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The US Marine Corps - why?


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#81 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 1212 PM

Tomexe:

Please don't take my comments out of context, then set them up as a strawman. The entire quote was (Tomexe excluded text in bold):

The AAAV uniquely meets an implausible requirement -- a surface raid against a litoral so heavily defended that close approach by phibs is inadvisable, but which at the same time has such a porous enemy ground troop deployment that the raid force can drive around at will once it reaches the beach. Now, I'm just a poor dumb grunt, but in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, those seem like two mutually exclusive conditions...


The problem I see with the AAAV is not so much that it is a nifty toy, but that it is still just a relatively lightly armored vehicle, expected to roam the enemy hinterland at will without any logistical support other than what it can carry, what can be carried by logistics variants, or that can be brought in by air. This is a fantasy of the highest order, and it's going to get troops killed in practical application.

BTW, it's pretty obvious that you don't know much about small craft operations if you think large formation of them can maneuver for any distance parallel to shore or that there won't be significant pause on the beach to reorganize after landfall. But don't worry...this fantasy is apparently held by many people supoosedly more expert than you or I, at much higher paygrades.
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#82 Tomexe

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1234 PM

The problem I see with the AAAV is not so much that it is a nifty toy, but that it is still just a relatively lightly armored vehicle, expected to roam the enemy hinterland at will without any logistical support other than what it can carry, what can be carried by logistics variants, or that can be brought in by air. This is a fantasy of the highest order, and it's going to get troops killed in practical application

But where did you get that idea? If its a "raid" it will be done on one tank of gas. Kind of like the "Thunder Runs" through Baghdad only starting from water. If they are coming to stay than it and the M1's are going to be just the tip of a long column.
At least that is what my understanding of the word "raid" means.

The AAAV uniquely meets an implausible requirement -- a surface raid against a litoral so heavily defended that close approach by phibs is inadvisable, but which at the same time has such a porous enemy ground troop deployment that the raid force can drive around at will once it reaches the beach. Now, I'm just a poor dumb grunt, but in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, those seem like two mutually exclusive conditions...


I don't see it as being too exceptional. The enemy has to have dispersed, mobile defenses, or we will destroy them with bombing. Even then if they dont have armored/mechanized forces they are at a significant disadvantge to the AAAVs alone. Technicals and mobs of AK wielding Militia are perfect targets that the AAAVs and their infantry could probably take on alone. But even if a mechanized force with tanks were in the area, the moment it revealed itself to respond fighters and SuperCobras would go after it, and ultimately it would have to face the M1A1s with the AAAVs.

What kind of force do you expect to meet? How many other countries have good enough anti-armor weapons to make this not work?
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#83 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1351 PM

But where did you get that idea?  If its a "raid" it will be done on one tank of gas.  Kind of like the "Thunder Runs" through Baghdad only starting from water.  If they are coming to stay than it and the M1's are going to be just the tip of a long column.
At least that is what my understanding of the word "raid" means.

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You should really go back and read carefully the documentation of the Ship To Objecitve Maneuver (STOM) concept. It assumes just what I said -- that a force mounted on AAAVs could mover overwater, cross the beach with little or no operational pause, and maneuver up to 100km inland with no other support than what they can carry with them or what can be delivered by air, both in terms of firepower and logistics. I do not believe that that is possible -- the approach to the objective would burn most if not all of each vehicle's fuel load, for one thing.

I don't see it as being too exceptional.  The enemy has to have dispersed, mobile defenses, or we will destroy them with bombing.  Even then if they dont have armored/mechanized forces they are at a significant disadvantge to the AAAVs alone.  Technicals and mobs of AK wielding Militia are perfect targets that the AAAVs and their infantry could probably take on alone.  But even if a mechanized force with tanks were in the area, the moment it revealed itself to respond fighters and SuperCobras would go after it, and ultimately it would have to face the M1A1s with the AAAVs.

What kind of force do you expect to meet?  How many other countries have good enough anti-armor weapons to make this not work?


It's not a case of whether or not the enemy can be overcome, but at what cost, not only in terms of men and material, but also in opportunity? Not every enemy is going to be a bunch of gun-toting yahoos. Yet that is the kind of enemy that is conceived for this thing to work.
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#84 Tomexe

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1428 PM

You should really go back and read carefully the documentation of the Ship To Objecitve Maneuver (STOM) concept. It assumes just what I said -- that a force mounted on AAAVs could mover overwater, cross the beach with little or no operational pause, and maneuver up to 100km inland with no other support than what they can carry with them or what can be delivered by air, both in terms of firepower and logistics. I do not believe that that is possible -- the approach to the objective would burn most if not all of each vehicle's fuel load, for one thing.


100km is not very far. I have seen the same goals criticized as being unrealisticly short ranged. That supposedly Iraq and Afghanistan both prove that anyone who wanted to fight us would never set up shop so close to the ocean...

What IS the AAAVs range then? What I have seen quotes 65nm at 25kts on water and 300mi at 35mph on land. If their target is 100km inland they will probably have to refuel on their way out. Or carry drop tanks for the trip in that they dump when they leave the water.

As far as roaming with no other support than air, well the Army SFGs did this in the north and west of Iraq with only their desert mod Humvees. The fighting part would therefore not seem to be such a problem as lifting all that diesel. But at 100km inland that is only a 30min round trip for a Osprey. Its well within SuperCobra/SuperHuey range to cover refueling areas. They have infantry to cover them. They could do one refueling on a raid. Could the M1's make the round trip though?
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#85 Chris Werb

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1450 PM

Not every enemy is going to be a bunch of gun-toting yahoos. Yet that is the kind of enemy that is conceived for this thing to work.

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What enemy consists mostly of gun toting yahoos but also has weapons that can inflict prohibitive losses on USN ships less than 100km from a coastline? They must(?) have had some specific enemies in mind when they drafted the requirement.
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#86 Tomexe

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1507 PM

What enemy consists mostly of gun toting yahoos but also has weapons that can inflict prohibitive losses on USN ships less than 100km from a coastline?  They must(?) have had some specific enemies in mind when they drafted the requirement.

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Iraq used to and Iran still does have armies that match that description and still have SSMs and jet fighters. The PRC and Korea are not much better.

But also the operating defininiton of prohibative loss is ANY missile or kamakzi hit, or any mine strike against ANY US surface vessel. Although this is especally foucsed on the amphibious ships which have a higher potental for large loss of life due to both the number of Marines and the quantitiy of explosive and flamable cargo they carry, the USN isnt too keen on risking any of its AEGIS ships to a minestrike either.

I am not joking or being flippant. These specifications are designed to appease the US publics fear of casualties. As inane a requirement as it may seem to be to history students and professional military it is a real world requirement. The goal is to totally eliminate the chance of a mass casualty incident, otherwise it is literally politically impossible to use the US military even in self defense.

It may be unrealistic, it may be twisted, but that is the world we live in.
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#87 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 1642 PM

I am not joking or being flippant.  These specifications are designed to appease the US publics fear of casualties.  As inane a requirement as it may seem to be to history students and professional military it is a real world requirement.  The goal is to totally eliminate the chance of a mass casualty incident, otherwise it is literally politically impossible to use the US military even in self defense.

It may be unrealistic, it may be twisted, but that is the world we live in.

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If they want to avoid mass casualties, they should rethink the idea of moving a battalion overwater in small craft, then driving them around the enemy hinterland with nothing but aerial support.
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#88 EchoFiveMike

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 1654 PM

If they want to avoid mass casualties, they should rethink the idea of moving a battalion overwater in small craft, then driving them around the enemy hinterland with nothing but aerial support.


So you've reconsidered your "CAS is all you need" position? :P S/F....Ken M
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#89 Guest_aevans_*

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 1731 PM

So you've reconsidered your "CAS is all you need" position?  :P S/F....Ken M

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Nope -- CAS and 5" gunfire from cruisers/destroyers should be sufficient to establish a beachhead inside which artillery and armor can be landed for use in operations further inland. Remember, I don't buy the OMFTS concept one bit, so anything that derives from it, like maneuvering in the hinterland without a full logistics and fire support establishment can't logically be associated with anything I've ever said.
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#90 CaptLuke

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 1802 PM

Nope -- CAS and 5" gunfire from cruisers/destroyers should be sufficient to establish a beachhead inside which artillery and armor can be landed for use in operations further inland. Remember, I don't buy the OMFTS concept one bit, so anything that derives from it, like maneuvering in the hinterland without a full logistics and fire support establishment can't logically be associated with anything I've ever said.

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I see your point, but by the same logic applies to all airborne and air mobile operations, which put troops out of fire support range without any armored vehicles at all (for the US).

Commanders have to be careful about airborne and airmobile operations, but they still have their uses. I would imagine that the same logic applies to AAAV assaults or raids or whatever you want to call them. Depending on the theatre, there's also the possibility of riverine or delta operations, where an AAAV is an interesting thing to have.

Is it worth the money? I don't know. I think the USMC could do a lot more with hovercraft, including smaller, armed hovercraft that could do shipping inspections and deal with small "speed boat" attacks like we've seen in the gulf before as well as landing troops, but that's based as much on my fondness for hovercraft as it is on analysis.
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#91 Ken Estes

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 1806 PM

Is it worth the money?  I don't know.  I think the USMC could do a lot more with hovercraft, including smaller, armed hovercraft that could do shipping inspections and deal with small "speed boat" attacks like we've seen in the gulf before as well as landing troops, but that's based as much on my fondness for hovercraft as it is on analysis.

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You could then trim them down to about 12,000 and rechristen them the "Royal Marines."

A serious amphib capability will take a lot more, but a raid force can make do with helicopters and rubber boats. If one wishes to take on a few [and fewer than in 1980-85 when OTH was decreed as the USN ampib doctrine] countries from the sea, however, an amphib force will need to deal with mines, seaskimming missiles and several other threats.

I recall at this point no amphib operation that paused for the assembly of a full fire support and logistic establishment before proceeding inland, that in fact succceeded, viz. Anzio! Hell, Gallipoli flopped just over the time it took to brew tea vice taking the inland objectives.
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#92 Ken Estes

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 1809 PM

What enemy consists mostly of gun toting yahoos but also has weapons that can inflict prohibitive losses on USN ships less than 100km from a coastline?  They must(?) have had some specific enemies in mind when they drafted the requirement.

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As to the last, that would be the USSR and a few likely allies, c1980-89.
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