Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Light Amphibious Warship (LAW)...the more I hear about this concept the more I absolutely HATE it...

The more the USMC attempt to explain the Light Amphibious Warship and its future of operations the more I absolutely hate it.  Quite honestly it seems like they've thrown stuff against the wall and they're hoping it can stick...while at the same time fooling us all with buzzwords and at the same time moving at light speed (for a bureaucracy) to get it across the finish line before anyone can protest.

Check out a few tidbits from USNI News.
In contrast, the LAW ships would remain outside the ARG/MEU structure, an official at the Marine Corps’ Combat Development and Integration (CD&I) directorate told USNI News. They would be based in areas where shore-to-shore movement of Marines and gear could be needed – places like the South China Sea if China were to fight for the islands and sea space it claims as its own, or the Baltic Sea if Russia were to make another land grab against a neighboring country – and would support the movement of Marine Littoral Regiments moving quickly from one piece of land to the next to conduct missions under the Expeditionary Advance Base Operations (EABO) concept.

Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, the deputy commandant for combat development and integration and the head of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, told USNI News in a recent interview that LAW “is a smaller version of a traditional amphib but much more able to hide in plain sight, much more affordable, much more numerous because of its cost.”
Is he shitting me?  What kind of thinking is that?  So suddenly we don't have to worry about enemy ISR because this magical, mystical amphibious ship can "hide in plain sight"?  But wait there's more!
 The LAW requirements process was a “50/50” effort between the two services, Smith said.

“It was us saying, look, we need it to carry this many Marines and this many short tons, and we had the Navy saying, look, I can afford this sized crew if you’re talking that number of vessels,” Smith said.
“And we came to an agreement on major characteristics of the ship. So it was 50/50 right down the middle.”

According to the CD&I official, the LAW is going to be a pivotal part of how the Marines operate in certain areas of the world.

“Multiple threat-based wargames, scenarios, force structure reviews and the Commandant’s Planning Guidance have identified shore-to-shore littoral maneuver as the critical capability necessary to enable naval expeditionary forces to conduct distributed maritime operations in an archipelagic environment. The ultimate solution must be affordable, and seaworthy, a beachable platform, covering intra-theater distances, delivering a credible deterrence and combat force,” according to the official.
Here we go again.  75 Marines plus gear?  So we're back to a missile force that gets on islands and prays to God that they aren't found, fixed and neutralized after their first shot.
 “To improve their ability to perform various missions in coming years, including a potential mission of countering Chinese forces in a possible conflict in the Western Pacific, the Navy and Marine Corps want to implement a new operational concept called Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO). DMO calls for U.S. naval forces (meaning the Navy and Marine Corps) to operate at sea in a less concentrated, more distributed manner, so as to complicate an adversary’s task of detecting, identifying, tracking, and targeting U.S. naval forces, while still being able to bring lethal force to bear against adversary forces,” the report reads.
So instead of mutually supporting fires, we're going to distribute ourselves, have individuals ships focused and destroyed and we're going to do the same with our forces ashore?

This thing is a nightmare.

This will not work and countering it will be child's play. 

The Chinese could simply designate one Burke equivalent and a couple of fighter squadrons to each island (assuming they even make it ashore) and pummel them till the micro fragment.

The real problem?

We keep looking for a magic solution to warfare.  SOCOM ran into the problem by thinking that conducting high value raids against terrorist leadership would win the fight.  After decades of such actions it still hasn't made a difference.

We've seen variations on the theme in Afghanistan with first fighting the Taliban, then trying to make it an Afghanistani fight and now we're finally trying to negotiate...oh and I left out all the money wasted to build up institutions that have yet to take hold after two decades of trying.

This is the same path we're taking with fighting the Chinese.

Nothing is easy.  There are no short cuts.  You have to accept the realities of peer vs peer warfare.  There will be losses, there will be deaths, there will be suffering.

That is why war is so horrific.  Until we put nothing but robots on the battlefield it will be a truly terrible thing.

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