Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Disaggregating Amphibious Ready Groups...why not just do independent ship operations?

via IHS Janes.
The US Marine Corps (USMC) will continue to deploy multi-ship Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) despite regularly needing to disaggregate the groups to meet global commitments, General Robert Neller, the USMC commandant, said on 9 August.
An ARG generally consists of three US Navy amphibious ships - a landing helicopter dock (LHD), a landing ship dock (LSD), and a landing platform dock (LPD) - as well as some additional naval assets and a USMC Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
The corps has more missions and tasks than capability, Gen Neller told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, so to be in multiple places it needs to disaggregate ARG/MEUs and send the smaller forces out for various operations or exercises.
The idea of splitting an ARG to send smaller forces out for various operations/exercises is not about getting ready for the big fight that Neller says is coming.

What is the sticking point here?  Is it the Combatant Commanders putting an artificial strain on the force by pulling exercises out of their behinds to justify there existence?  Is it the small wars cabal inside the Marine Corps that insists on pushing the Company Landing Team concept to fight terrorists (even though terrorism has changed)?

I don't get it, but the friction is there.  If splitting the ARG makes sense then independent ship operations would seem to be the ultimate solution.  Don't play games with it just assign a company of infantry Marines to each ship and go whole hog with the CLT dream.  I don't like the CLT concept and believe its fatally flawed (for future Marines I mean it literally) but we need to pick a direction.  Indecision even when it comes to doctrine is not a Marine Corps trait.

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