would list Italy, the UK, Spain, Russia, China, the US, S. Korea.  I might have missed a couple but you get the idea.  Not that many are equipped to even conduct amphibious raids.

My point?

Marines are still viewed as elite troops.  Troops that can do the hard thing.  Yeah I know.  Everyone has Special Ops these days but when it comes to conventional forces, you're left with mostly Marines and Airborne.  There are other fringe units like mountain, or even light forces (assuming they're actually operating as light infantry) but you get the point.

In the old USSR system Marines would be considered Guards Units.

To take this one step further, our allies are building capacity to allow us to surge a far larger number of our US Marines if necessary.

If we need to conduct an amphibious assault then with the addition of the two Australian LHDs (assuming the Aussies play along) then we're adding two more battalions of infantry, another couple of squadrons of helicopters, more vehicles, artillery etc...

Even without adding one Aussie soldier to the team they've given us what we will need in the fight against China.  A big deck amphib that can be crewed by allies that we train with constantly while plussing up our amphibious fleet with no cost to the US taxpayer.

Make note.

I'm coming around to putting US Marines on foreign shipping too (amazing what the thought of fighting China does to focus the mind isn't it!).

But back on topic.

Australia is doing fine.

Their amphibious force is tailor made for minor interventions and HA/DR.  For the big fight we'll be thankful to have an ally that can give us another ship to put into our fleet to do the hard thing.

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