Sunday, March 04, 2012

What does an MEU bring to America's war bag????


Common wisdom has SOCOM as the tip of the spear in this century.  Policy makers are increasing the size of that organization while the conventional forces are being reduced.  Silly move and it can be categorized as style over substance.

Against a population that has effective law enforcement and even a marginal armed forces, units like the Navy SEALs can be hunted down and eradicated.  They are simply too lightly equipped to survive against a large, organized enemy.

Even with that being said, SOCOM is due to increase in size from over three US Army Divisions to almost four.  I can't explain the thinking behind that but it is in error.  

A balanced force that brings an amazing amount of firepower is the Marine Expeditionary Unit.  It has 2200 men and is capable of unsupported combat operations for up to 15 days...(via Wikipedia)....
A typical MEU has approximately 2,200 Marines and sailors. It is equipped with:
Qty Nomenclature Element
4 M1A1 main battle tank ground
7 to 16 Light Armored Vehicle ground
15 Assault Amphibious Vehicle ground
6 155mm howitzer: M198 or M777 ground
8 M252 81mm mortar ground
8 BGM-71 Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW) missile weapon system ground
8 FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile ground
4 to 6 AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopters aviation
3 UH-1N Twin Huey utility helicopter aviation
12 CH-46E Sea Knight medium lift assault helicopter aviation
4 CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift assault helicopter aviation
6 AV-8B Harrier jet aviation
2 KC-130 Hercules re-fueler/transport aircraft
Note: usually maintained in the continental United States
aviation
2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit logistics
1 LMT 3000 water purification unit logistics
4 Tractor, Rubber Tire, Articulated Steering logistics
2 TX51-19M Rough Terrain Forklift logistics
3 D7 bulldozer logistics
1 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement dump truck logistics
4 Mk48 Logistics Vehicle System logistics
7 500 gallon water containers multiple
63 Humvee multiple
30 Medium Tactical Vehicle Replacement trucks multiple
Many types of equipment are, or will soon, undergo a transitory phase as they are replaced. Some examples include the MV-22 Osprey replacing the CH-46, the Marine Personnel Carrier replacing the LAV-25, the F-35 Lightning II, the Ch-53K Super Stallion replacing the CH-53, and the H-1 upgrade program (where the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom replace the AH-1W and UH-1N).
That my friends is a capable, medium weight force that is deployed world wide and because we have several of these MEU's afloat at any one time, they are able to respond to trouble spots quite rapidly.

MARSOC is NOT the face of the Marine Corps and they are NOT the tip of the Marine Corps' spear.

Its the MEU.

The MEU is the tip of America's spear and the Battalion Landing Team is the tip of the MEU.
 

AOV Blowback...Talk too much and you get to work for the CIA....

Check this out from Military.com...read the whole thing but the juicy bits....
The notion of longer-term assignments to the CIA does not sit well with some senior special operations commanders, who want their units to remain autonomous in order to keep their troops under Defense Department legal parameters. If CIA-assigned troops are captured, for example, they are treated like spies, not protected by the Geneva Conventions, which govern the treatment of prisoners of war.
This part is a steaming pile of bullshit!  Prisoners whether identified as soldiers or spies are not treated well in the Middle East.  SOCOM has dreams of being a Combatant Commander and wants control of the war effort in Afghanistan once conventional forces pull out.  The idea of being put under the operational control of the CIA is a bitter pill for them to swallow. 
But putting special operations troops in the CIA's employ in Afghanistan could be attractive to the Afghan government because it would make the troops less visible and give Afghan President Hamid Karzai the added bonus of being able to say U.S. troops had withdrawn from his country. Technically, he would be right: Troops would have been rendered as spies by answering to the CIA's Kabul station chief instead of a U.S. military commander.
Such troops would presumably augment the CIA's current training and partnership with Afghanistan's own elite paramilitary intelligence forces, the Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams.
Afghan officials, and the general public in Afghanistan, express much warmer sentiments toward the CIA than to U.S. special operations troops, after a decade of occupation has built up anger and bitterness over civilian casualties from special operations night raids. The CIA as an institution seems to have escaped that collective Afghan resentment, with Afghan officials eager to tell visiting reporters that they regularly work with "OGA," or "Other Government Agency," the slang term for the CIA.
Another bitter pill.

Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams (hmmm thought they had a different designation) are probably some good guys but this news will test SOCOMs vaunted "one fight" mantra.

It'll test it to the breaking point for some units.

We'll see exactly how this supporting command functions when its no longer in the lime light.  The only forces I'm sure that won't have a problem with this tasking (if its true) is US Army Special Forces and US Army Rangers.

But SEALs?

I see them heading to N. Africa real quick.  More headlines, less control and they won't have to fall under the control of the CIA.  They also have the "Bullfrog" of the teams as head of SOCOM so he'll protect his spoiled brats.

The blowback continues...its there for all to see....if you're willing to open your eyes and read between the lines.