Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Marine Corps Captain claims the ACV is the wrong vehicle for Marine Operating Concepts....he's wrong, a myopic focus on forcible entry is his critical point of failure, not the vehicle...

via USNI Mag.
The amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) is more than 40 years old and has been rendered obsolete on the modern battlefield through the advancement of technology and doctrine. The amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) was recently declared the AAV’s successor. By selecting the ACV to replace the AAV, however, the Marine Corps is recklessly disregarding the “key drivers of change” identified in the MOC, in particular, the “increasingly contested maritime domain.”

The latest MOC recognizes that naval power projection ashore now faces serious opposition, particularly from sophisticated long-range missiles. Specifications for the new ACV are no better than the AAV’s—neither can operate independent of naval support in an antiaccess/area-denial, over-the-horizon environment because of their inability to achieve high water speed (HWS) of greater than eight knots and lack of range. Wheeled and tracked amphibious vehicles have, thus far, been unable to achieve the HWS and range necessary to conduct amphibious operations on the modern battlefield. To fight and win in the contested maritime domain the Marine Corps must insist on a modern, long-range, HWS-capable landing craft to serve as the ship-to-shore connector capable of executing the expeditionary advanced base operations (EABO) called for in the MOC.
Story here. 

This is what I miss about the Marine Corps I grew up in.  I could read the professional mags of the sea services and get REAL debates about how/why/when we conduct operations and what leaders would think about the future.

In that I applaud USNI Mag.

This shit is real.  I'm thrilled to finally getting some meaty discussions again and NOT a bunch of nonsense written by Midshipmen or Lt's just hitting the fleet raging about social issue this or why the fuck do we do parades that.

But back on task.

While I'm thrilled by the Captain's article I think he's illustrating a frustration that I have.

Current Marine Corps Operating Concepts focus on one thing to the exclusion of almost everything else.

Forcible entry.

You say good?  You say that should be the focus?  I say you're ignoring a critical part of the fight.

What happens after you're established ashore?  That's where the ACV will shine...and that's my irritation point with the article.

The Captain points out several raw points with the ACV.  Mainly the lack of water speed.  I get it.  But If we do as the Operating Concept calls for then we're gonna leap frog those enemy strong points.  We will be launching MV-22s from far off shore.  CH-53Ks will be bringing in supplies to help those rifle companies assault key positions that would hinder our surface landing force.

In essence we've kinda flipped the script. 

The ACV will land in the Follow On Echelon with M1A1 Abrams or they will land where we've determined the enemy isn't in coordination with helo-borne forces in the initial assault..

Additionally we can land helo-borne forces to carry out attacks on key installations but we will eventually have to close with and destroy that peer threat.  If they can threaten our landing to the extent that the Captain fears then they will also be backed up with heavy mech forces, probably superb infantry and credible enough airpower that we will need to have an equally if not superiorly equipped force to deal with them.

It would seem (in my opinion) that the failure here isn't how the Marine Corps will get ashore.

Planners are working that problem to death.

The issue is what happens once we're on land and facing threat forces that are more lethal than ever and what will we do to meet that threat.

The ACV is part of the solution to that problem.  Upgrading the Abrams, refurbishing the MTVR, getting the HIMARS the latest and greatest missiles, seeing the JLTV properly deployed/equipped, getting anti-ship missiles and other initiatives will aid that.

Properly fund the Ground Combat Element to make it viable in the 21st century is essential.  That should be the take away from this article, not a problem with the ACV or the reasoning behind it.

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