Now, however, we are seeing new trends in ARG deployments.This is idiocy on a plate.
*Only one ARG is deployed at a time.
*The ARG is splitting into individual ships rather than staying as a group.
These trends are a consequence of budget constraints. Well, more accurately, they’re a consequence of priority constraints rather than budget. The Navy has prioritized new construction over deployments, maintenance, training, etc. but that’s a topic for another time.
Considering the size of the world and the number of potential hot spots, a single deployed ARG is less than optimal, to say the least. Of course, one can debate the entire forward deployed MEU concept but that, too, is a topic for another time. The Navy/Marines are committed to the MEU/ARG concept so we’ll go with it for the sake of this discussion.
The hope is that the MEU/ARG is deployed to the most likely place it will be needed and is, therefore, on-scene when trouble occurs. With only a single ARG deployed, what are the odds that the group will be at the right spot at the right time? Consider all the potential hot spots in the world right now: Russia, China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Africa to name a few. Consider the immense geographical area those spots cover. One, or even a few, ARGs cannot hope to cover all those. Even covering a single general area is a challenge. Consider the Chinese area which includes the East and South China Seas out to the first island chain and beyond. That’s a huge area to cover even for a dedicated MEU/ARG and that’s just one of the potential hot spots in the world. I don’t envy the person who has to decide where in the world to send the only deployed ARG.
Lets be clear. The Company Landing Team is incapable of conducting any real world operation.
Individual amphibious ships are also worthless.
We are seeing current Marine Corps planners doing the unthinkable. Instead of telling policy makers the awful truth, they're attempting to fool not only themselves but also leadership and the general public into believing that all is well.
Personally, I disagree with Navy Matters. I don't think this is budget driven. I believe that this was a choice. HQMC looked out on the world stage and saw generational conflict against small terrorist bands. Additionally these terrorists were equipped as they always have been...with only small arms.
They didn't see the rise of ISIS, or Hezbollah with Tank Companies.
So what do we have today? We have the concepts continuing even though its obvious to everyone that its already obsolete.
And that's the terrible thing. The USMC is buying gear and orienting itself to fight a fight that no longer exists. The idea that you can deploy a Company of Marines, 1000 miles away from supporting fires and that they can land and win against these new hybrid forces is insane.
Neller needs to fix this. We've sold our soul for the F-35, but we owe it to the public to remain the world's premier warfighting organization. We can 't do that if we tear up the Marine Expeditionary Unit.