Posts tagged ‘Marine Corps’
Blue Water Raiders.
Marines and sailors slice through the waters off southern California in rigid hull inflatable boats (RIB) from the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans to conduct an exercise known as visit, board, search and seizure. They were heading for a simulated enemy vessel on September 23 near San Clemente Island.
The Marines and sailors are with the Maritime Raid Force of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. This was the first at-sea exercise for these troops preparing for deployment to the Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility in early 2016.
To see more photos of this exercise, click here.
We inadvertently failed to post this week’s Friday Foto on Friday and did not notice the error until just after midnight Friday/Saturday.
Our apologies to loyal readers who’ve been kept waiting.
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.]
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, VIRGINIA — We went south of Washington this week for a first-time visit to the Modern Day Marine (MDM) expo and confrence.
Unlike massive military and industry conferences like the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space in April and the Association of the U.S. Army gathering next month in Washington, Modern Day Marine is held outdoors (in large air conditioned tents) instead of in a huge convention center. Even the panel discussions conducted by Marine Corps brass are held in a very big tent with folding chairs on temporary flooring.
At the first panel discussion, several generals and a couple of colonels talked about the importance of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF), pronounced MAGTAF. It’s the Corps’ basic expeditionary force that can put Marines ashore via landing craft, helicopters — or both — as part of a rapid response to a crisis. We’ll discuss this more over the weekend.
But we want to get to the four monster amphibious vehicles on display facing each other in one of the expo’s big tents.
For years the Marine Corps has been looking for a replacement for its aging Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), a tracked landing craft that has been around since the 1970s. Five companies are competing for the contract to build the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to replace the AAV.
The original planned replacement vehicle, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), was cancelled in 2011 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates for being too expensive and behind schedule.
Now the Marines are looking for a big vehicle that can carry at least 10 Marines (beside an operating crew of three), get them to the beach from a ship as much as 12 nautical miles off shore, at a speed of at least 6 knots. The ACV will have to be as rugged and protective as a tank but be able to carry troops far inland quickly, if necessary.
Lockheed Martin unveiled its offering for the first time on Tuesday (September 22). Like all of the others on display, it is an 8×8 behemoth. The desert tan vehicle can carry as many as 13 Marines as well as a three-person crew.
BAE Systems, which makes the current AAV, is hoping to replace it with its entry displayed in forest camouflage colors.
Science Applications International Corporation, better known as SAIC, had its gray Terrex 2 vehicle on display. The Terrex can carry 11 passengers plus a crew of three.
Last but not least was a solid green 8X8 from General Dynamics.
Also in the hunt for the ACV program — but not at MDM — is a team consisting of of Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems and St Kinetics, a Singapore company.
The Marines are expected to select two vehicles from the five offerings in November. Each company will then provide 16 vehicles to be tested in all types of climes and conditions.
[More on Modern Day Marine this weekend. Stay tuned.]
This is not a photo of a flooded underground parking garage. This is actually the inside of a Navy ship: the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans.
Here we see Seaman Elana Hunter, a boatswain’s mate, signaling Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) to launch from the ship’s well deck during Exercise Dawn Blitz 2015 in the Pacific Ocean off the California Coast. The well deck is where amphibious vehicles like these AAVs, first meet the sea as they head down a ramp in the amphib’s rear (stern) that opens out onto open water. (See photo below)
Dawn Blitz is a Navy and Marine Corps training exercise to practice amphibious task force operations while also building interoperability between U.S. and coalition forces, which this year, include military units from Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The New Orleans is a San Antonio class amphib.
It’s Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer in the United States and the day American working men and women take part in parades and rallies to acknowledge what their predecessors have done to make working conditions safe and compensation fair — while calling attention to how much still needs to be done. Meanwhile, the rest of the country — perhaps pausing briefly to think about their jobs and the meaning of work — takes one last three-day-weekend at the beach, the mountains or the backyard before the fall season starts in earnest.
At 4GWAR, we thought we’d pause to take a look at some of the jobs people do in the military that don’t get a lot of attention. Not everybody in the military hits the beach, fires a big gun, flies a plane or jumps out of one. So here is a short look at the less glamorous — but still important — jobs to keep the U.S. military ready and able to meet the next challenge — whatever and wherever it is.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Saber Barrera, with 386th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron firetruck and refueling maintenance, works with a co-worker to replace an engine starter in Southwest Asia. These airmen are working in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led effort with partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the so-called Islamic State.
Two sailors, Fire Controlman 2nd Class Roots Semaj, left, and Fire Controlman 2nd Class Sharul Mahdsharif load a missile into a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The Reagan, and its carrier air wing, provides a combat-ready force protecting maritime interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region.
Staff Sgt. David Hoyt, a KC-130J loadmaster with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152, guides a MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft into place for air-delivery ground refueling training aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. This kind of refueling operation is usually conducted in an austere environment where an air strip or fuel is not available.
Specialist Wright Small, petroleum supply specialist, assigned to Detachment 1, D Company, 1st Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, refuels a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter at the Army Aviation Facility, in South Burlington, Vermont.
V-J Day Plus 70.
Seventy years ago today, September 2, 1945 the Second World War came to an end, after six and a half horrendous years that saw millions killed around the globe.
On the battleship USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, representatives of the Imperial Japanese government signed the formal surrender documents just weeks after atomic bombs were dropped on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Defense Department website, DoD Live notes that in addition to the dignitaries from nine countries on the Missouri that day was the American flag flown in 1853 on the USS Powhatan by Commodore Matthew C. Perry (see in the background of the photo below). Perry flew the flag on the first of his two expeditions to Japan, which resulted in the Convention of Kanagawa, that forced the Japanese to open the country to American trade.
Perry’s successful mission was the first time American military might forced the Japanese Empire to do something it didn’t want to do. We wonder if the flag display in 1945 was meant to be ironic, spiteful or simply triumphant.
Five-star General of the Army Douglas MacArthur signed the document as the supreme commander in the Pacific Theater of War. Five-star Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz signed it as the chief U.S. representative. In addition to the Japanese delegation, the instrument of surrender was signed by representatives of China, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the Soviet Union (which declared war on Japan in the final days of the conflict.) Japan had invaded British, French and Dutch Far East colonial territories in 1941-42 and bombed northern Australia, as well as attacking the Philippines (then a U.S. Territory), Guam, Wake Island, Midway and the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Japan went to war with China in 1937.
DoD Live also notes that while September 2, 1945, is known as the end of World War II, the state of war did not formally end until the treaty of San Francisco came into force on April 20, 1952.
Today Japan is one of the United States’ strongest partners in the Asia-Pacific region, although for many years local residents have sought the removal of U.S. bases in the home islands and Okinawa.
A commemoration of the 70th anniversary was held Wednesday at the USS Missouri, which now resides as a war memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where the U.S. war with Japan began on December 7, 1941.
SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.
Waiting for Fuel.
A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet waits to receive fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotankerwhile flying over Al Udeid Base in Qatar. Coalition forces fly daily missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve,the air war against the self-styled Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Please click on the photo to enlarge the image and see details.