The Marines want better-armed amphibious warships for high-end combat … (1)
… the naval force must upgrade the C2 (command and control) suites and introduce Vertical Launch Systems,” Lt. Gen. Brian Beaudreault the Marines’ three-star deputy commandant for plans, policies, & operations, told the Surface Navy Association conference … (1)
Since when did the Marines become experts at fleet structure, naval tactics and operations, and ship design? The sheer arrogance of the Marine Corps of late is breathtaking. They’ve moved into the Air Force and naval air arena in a bid to build their own air force, they’ve moved to take over the Army and Air Force deep strike role, they’re moving into the Air Force large UAV realm, and they’re trying to take on the role of land and sea based anti-ship combat. Bizarrely, they’re doing all this while simultaneously downsizing and lightening to become nothing more than light infantry. They’ve ignored acquisition of an amored personnel carrier (although the ACV may function as a poor man’s APC), an infantry fighting vehicle, improved tanks, and greater numbers of tanks and artillery. The Marines are dictating to the Navy while ignoring their own core mission. How odd is that? Presumably, it’s all in a bid for greater budget slice.
The Marine’s stated rationale for their demands reveals a basic misunderstanding of naval operations and ship costs.
In a major war against Russia or China, or even Iran, amphibious warships — as currently equipped — would have to rely on escorting destroyers both defensively, to shoot down attacking missiles and airplanes, and offensively, sinking enemy ships and bombarding targets ashore.
Of course, the amphibious ships would rely on escorts for protection. That’s how it’s always been and it’s been that way for a very good reason: if we build totally self-contained, do-it-all ships then they’ll become unaffordable. An amphibious ship is a troop/cargo transport – nothing more. There’s nothing wrong with a few point defense weapons but expanding into broader AAW requires more advanced radars, a more advanced combat control software package, a more sophisticated command center, more personnel, more high tech maintenance, and more support – in other words, hugely increased construction and life cycle operating costs.
The Marine’s rationale continues,
But those destroyers might not always be available and, even if they are, they might overwhelmed by the sheer volume of incoming fire. So the Marines want better-armed amphibs that can, ideally, operate unescorted or, at minimum, take on some of the burden of their own defense. (1)
If an enemy can overwhelm an escort of Aegis/AMDR Burkes and Ticonderogas, we’re screwed anyway.
Since when did the Navy become subordinate to the Marines?
I’m a huge supporter of what the Marines were and what they should be but I’m fed up with what they’ve become and where they seem to be going. The Marines no longer bring anything unique to the fight and they’ve all but abandoned their core mission of amphibious assault in favor of all these other areas and they’re totally ignoring what I consider to be their core mission which is port seizure. I never thought I’d say this but I’m ready to disband the Marines.
The Marine’s arrogance and ambition is out of control. If we won’t disband them, then they need to be smacked upside the head and brought back into line.
(1)Breaking Defense website, “Marine, Navy Wrestle With How To Upgun Amphibs”, Sydney J. Freedburg, Jr., 18-Jan-2019,https://breakingdefense.com/2019/01/marines-navy-wrestle-with-how-to-upgun-amphibs/