Friday, June 09, 2023

Does the Navy & OSD fully back Force Design 2030? Amphibious Ship number beg otherwise.

 via Defense News

The Marine Corps, the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense have differing views on the role of amphibious operations in today’s joint force, and therefore how much money to spend on upkeeping existing ships and building replacements.


The Marine Corps has pushed back on this idea, with Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl, the deputy commandant for combat development and integration, telling Defense News this year that rough drawings from the Pentagon would reduce the capability of the ships in a way the service finds unacceptable.

The study is due to the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office imminently. It is unclear what will happen once the office receives the Marine Corps’ and the Navy’s input, as leadership has only said the study will inform the fiscal 2025 budget process.

“I’m very pessimistic,” Heckl said during the recent interview about his near-term outlook on the amphibious fleet’s size and readiness. “Until amphibs genuinely become a priority, this will always be a struggle — to procure and then maintain. The fact that these vessels have been ridden hard and put away wet simply exemplifies how useable they are: They are in constant demand.”

He recommended the Defense Department reconsider how ships are funded. Currently, only the Navy can buy those vessels in its shipbuilding account, and only the Navy can maintain them within its operations and maintenance account, even though Marines are the primary beneficiaries of the ships.


The US Army doesn't have to chide the Air Force for rides on its cargo planes.  Hell they even co-located a base to make airborne operations easier.

Yet its the Marine Corps that has been yelling about getting back to its naval roots and talking up naval integration.

It would appear that the Navy ain't too interested.

Personally I believe this was a self inflicted wound.

Berger miscalculated, didn't read the room and pushed for a reduction in amphibious ships.

The bean counters pounced.  Not just Navy but Defense Dept bean counters.

Additionally I believe that with the myopic focus on the Pacific and whatever backroom deals were cut (oh and believe me they were cut...they're priming the Marine Corps family with talk of what missions we'll no longer do) it appears that this lack of shipping might be all part of a bigger plan.

If you can only have so many amphibious ships then you can't be a worldwide organization if you only float your force.

The reality?

Naval integration has failed.  The Navy isn't onboard.  Force Design 2030 has failed.  The widgets to make it work will not be provided.  Looking at you Landing Ship Medium/logistics/casualty evacuation/lack of ground combat capability etc...  

They rolled the dice and lost.

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