Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Marine Corps’ Builds New Littoral Regiment

 via Breaking Defense.

The Marine Corps is moving quickly to develop a new kind of infantry unit to challenge Chinese claims on small islands in the Pacific, while the Navy is developing new and smaller ships to move and supply them once they deploy.

The new Littoral Regiments won’t be fully fleshed out for several years, but Marine Corps leaders said today they will be bolstered by logistics and air defense battalions once they’re ready to go.

The Corps is wargaming “what assets would we be able to place in that battle space that are very low signature and that give us the firepower that we need to be a relevant force that provides consequences, should we get past the deterrence phase,”  Maj. Gen. Kevin Iiams, assistant deputy commandant of Combat Development, told reporters at the virtual Modern Day Marine event today.

The Corps envisions three new regiments, with two based in Japan and one in Guam.

Plans call for the regiment to undergo wargames and experimentation for about three years until a unit is fleshed out and ready to actually deploy.

“Much like our [Marine air-ground task forces] that we have now, there are support elements to it,” Iiams said. “So, we’ll have a littoral combat team; we’ll have a littoral logistics battalion; and we’ll have an anti-air battalion,” Iiams added.

The units are part of the Corps’ effort to move toward building a fast-moving, hard to detect “inside force” that can operate within range of Chinese and Russian weapons ranges while packing a potent offensive punch.

Story here.

A few things.

*  We already knew this.  I view this "announcement" as an effort to regain the momentum in Berger's "transformation".  He's bogging down and he's running out of time.

*  Remember when it was all about penetrating China's A2/AD zone?  Now its all about operating inside of it.  Amazing isn't it?

*  Ships.  A new toy is the make or break part of this concept?  Stupid thing to place such a huge bet on.  Think about it.  The US Navy has finally rid itself of the amphibious assault requirement (you're welcome Navy...our Commandant is being batshit crazy) but in exchange the Missile Marines are asking for new ships?  While the Navy already is lacking battle force ships that can contribute to the fight (yeah the Marines are talking about shooting from shore...Navy leadership is well aware that the cost benefit analysis of this plan is poor at best)?  This is a hard ask for the Navy, a punch in the gut and probably viewed as pure folly.

*  They're now talking anti-air?  Seriously?  This is another crazy part of this plan!  Short range anti-air missiles against a storm of Chinese cruise missiles that will obliterate on shore anti-ship missile complexes?  Its not gonna work.

*  The cost of this plan must be staggering if its taken to completion.  Think about it.  The Marine Corps is standing up a littoral regiment.  Building a division that is focused on China...but in order to do it, it's had to slash tanks, F-35's, CH-53K's and other forces?  Is this new plan even affordable?

So much more to talk about but I'm out of time.

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