All right … we just read in the previous post that the Marines no longer consider themselves in the opposed amphibious assault business. Let’s repeat that quote from Brig. Gen. Mullen.
“Our emphasis right now, in particular, especially with the, in the current fiscal environment, our Commandant’s priorities right now are crisis response at the expense of major combat operations. If we absolutely had to do it we certainly would but it would be a stretch. Right now, we’re focusing on crisis response.”
If the Marines are out of the amphibious assault business then why do they still claim to need 38 large hull amphibious ships? If we’re not doing the big amphibious assaults, logic suggests that we can eliminate many of the amphibious ships. Sure, we’d probably want to retain a handful for lower end operations. Around 18 amphibious ships would allow us to operate two MEUs, one each in the
Atlantic and Pacific. A three ship ARG requires nine ships to keep three deployed, hence, the total of 18. Quite a drop from 38 and quite a potential savings!
The Marines can’t have it both ways. If they’re out of the business then they don’t need the assets, resources, and budget. In fact, if they’re dropping down to light aviation-based assault one could legitimately wonder if the Army’s aviation assault capabilities aren’t sufficient and superior.
The Marine Corps desperately needs to get its act together or step aside and let the Army take over their role. Alternatively, the Army is pushing hard to operate from Navy ships and may wind up pushing the Marines aside while the Corps spends its time dithering over the AAV/ACV/EFV/whatever and blindly pursuing the F-35B.
Note: This is not my position. This is simply the logic of the situation that the Marines and the Navy have created.
Wake up, Marines!