Monday, February 24, 2020

The low hanging fruit that the Marine Corps/Commandant is missing in the drive to synchronize with the Navy...

I've sat back and watched with anticipation some of the moves that the Marine Corps is making to "get back" to its Naval roots.

We're hearing talk of Medium Amphibious Assault Ships for a more dispersed force.  Talk of a new type of Marine Defense Battalions that can launch missiles against enemy vessels.

Emphasis is being placed on forward arming and refueling points to make sure that aviation and small units can operate far from our fleet that might be involved in the battle at sea.

But we're missing the low hanging fruit.

What about Marine Air?  What about the mix of F-35's that we're buying?

It's past time to keep Marine Air from gobbling up the rest of the Marine Corps. The solution is simple and obvious.

Dump the F-35C.  Buy Super Hornets and most especially E/A-18 Growlers!

Electronic Attack is going to be huge in future fights.  Even if you think that the F-35 can provide a modest attack capability in this realm you can't ignore the fact that the Growler is purpose built for this fight.

Even better is the fact that the joint force doesn't seem to be able to get enough of them.  Additionally it would allow Marine Air to not only integrate with NAVAIR but it would also allow the Corps to provide a valuable asset to the joint force.  No matter where the fight takes place E/A-18's would be welcome to jam, collect intel and attack enemy sensors.

The Navy is just buying a few F-35Cs.  As things stand the USMC is buying the bulk of them.  That's just unsat.  A mix of Super Hornets and Growlers would give us the airplane we need to become part of the sea battle.  Even better, both would be valuable in supporting efforts ashore.

It's really a no-brainer.  The Commandant should be bold.  Keep the F-35B if you must but the F-35C needs to go.  It just doesn't fit in with the plan laid out.

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