Tuesday, July 07, 2020

The Commandant's Planning Guidance is a shot across the bow. He's about to make the Marine Corps unrecognizable...

I was reading the Commandant's Planning Guidance and he highlighted certain points.  I paid close attention and I'm trying to figure out the message contained.  Here's what I've come up with so far....

There is no  piece of equipment or major defense acquisition program that defines us – not the AAV, ACV, LAV, M1A1, M777, AH-1, F/A-18,  F-35, or any other program. 
Did you notice what wasn't included in this hit parade?  The MV-22.  The CH-53K.  The JLTV.  HIMARS.  He just telegraphed what's on the chopping block.  Either these systems will be canned outright (M1A1, AAV, F/A-18) or they're gonna be reduced (M777, F-35, AH-1).  A few are in a category I can't yet determine (LAV) and maybe a few others that didn't make the list but if you're a fan of any of the above or worse in that MOS you better get ready to be at best reduced - maybe looking for a new job.

 If provided the opportunity to secure additional modernization dollars in exchange for force structure, I am prepared to do so.
In an earlier post today I said that I wouldn't be surprised to see the force shrink to 125K by 2030.  The above passage from the CPG shows that to be the case.  Since 2004 I've heard rumblings of the Corps going down to 150K. That appears to have been optimistic.  Few boat spaces indeed.

 The Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) will remain our principal warfighting organization; however, our MEFs  need not be identical. III MEF  will become our  main  focus-of-effort, designed to provide U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (U.S. INDOPACOM) and  the Commander, 7th  Fleet with  a fight-tonight, stand- in force capability to persist inside an  adversary’s weapon systems threat range, create a mutually contested space, and facilitate the larger naval campaign. When  modernized in a manner consistent with  the  vision  above, III  MEF will be a  credible deterrent to adversary aggression in the Pacific. I MEF will also  be  focused on  supporting the  Commander, USINDOPACOM and the Commander, 3rd Fleet. I MEF will continue to provide forces  to USINDOPACOM to build partner capacity  and reinforce deterrence efforts, and  must be prepared to impose costs  on a potential adversary, globally. We will increasingly accept risk with I MEF’s habitual relationship with CENTCOM; however,
7th  Marines is at  present purpose-built to  support CENTCOM requirements; thus, I MEF will continue to support CENTCOM requirements within the capacity of
7th Marines. II MEF will undergo substantial changes to better align with the needs of Commanders of 2d and
6th  Fleets. During  a major  contingency operation or sustained campaign ashore, necessary combat power will be provided to the committed MEF through global sourcing by the Total Force.
2nd MEF is soon to be the Marine Corps bitch boys.  If you ain't in 1st MEF you ain't shit.  It's obvious from this passage that while 2nd MEF will get a bit of attention the real action will be in the 1st MEF.  What has me puzzled is this piece.  7th Marines will continue to support CENTCOM.  Why?  It kinda throws stuff into an even bigger meat grinder than is necessary in my opinion.  They're gonna have to be COMPLETELY different from the other Regiments in the MEF to handle CENTCOM taskings.  You are ring knocker?  Then you better hustle over to the West Coast if you ever want to make your way to the big chair over at Quantico.

 I see  potential in the “Lightning Carrier”  concept, based on an LHA / LHD; however, do not support a new-build CVL. Partnering a big-deck amphib with surface combatants is the right warfighting capability for many of the  challenges confronting the joint force,  and  provides substantial naval  and  Joint operational flexibility, lethality,  and  survivability.
Hmm.  This makes no sense to me.  If it's all about China and doing all we can to combat that threat than a purpose built light carrier makes sense.  Unless the idea is to protect big decks.  This is where I feel he's showing some true colors.  Everything is on the chopping blocks.  He's stripping the Ground Combat Element down to nothing but he doesn't want to maximize the F-35 on a purpose built light carrier?  Kinda makes a lie of the smaller more numerous more expendable assets doesn't it.

There is much more but I'm already pissed with this.  Maybe a bit more tomorrow.

NOTE!  Re-reading this thing and we're back to the Marine Corps "serving it's customers"..."what the customer wants"...that line of idiocy.  I wonder what prompted the return of this wording to the Marine Corps/DOD.

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