Saturday, October 05, 2019

Smaller, robotic Marine Corps....we're back to looking at the 150K end strength?

Not much commentary on this one.  Just a thought.  Hovering in the background for almost the last decade has been talk of the Marine Corps going to a 150K man force.

With the latest statements from the Commandant it seems like that ugly bird has reared its head again.

Additionally talk has been about highly dispersed forces that will be able to overwhelm a technologically capable Chinese force that is our PACING threat.  Not a threat that we seek to maintain supremacy over but to maintain pace with (hope I'm misreading the thinking there).

But 150K?

How do you justify any of the current procurement plans at that number?  Everything would essentially be up for a HUGE cut.

If they're thinking of sizing the Marine Corps at that number then we're looking at a much different Marine Corps.  A much smaller footprint.

Dare I say that at that size you could probably shutter San Diego Recruit Depot, Barstow Logistics Depot, probably a few other installations too.  And that's just in the US.

If we're going back afloat then we could probably change the way we're looking UDP to Okinawa and now Australia.

Of course the bigger bear in the room that Berger hasn't hit on is aviation.  Does he keep current numbers if the Marine Corps is changing this way?  Do we push forward with the F-35 numbers?  If we're reestablishing our teaming with the Navy then why not have Super Hornets wearing USMC decals?  How do you get the right number of CH-53Ks?

How do you get the right number if you're talking more drones?

This stuff will get interesting.

Ya know what the most irritating thing is?  We've been on a certain trajectory with our thinking for at least a decade with this new Aviation Centric Marine Corps.  Now even that plan appears to be being modified to take into account unmanned aircraft.

Interesting doesn't describe it.  But one small afterthought.  What if the end strength is actually lower than 150K?  Could they be looking at perhaps 120K? Could we see a Corps where all of the "heavy" stuff is located in the reserves with a true active duty strength composed of two divisions...the 1st and 2nd with the 3rd being the reserves and our "desert storm" element?  Just mudballing but I've heard of stranger stuff being batted around.

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