Posts filed under ‘Lessons Learned’
The Long Tan Line.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Danny Gonzalez).
This FRIDAY FOTO shows U.S. Marines snowshoeing downhill at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California on February 22, 2017. The Marines are assigned to the 1st Marine Division’s 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, which conducted training that tested Marines’ mobility and survival skills in a mountainous, snow-covered environment.
DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg
Veterans Fred Lewis (left) and Victor Sassoon — members of the U.S. Special Operations Command volleyball team –bump beards for good luck after beating Team Army in sitting volleyball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York June 15, 2016.
What’s sitting volleyball, you ask. It’s a tough competition for injured service members who can’t play volleyball standing up. See the photo below.
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Carlin Leslie
The Air Force sitting volleyball team competes against the U.S. Special Operations Command team during the 2016 Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy.
For more photos of the Warrior Games, click here.
Assessing the Toll.
Memorial Day, a holiday that grew out of efforts to honor the dead of the Civil War — North and South — commemorates the fallen. Veteran’s Day, as the Washington Post points out, was created after World War I to honor all who served their country in war and peace.
They say Freedom has a price. The chart below shows how Americans have been paying that price for more than 200 years.
The photos below show that debt has been paid — with interest — by the living as well.
Army photo by Rachel Larue
Brittany, left, and her four-year-old son, Christian, spend time at the grave of husband and father, Marine Corps Sergeant Christopher Jacobs, in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Christian wore his father’s cover (uniform hat) during the Memorial Day visit.
Dept. of Defense photo by Roger Wollenberg
Marine Corps veterans Eric Rodriguez, left, and Anthony McDaniel fist bump during the gold medal wheelchair basketball competition at the 2016 Invictus Games for wounded warriors in Orlando, Florida on May 12.
Adding a whole new dimension to the phrase “Stay Hungry,” U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Sam Teifke eats a live scorpion during Exercise Cobra Gold 16, at Sattahip, Thailand.
Teifke, with Maritime Raid Force of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, was taking part in jungle survival training course led by the Royal Thai Reconnaissance Marines. If you look closely, you can see his amused fellow Marines reflected in his sunglasses.
Cobra Gold, in its 35th iteration, is a multi-national exercise designed to increase cooperation and interoperability through solving solutions for common challenges.
Troops from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand participated in this year’s Cobra Gold, which is aimed at advancing regional security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area.
Back in September, we told what challenges Marine Corps planners and strategists think the corps will face later in the 21st Century. Much talk at the Modern Day Marine expo in Virginia focused on the kind of hybrid warfare seen in eastern Ukraine and the rise of teeming coastal mega cities around the world.
The future battlefield will probably look nothing like Afghanistan and Iraq, where Marines have been fighting for the last 14 years. Instead, urban areas near the sea and river deltas are expected to be the most likely environment, said Brigadier General Julian Dale Alford, commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab.
During a panel discussion at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Alford said the new environment will be “complex, congested, cluttered, contested, connected (with the cyber world), constrained and coastal.”
There’s plenty of evidence to back that conclusion.
A 2014 United Nations report noted that 54 percent of the world’s population already lives in urban areas — a proportion expected to increase to 66 percent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to the 2014 revision of the U.N.’s World Urbanization Prospects report.
Of today’s 28 mega-cities (with a population of 10 million or more) 16 are located in Asia, four in Latin America, three each in Africa and Europe, and two in North America. By 2030, the world is projected to have 41 mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. Many of those cities are in the littoral areas close to the sea.”That’s where our Marines are going to fight. That’s where we’re going to have to operate,” Alford said back in September.
Speaking at an industry training, simulation and education conference in Orlando, Florida last month, Alford asked industry attendees to help develop ways to better prepare troops to fight in high-rise warfare, Defense News reported.
Staying Ahead of the Threat 2015.
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VIRGINIA — In the 21st Century, the U.S. Marine Corps will confront a number of challenges, like the hybrid warfare seen in eastern Ukraine and the rise of teeming coastal mega cities around the world, according to a panel of generals and colonels speaking at this year’s Modern Day Marine expo.
In opening the panel discussion on building the future Marine Corps by harnessing innovation, Lieutenant General Robert Walsh noted hybrid warfare was on the rise around the globe in Syria, Iraq and “going on in Ukraine right now.” The hybrid battlefield contains a mix of non-state actors (guerrillas or foreign volunteers) combined with regular military and “state capabilities” like precision weaponry and high tech communications and propaganda methods. “We’ve got to be able to stay ahead of the threat” through innovation, said Walsh, deputy Marine commandant for Combat Development and Integration.
“The new normal was Benghazi,” said Lieutenant General Ron Bailey, deputy commandant for Plans Policies and Operations. As Libya slid into chaos the Marines had to mobilize a special purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force to handle a rapidly disintegrating situation on the ground, in the air and at sea. In the future, Marines will have to be prepared to fight in five battlespaces: air, land, sea, space and cyberspace, Bailey said.
The hybrid warfare in Ukraine “is the reality of the fight we will have to fight” against soldiers in uniforms mixed in with local citizens and volunteers (the so-called Little Green Men, who were believed to be Russian soldiers in mufti). “We need non-lethal weapons that will enable us to fight among the people” and still be able to take out enemy threats, Bailey added.
The future battlefield will probably look nothing like Afghanistan and Iraq, where Marines have been fighting for the last 14 years. Instead, urban areas near the sea and river deltas will be the most likely environment, said another panelist, Brigadier General Dale Alford, commander of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. And that environment will be “complex, congested, cluttered, contested, connected (with the cyber world), constrained and coastal,” he said. The world population is moving towards the cities and 75 percent of the world’s largest cities are in the developing world – many of them in the littoral areas close to the sea.”That’s where our Marines are going to fight. That’s where we’re going to have to operate,” he added.
Pointing at a slide showing images of recent conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa, Alford noted the Marines will have to deal with challenges like iPADs and Google Earth being used to direct mortar attacks, off-the-shelf unmanned quad copters being used by terrorists and insurgents for surveillance and reconnaissance, MANPADs (shoulder-fired ground- to-air missiles) “in the hands of teenagers.”
Like other panel members, Alford said innovation and new techniques bubble up from below, from junior officers and sergeants and corporals who are in the fight. “We need our young pups out there to innovate and figure out how we’re going to do this,” he added. Panel members also called on industry to provide technical solutions for these new challenges.
A video on the topic, a hot one in NATO circles, is here.
[UPDATES to restore dropped word ‘Corps’ in dateline, expand definition of hybrid war, add detail to “cluttered, coastal environment” explanation and recast headlines to reflect changes.]
$6.75 Billion Contract.
The U.S. Army has selected Oshkosh Corp. to build the new combat vehicle to replace the military’s aging Humvee troop carier.
In a statement released late Tuesday (August 25), the Army said was awarding the Wisconsin heavy truck maker a contract, valued at $6.7 billion, to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) for both the Army and Marine Corps.
Initial production, first at a low rate, 17,000 vehicles for the Army and Marines, is slated to begin in the first three months of Fiscal Year 2016, which begins October 1. The Pentagon is expected to make a decision on full-rate production in Fiscal Year 2018. Overall the Marines will acquire 5,500 JLTVs, while the Army take nearly 50,000 by 2040. The contract could swell to $30 billion if all 55,000 vehicles are built.
The U.S. military has been looking to replace the lightly armored Humvee (High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle) since 2006. In the first years of the Iraq war, thousands of troops were injured or killed when even up-armored Humvees were blasted by mines and roadside bombs. The JLTV program sought a combat vehicle more heavily armored than the Humvee but more maneuverable vehicle than the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The JLTV will be built in Oshkosh, Wisconsin with deliveries beginning 10 months after contract award. The Army anticipates having its first unit equipped with JLTVs in FY 2018.
The Army, which led the JLTV joint acquisition program with the Marines, selected Oshkosh over Humvee manufacturer AM General and giant defense contractor Lockheed Martin. At a Pentagon briefing late Tuesday, Army officials declined to specify what characteristics led them to pick Oshkosh’s offering, known as the L-ATV. That may be because one or both of the also-rans could file a protest, challenging the decision.
Lockheed and AM General have 10 days to file formal protests over the contract award, the Associated Press noted. Both companies issued statements saying they are considering their options.
All three companies participated in the program’s engineering and manufacturing development phase, which began in 2012. Each competitor send a total of 22 prototypes for field tests at Aberdeen, Maryland and Yuma, Arizona, and other government proving grounds.