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Marines To Shut Down All Tank Units


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The article is a hoot:

 

They [tanks] were of massive value, I mean huge value, in the past," he said. "I used them in and around Ramadi and in and around Fallujah [in Iraq]. They've paid their dues in blood. These are Marine warriors from the Korean War until now.

​

 

From the Korean War? The USMC has operated tanks continuously since 1 March 1937. We raised six tank battalions in WWII. Fallujah was 2004 and tanks went to Afghanistan much later.

 

I have sent a copy of my Marines under Armor to Gen. Berger.

 

------------------------

 

Stuart, the Congress has oversight responsibilities, but will take too much time, cf our own EchoFiveMike's comment earlier on the Military Current Events, indicating the rush to execute shows they are worried in this USMC cabal.

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44490&p=1486785

 

 

 

Congress

Report To Congress Seeks Clarification On Marine Corps’ Redesign Plans

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

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By Matthew Beinart |
13 days ago |
05/14/2020

Also In This Issue:

A new report from the Congressional Research Service details lawmakers’ potential concerns over the Marine Corps’ plan to redesign its force by 2030, including questions on reducing the required number of F-35s and eliminating its tank battalions.

The document previews the scrutiny Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, will likely face from Congress as he looks to implement his vision of retooling toward naval expeditionary warfare and building a lighter force capable of meeting future challenges against peer competitors such as China.

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

“Congress in its regulatory, oversight, and authorization and appropriations roles could take interest in this major proposed force design initiative,” wrote the authors of the report.

The Marine Corps’ force design plan, which was released in March, includes completely divesting from tank battalions, downsizing the number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21, artillery cannon batteries from 21 down to 5, amphibious vehicle companies from 6 to 4 and reducing all tiltrotor, attack and heavy lift squadrons (Defense Daily, March 24).

The report states the elimination of tank battalions “represents a significant reduction in the ability to confront enemy armor threats,” and notes “the estimated elimination of 76% of the Marine Cannon Artillery Batteries represents a significant reduction in organic on-shore artillery fire support.”

For both areas, the report asks how the Marine Corps plans to address the loss in tank and cannon artillery capability.

The Marine Corps’ force redesign would also include reducing the number of F-35B and C aircraft per squadron from 16 to 10 platforms, as well as potentially cutting the number of required Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.

“The reduction of F-35s per squadron and the possible reduction in JLTVs resulting from unit eliminations/deactivations have implications beyond the Marines, as both are major Joint Service programs. How might this planned reduction in Marine requirements for F-35s and JLTVs affect the other military services procurement plans for these systems?” the report asks.

The report also seeks to address how the Marine Corps’ implementation of the redesign will align with current and future Navy efforts.

“How do proposed Marine force design changes and intended future capabilities efforts (e.g., long-range fires, smaller infantry battalions) fit into the larger context of changes in Navy and Marine Corps operational concepts and Navy fleet architecture, including the amphibious fleet?” the report’s authors wrote.

​

Edited by Ken Estes
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The article is a hoot:

 

 

They [tanks] were of massive value, I mean huge value, in the past," he said. "I used them in and around Ramadi and in and around Fallujah [in Iraq]. They've paid their dues in blood. These are Marine warriors from the Korean War until now.

​

 

From the Korean War? The USMC has operated tanks continuously since 1 March 1937. We raised six tank battalions in WWII. Fallujah was 2004 and tanks went to Afghanistan much later.

 

I have sent a copy of my Marines under Armor to Gen. Berger.

 

------------------------

 

Stuart, the Congress has oversight responsibilities, but will take too much time, cf our own EchoFiveMike's comment earlier on the Military Current Events, indicating the rush to execute shows they are worried in this USMC cabal.

http://www.tank-net.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=44490&p=1486785

 

 

 

Congress

Report To Congress Seeks Clarification On Marine Corps’ Redesign Plans

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

Share:

 

By Matthew Beinart |

13 days ago |

05/14/2020

Also In This Issue:

 

A new report from the Congressional Research Service details lawmakers’ potential concerns over the Marine Corps’ plan to redesign its force by 2030, including questions on reducing the required number of F-35s and eliminating its tank battalions.

The document previews the scrutiny Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, will likely face from Congress as he looks to implement his vision of retooling toward naval expeditionary warfare and building a lighter force capable of meeting future challenges against peer competitors such as China.

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

“Congress in its regulatory, oversight, and authorization and appropriations roles could take interest in this major proposed force design initiative,” wrote the authors of the report.

The Marine Corps’ force design plan, which was released in March, includes completely divesting from tank battalions, downsizing the number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21, artillery cannon batteries from 21 down to 5, amphibious vehicle companies from 6 to 4 and reducing all tiltrotor, attack and heavy lift squadrons (Defense Daily, March 24).

The report states the elimination of tank battalions “represents a significant reduction in the ability to confront enemy armor threats,” and notes “the estimated elimination of 76% of the Marine Cannon Artillery Batteries represents a significant reduction in organic on-shore artillery fire support.”

For both areas, the report asks how the Marine Corps plans to address the loss in tank and cannon artillery capability.

The Marine Corps’ force redesign would also include reducing the number of F-35B and C aircraft per squadron from 16 to 10 platforms, as well as potentially cutting the number of required Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.

“The reduction of F-35s per squadron and the possible reduction in JLTVs resulting from unit eliminations/deactivations have implications beyond the Marines, as both are major Joint Service programs. How might this planned reduction in Marine requirements for F-35s and JLTVs affect the other military services procurement plans for these systems?” the report asks.

The report also seeks to address how the Marine Corps’ implementation of the redesign will align with current and future Navy efforts.

“How do proposed Marine force design changes and intended future capabilities efforts (e.g., long-range fires, smaller infantry battalions) fit into the larger context of changes in Navy and Marine Corps operational concepts and Navy fleet architecture, including the amphibious fleet?” the report’s authors wrote.

​

What is Berger’s end goal? He seems to be intent on forcing the Marine Corps to turn into a bunch of light infantry shepherding mobile anti ship missiles around island chains. His actions and words also seem to invoke the sense that he doesn’t know his own history. ANONE saying some current major capability is a “thing of the past” needs to looked into for mental issues or possible malicious intent.
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Hard to say. Look at his last assignments before becoming Commandant [July 11, 2019]:

 

 

August 28, 2018, Berger assumed the post of Commanding General of Marine Corps Combat Development Command [Quantico VA]

 

He assumed command of United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. [Replacing LtGen Toolan, retired-unscheduled 2016]

 

In July 2014, Berger was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and assumed command of I Marine Expeditionary Force, Cp Pendleton CA]

 

Berger served as commanding general Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command [29 Palms CA] and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center from 2013 to 2014.

 

In 2012 he deployed to Afghanistan as the commanding general of 1st Marine Division (forward) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

From 2009 to 2011 he served at Headquarters Marine Corps as the director of operations.

While serving as assistant division commander of 2nd Marine Division, Berger was appointed to the rank of brigadier general. He then deployed to Kosovo, where he served for one year as chief of staff for KFOR Headquarters in Pristina.

 

As a colonel, Berger commanded Regimental Combat Team 8 [November 2005] in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom [but well after the Fallujah area saw major combat.]

 

Berger commanded 3d Battalion, 8th Marines from 2002 to 2004, deploying the battalion first to Okinawa, and later to Haiti in support of Operation Secure Tomorrow.

 

 

------------------------------------

 

So, he certainly moved around more than usual as a flag officer, hard to know what he picked up; He may have fallen under the spell of the USN while commanding USMC Forces Pacific from his HQ, located not far from the USN Pacific command complexes. At Quantico, he may have devoted more time to war games, already begun in Hawaii.

 

His only combat decoration is a Legion of Merit with combat 'V' and that's rather unusual for an infantryman/recon specialist.

 

One really has to wonder who his daddy was.

Edited by Ken Estes
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He must have support among the USMC leadership? This seems to have come out of the blue, was there any discussion of this among the ranks? It would be like the Navy suddenly saying, we're done with carriers and scrapping all of them within a year. WTF?

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Once CMC, he makes his own USMC leadership by appointing his supporters to key positions and recommending them for three star grade which is not dependent upon a board.

 

I read his CMC guidance last fall and he wrote very disparagingly about "legacy" weapons and what a burden they were. So he does telegraph his blows.

 

The wargaming he claims proved his position simply reminds me of the IJN wargaming of their Midway plan on board the flagship. As I recall, it required 4-5 resets before they obtained a 'win.'

 

He can leave behind guns and tanks, but what if his opponent does not?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I could be convinced about very small detachments with passive detection equipment operating as modern day coastwatchers, but saying you are going to hide an entire battalion, with radars and flying drones and shooting missiles, on a desolate island sounds batshit crazy to me.

 

. . . and where is the F-35B in all this? We've screwed up US fighter procurement for two generations to get a stealthy, high tech, VTOL plane and now they don't want to use it for a concept that involves stealthy use of high tech gear in places without runways? It seems like this entire concept could be replaced more effectively by landing an F-35B with 2-3 sorties worth of fuel/munitions.

Edited by CaptLuke
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I could be convinced about very small detachments with passive detection equipment operating as modern day coastwatchers, but saying you are going to hide an entire battalion, with radars and flying drones and shooting missiles, on a desolate island sounds batshit crazy to me.

 

. . . and where is the F-35B in all this? We've screwed up US fighter procurement for two generations to get a stealthy, high tech, VTOL plane and now they don't want to use it for a concept that involves stealthy use of high tech gear in places without runways? It seems like this entire concept could be replaced more effectively by landing an F-35B with 2-3 sorties worth of fuel/munitions.

 

 

 

I would expect that F-35s would be passing targeting data to the guys with the missiles. Is there no longer a plan, at least in theory or on paper, to use austere runways or whatever for them?

 

 

 

 

-K

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Coming full circle. After the Wake Island garrison surrendered, the defense battalion T/O was altered with the addition of a rifle company and tank platoon of up to 8 light tanks. The Corps leadership remains in a parallel and opposite universe.

 

The Chinese garrisons of the S. China Sea islands are self-maintaining POW camps. In case of conflict, leave them there to wither on the vine as the SSNs sink their supply ships. Defend Taiwan and S Korea, keep the nuc force alerted. Unplug the Chinese economy from western support/dependence. Repeat as necessary.

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I would expect that F-35s would be passing targeting data to the guys with the missiles. Is there no longer a plan, at least in theory or on paper, to use austere runways or whatever for them?

 

Go back to the article Ken linked to earlier: all of the crazy things they say out loud can be distracting from what they don't say. There is no mention of the F-35B in that article, even as an off-island asset that works cooperatively.

 

It could be that the USMC has concluded the F-35B is too fragile and support/maintenance heavy to work from austere strips, but can't say that out loud, or it could be that mentioning the F-35B's ability to do the mission will complicate funding for all the shiny new toys.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's a bit of cross purposing. The US military presence in Europe initially was viable only because of its nuclear deterrent. Ike promised the army that it could go down to 12 active divisions because it would never have to fight the USSR in Europe without tac nucs on the battlefeld. Of course, that battlefield was not US property and it became over time an imperative to beef up US conventional forces with an eye to making it a viable force without the immediate use of tac nucs. The resulting economic expenditure so stressed the USSR that it still is credited in some quarters with ending the Cold War. By the 1980s, the US buildup in active divisions and stockpiled materiel for ten more divisions in Europe amounted to our own "horde of tanks."

 

Nonetheless, it has remained US policy not to initiate direct conflict with a nuc superpower, for fear that it could escalate to a nuclear exchange that would cast the outcome in severe doubt to say the least. There have been several proxy wars involving superpowers, but that's a different consideration not implying nucs.

 

When this discussion of revamping the USMC for a conflict with China first raised its ugly head, it naturally set off alarms in the heads of those of us who worked in military affairs in the 70s-90s, such as Bill Lind, now retired as a former military staffer in the US Senate. I too wondered right away, what was the idea of fighting China in the So China Sea with naval forces in isolation? What were the associated requirements for the US to defend the ROK, Japan and Taiwan? Was this to be a conventional war, if not what were the constraints?

 

We remember, it was the same Ike that promised tac nucs for the US Army in Europe who also voiced his view that the US should never fight a land war on the Asian mainland. Given Chinese armaments today, we need not limit it to the mainland, I'd wager. This also goes for a certain Fake President who promised N Korea a rain of fire should Kim threaten US security. Well, US security hardly is maintained by a nuc bombardment of N Korea, which cannot fail to have lethal effects on neighboring Chinese and Russian territory. But the stupidity continues, despite the soundest US intell and military advice at hand for the xxxxx in the Oval Office.

Very off topic, but Bill Lind has turned about to be quite the nut job.

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Coming full circle. After the Wake Island garrison surrendered, the defense battalion T/O was altered with the addition of a rifle company and tank platoon of up to 8 light tanks. The Corps leadership remains in a parallel and opposite universe.

 

The Chinese garrisons of the S. China Sea islands are self-maintaining POW camps. In case of conflict, leave them there to wither on the vine as the SSNs sink their supply ships. Defend Taiwan and S Korea, keep the nuc force alerted. Unplug the Chinese economy from western support/dependence. Repeat as necessary.

Per last paragraph, agree 100%.

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Coming full circle. After the Wake Island garrison surrendered, the defense battalion T/O was altered with the addition of a rifle company and tank platoon of up to 8 light tanks. The Corps leadership remains in a parallel and opposite universe.

 

The Chinese garrisons of the S. China Sea islands are self-maintaining POW camps. In case of conflict, leave them there to wither on the vine as the SSNs sink their supply ships. Defend Taiwan and S Korea, keep the nuc force alerted. Unplug the Chinese economy from western support/dependence. Repeat as necessary.

 

Ken, do you think they could keep their island bases supplied by airlift if they put enough Air Defense on those islands?

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Not a chance. Every square inch of the islands in the SCS is going to be imaged and monitored. Anything emitting is going to get nailed in the opening stages, the only thing left will be MANPADs and they can't eat those, so it won't do them much good. About the only way they'd be able to resupply them is if they designed a ballistic missile that could carry rations, and that's a bit facetious because life is cheap to them and there's no shortage of replacements.

For the same reason, it's stupid to put a garrison of Marines on a speck of land to baby sit anti-ship missiles within the ballistic missile envelope of the mainland. Area denial can be accomplished via other means, they're going to get hammered right in the beginning and the ASMs either destroyed or go winchester early on, as will anything manmade bigger than a few pixels large on satellite imaging. In fact their presence will simply complicate planning because they're going to need relief, assuming by some miracle it stays conventional and they don't get slimed or glassed.

Leadership clearly has some sort of LCS masturbatory fantasy about how the battle is going to play out. No doubt they'll hold Millennium Challenge like exercises to validate what they already believe and quietly alter the constraints if whoever the Red Forces gets clever.

Edited by Burncycle360
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https://twitter.com/CMC_MarineCorps/status/1300513520052776961

 

CMC talking about the need for a new light amphibious warship. LST

 

Fixed it for you.

 

Also it's good to know that LST are survivable in areas contested by the Chinese Navy and Air Force, because if LST are survivable then even the LCS should do fine and actual warships should just kick ass.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm glad to see this one:

 
'Marines Make Excellent Soldiers': Over Half a Marine Tank Company Just Joined the Army National Guard | Military.com


https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/16/marines-make-excellent-soldiers-over-half-marine-tank-company-just-joined-army-national-guard.html 
 
It's my hope that all USMC tankers and technicians will take the interservice transfer to the Army. That way, when we need them again, they just might come back into the fold. 
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