Thursday, February 04, 2021

The 20th-Century Roots of EABO (MUST READ!) First Lieutenant James Winnefeld, U.S. Marine Corps

 Just plain wow.  I follow many senior officers in the USMC and I get the basics of the concept from a gawd damn Lt.  The article is in Proceedings and you can read it all here.  A preview...

In the early morning hours of a temperate January day, a contingent of 1,723 U.S. Marines defended an expeditionary advanced base on a small tropical island from an impending enemy amphibious assault. The Marines reacted quickly, having used airborne reconnaissance in the preceding days to build situational awareness of the enemy’s disposition.1 As the sun rose, the enemy was thrown back into the sea, and the base continued to provide support to the fleet. Thanks to investments in both time and money to innovate their force design, force structure, posture, and capabilities to support the advanced base mission, the Marines were able to successfully defend the island.

This is not a depiction of the Marine force of the future as outlined in the Commandant’s Force Design 2030, but an experiment conducted on Culebra Island off Puerto Rico more than a century ago—the culmination of much thought, debate, and conclusions about the concept of the advanced base force.2 This historical example has increased relevance today, as Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger has challenged the service to make sweeping changes not unlike those made by the Corps at the turn of the 20th century. It also is an example of how leadership can foster innovation and change to meet emerging threats. 

Make sure you read the article.

What has me spinning?  In the 1940's the USMC basically abandoned the Defense Battalion construct .


Because the Japanese made mush of it.  We saw a valiant but failed attempt at Guadalcanal (which was the impetus behind the future MAGTF) to hold the line but history is history.  Additionally we saw the concept in reverse during our push across the Pacific.  Japanese Soldiers and Marines tried desperately to implement a version of this concept but they were either bypassed, ground down or both.

Make no mistake about it.  This article is a full throated defense of the Commandant's plan but while retelling history I think the 1stLT left out some major facts that need to be part of the debate.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.