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#61 Ken Estes

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 0202 AM

That's a bit of cross purposing. The US military presence in Europe initially was viable only because of its nuclear deterrent. Ike promised the army that it could go down to 12 active divisions because it would never have to fight the USSR in Europe without tac nucs on the battlefeld. Of course, that battlefield was not US property and it became over time an imperative to beef up US conventional forces with an eye to making it a viable force without the immediate use of tac nucs. The resulting economic expenditure so stressed the USSR that it still is credited in some quarters with ending the Cold War. By the 1980s, the US buildup in active divisions and stockpiled materiel for ten more divisions in Europe amounted to our own "horde of tanks." 

 

Nonetheless, it has remained US policy not to initiate direct conflict with a nuc superpower, for fear that it could escalate to a nuclear exchange that would cast the outcome in severe doubt to say the least. There have been several proxy wars involving superpowers, but that's a different consideration not implying nucs.

 

When this discussion of revamping the USMC for a conflict with China first raised its ugly head, it naturally set off alarms in the heads of those of us who worked in military affairs in the 70s-90s, such as Bill Lind, now retired as a former military staffer in the US Senate. I too wondered right away, what was the idea of fighting China in the So China Sea with naval forces in isolation? What were the associated requirements for the US to defend the ROK, Japan and Taiwan? Was this to be a conventional war, if not what were the constraints? 

 

We remember, it was the same Ike that promised tac nucs for the US Army in Europe who also voiced his view that the US should never fight a land war on the Asian mainland. Given Chinese armaments today, we need not limit it to the mainland, I'd wager. This also goes for a certain Fake President who promised N Korea a rain of fire should Kim threaten US security. Well, US security hardly is maintained by a nuc bombardment of N Korea, which cannot fail to have lethal effects on neighboring Chinese and Russian territory. But the stupidity continues, despite the soundest US intell and military advice at hand for the xxxxx in the Oval Office.


Edited by Ken Estes, 12 May 2020 - 0424 AM.

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#62 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 0242 AM

The USMC always struck me as having a strength, certainly compared to the US Army, in its adaptability. So from what I can tell from the future plan for the USMC, it seems they want to remodel it into an exact plan for a particular contingency against China. This is really going down the same road pioneered by the US Army in the 1950's in the Pentomic era, where they had a mindset created purely for defending West Germany with Nuclear weapons, and a formation that was bugger all use for anything else, particularly conflicts it had to fulfill in a hurry like Vietnam or Santa Domingo.  Is that an unfair comparison?


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#63 RETAC21

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 0308 AM

 

 

 

My old friend William S. Lind has waded into the fray with gusto:

 

   https://www.traditio...commit-suicide/

 

 

 

A pretty comprehensive critique and a difficult one to rebut.

 


 

I think the first of three strategic points makes a basic level mistake in assuming that since China has nuclear weapons, then a conventional war cannot happen thus implying that preparing conventional forces for possible conflict with a nuclear power is non sensible. But the US did just that during the Cold War with the Soviet Union by having as many as over 400,000 US personnel in Europe and putting so much emphasis in anti-tank capability. There was only one country with the horde of tanks. The plans for tactical and strategic nuclear strikes at 100s of locations across Europe and the Soviet Union did not stop preparation of conventional forces in facing each other.

 

 

This,

 

But not only this, achieving nuclear parity in the 70s didn't lead to the USSR de-emphasizing its conventional forces, quite the contrary, as they found that nuclear weapons provide the ultimate shield, but they still needed/wanted to yield a sword. China is doing the same path, but instead of doing it in ramdom pulses like the USSR, it's following the "Western" lead in creating sustainable, deployable forces.

 

Direct confrontation between the US and China in the seas around China is unlikely, but war by proxy in Africa and Asia remains a distinct possibility and one for which the Marine Corps should tailor its force structure (the Small Wars of the 30s)


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#64 JasonJ

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 0730 AM

 

 

 

 

My old friend William S. Lind has waded into the fray with gusto:

 

   https://www.traditio...commit-suicide/

 

 

 

A pretty comprehensive critique and a difficult one to rebut.

 


 

I think the first of three strategic points makes a basic level mistake in assuming that since China has nuclear weapons, then a conventional war cannot happen thus implying that preparing conventional forces for possible conflict with a nuclear power is non sensible. But the US did just that during the Cold War with the Soviet Union by having as many as over 400,000 US personnel in Europe and putting so much emphasis in anti-tank capability. There was only one country with the horde of tanks. The plans for tactical and strategic nuclear strikes at 100s of locations across Europe and the Soviet Union did not stop preparation of conventional forces in facing each other.

 

 

This,

 

But not only this, achieving nuclear parity in the 70s didn't lead to the USSR de-emphasizing its conventional forces, quite the contrary, as they found that nuclear weapons provide the ultimate shield, but they still needed/wanted to yield a sword. China is doing the same path, but instead of doing it in ramdom pulses like the USSR, it's following the "Western" lead in creating sustainable, deployable forces.

 

Direct confrontation between the US and China in the seas around China is unlikely, but war by proxy in Africa and Asia remains a distinct possibility and one for which the Marine Corps should tailor its force structure (the Small Wars of the 30s)

 

Yeah, good additions.


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#65 JasonJ

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 0738 AM

That's a bit of cross purposing. The US military presence in Europe initially was viable only because of its nuclear deterrent. Ike promised the army that it could go down to 12 active divisions because it would never have to fight the USSR in Europe without tac nucs on the battlefeld. Of course, that battlefield was not US property and it became over time an imperative to beef up US conventional forces with an eye to making it a viable force without the immediate use of tac nucs. The resulting economic expenditure so stressed the USSR that it still is credited in some quarters with ending the Cold War. By the 1980s, the US buildup in active divisions and stockpiled materiel for ten more divisions in Europe amounted to our own "horde of tanks." 

 

Nonetheless, it has remained US policy not to initiate direct conflict with a nuc superpower, for fear that it could escalate to a nuclear exchange that would cast the out come in severe doubt to say the least. There have been several proxy wars involving superpowers, but that's a different consideration not implying nucs.

 

When this discussion of revamping the USMC for a conflict with China first raised its ugly head, it naturally set off alarms in the heads of those of us who worked in military affairs in the 70s-90s, such as Bill Lind, now retired as a former military staffer in the US Senate. I too wondered right away, what was the idea of fighting China in the So China Sea with naval forces in isolation? What were the associated requirements for the US to defend the ROK, Japan and Taiwan? Was this to be a conventional war, if not what were the constraints? 

 

We remember, it as the same Ike that promised tac nucs for the US Army in Europe who also voiced his view that the US should never fight a land war on the Asian mainland. Given Chinese armaments today, we need not limit it to the mainland, I'd wager. This also goes for a certain Fake President who promised N Korea a rain of fire should Kim threaten US security. Well, US security hardly is maintained by a nuc bombardment of N Korea, which cannot fail to have lethal effects on neighboring Chinese and Russian territory. But the stupidity continues, despite the soundest US intell and military advice at hand for the xxxxx in the Oval Office.

So US senior individuals don't want to challenge China?

 

What tough men don't want to stick it to them?

 

Leave all the glory for Japan then? :)

 

Of course the reshaping of the USMC and general current US military actions around Taiwan whenever PLA aircraft and ships are bussing around, or the increased rate of FONOPs in the SCS are not bearing in mind a land war on the Asia continent (with the exception of the possibility of DPRK like in 2017). It's about control of the seas.


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#66 Nobu

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 2242 PM

But not only this, achieving nuclear parity in the 70s didn't lead to the USSR de-emphasizing its conventional forces, quite the contrary, as they found that nuclear weapons provide the ultimate shield, but they still needed/wanted to yield a sword. China is doing the same path, but instead of doing it in ramdom pulses like the USSR, it's following the "Western" lead in creating sustainable, deployable forces.

 

Direct confrontation between the US and China in the seas around China is unlikely, but war by proxy in Africa and Asia remains a distinct possibility and one for which the Marine Corps should tailor its force structure (the Small Wars of the 30s)

 

It would make sense, but it is simply not glamorous enough to base a redesign of the corps on.


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#67 Nobu

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Posted 11 May 2020 - 2248 PM

The USMC always struck me as having a strength, certainly compared to the US Army, in its adaptability. So from what I can tell from the future plan for the USMC, it seems they want to remodel it into an exact plan for a particular contingency against China. This is really going down the same road pioneered by the US Army in the 1950's in the Pentomic era, where they had a mindset created purely for defending West Germany with Nuclear weapons, and a formation that was bugger all use for anything else, particularly conflicts it had to fulfill in a hurry like Vietnam or Santa Domingo.  Is that an unfair comparison?

 

Not unfair, and akin to a shift of USMC focus on operations in the Skagerrak... only.

 

The Danes would be pleased I suppose.


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#68 Sardaukar

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 0328 AM

Considering South China Sea, somehow I think USMC is looking for solutions to problems they don't have...or even problems that do not exist at all.


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#69 Ken Estes

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 0330 AM


So US senior individuals don't want to challenge China?

 

What tough men don't want to stick it to them?

 

Leave all the glory for Japan then? :)

 

Of course the reshaping of the USMC and general current US military actions around Taiwan whenever PLA aircraft and ships are bussing around, or the increased rate of FONOPs in the SCS are not bearing in mind a land war on the Asia continent (with the exception of the possibility of DPRK like in 2017). It's about control of the seas.

 

 

Could be. The USMC learned in Korea that there were more Chinese than bullets at times.


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#70 JasonJ

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 0613 AM

 

So US senior individuals don't want to challenge China?

 

What tough men don't want to stick it to them?

 

Leave all the glory for Japan then? :)

 

Of course the reshaping of the USMC and general current US military actions around Taiwan whenever PLA aircraft and ships are bussing around, or the increased rate of FONOPs in the SCS are not bearing in mind a land war on the Asia continent (with the exception of the possibility of DPRK like in 2017). It's about control of the seas.

 

 

Could be. The USMC learned in Korea that there were more Chinese than bullets at times.

 

 

Well, even if the USMC is out, we still got Vietnam. Will power is an immeasurable factor.

vietnam.jpg


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#71 JasonJ

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 0625 AM

Considering South China Sea, somehow I think USMC is looking for solutions to problems they don't have...or even problems that do not exist at all.

Train or demonstrate with ARDB? No problem!

 

They can be spotted at 8:22 and 19:47 here :)


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#72 Nobu

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 1026 AM

Considering South China Sea, somehow I think USMC is looking for solutions to problems they don't have...or even problems that do not exist at all.


The benefit of such problems is that the solutions can be made up as they go along.
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#73 Nobu

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 1337 PM

That's a bit of cross purposing. The US military presence in Europe initially was viable only because of its nuclear deterrent. Ike promised the army that it could go down to 12 active divisions because it would never have to fight the USSR in Europe without tac nucs on the battlefeld. Of course, that battlefield was not US property and it became over time an imperative to beef up US conventional forces with an eye to making it a viable force without the immediate use of tac nucs. The resulting economic expenditure so stressed the USSR that it still is credited in some quarters with ending the Cold War. By the 1980s, the US buildup in active divisions and stockpiled materiel for ten more divisions in Europe amounted to our own "horde of tanks." 

 

Nonetheless, it has remained US policy not to initiate direct conflict with a nuc superpower, for fear that it could escalate to a nuclear exchange that would cast the outcome in severe doubt to say the least. There have been several proxy wars involving superpowers, but that's a different consideration not implying nucs.

 

When this discussion of revamping the USMC for a conflict with China first raised its ugly head, it naturally set off alarms in the heads of those of us who worked in military affairs in the 70s-90s, such as Bill Lind, now retired as a former military staffer in the US Senate. I too wondered right away, what was the idea of fighting China in the So China Sea with naval forces in isolation? What were the associated requirements for the US to defend the ROK, Japan and Taiwan? Was this to be a conventional war, if not what were the constraints? 

 

We remember, it was the same Ike that promised tac nucs for the US Army in Europe who also voiced his view that the US should never fight a land war on the Asian mainland.

 

His view on how the U.S. should have approached the ground fight in Vietnam may have been to allow the Vietnamese to do so.

 

Essentially ascertaining if the Vietnamese themselves felt their cause was actually worth fighting for, before relying on it.


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#74 Ken Estes

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Posted 22 July 2020 - 1755 PM

https://www.military...arly Bird Brief

 

tanks-depart-29-palms-3000.jpg?itok=MkJY​

 

As a taxpayer and Marine Corps officer, I hope all these guys obtain inter-service transfers to the army as tankers. We will need them again, maybe sooner than anybody thinks


Edited by Ken Estes, 23 July 2020 - 0408 AM.

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#75 JohnAbrams21

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 0158 AM

https://www.military...arly Bird Brief
 
tanks-depart-29-palms-3000.jpg?itok=MkJYâ
 
To quote a comment from that article
[\quote]Incredibly foolish and short sighted plan by this CMC. What is going through his mind in destroying the ability of the USMC to generate combat power is beyond comprehension. Ship's complements of Marines is a concept throwing us back to pre WWI days where the Marines were just the Navy's police force. A hundred Marines on a Pacific atoll with a HIMAR with an Anti-Ship Cruise Missile load is not going to stop the Red Panda from attacking, it will be and under strength target. If you can execute high end combined arms offensive combat operations, the you can execute less than mid-size combat to seize and hold islands, but if you down size to a Corporal's Guard, all you can do is run colors in the morning. We still have the NATO northern flank mission and the other big bear will not be impressed with armor piercing bayonets. The destruction of the Marine Corps under this Commandant will not be easily fixed.

It seems the CMC wants to return the Corps to an infantry centric force with little to no local fire support(Cutting artillery to only THREE batteries from 17...(at least hes keeping rocket artillery and expanding that), cutting aircraft and helicopter numbers that support the troops on the ground and now tanks(I assume with all the accompanying vehicles like M88 recovery vehicles, AVLB, M1 ABV...ETC)?.
At the same time, it looks like Berger has a questioning eye towards Light Armored Reconnaissance and the LAV & its future replacement as well.
https://www.marineco...re-battlefield/

Edited by JohnAbrams21, 23 July 2020 - 0203 AM.

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#76 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 0159 AM

Im astonished that its this easy to wreck a chunk of the US Military. Dont these plans have to go in front of congress for approval or something?


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#77 Ken Estes

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 0427 AM

The article is a hoot:

 

They [tanks] were of massive value, I mean huge value, in the past," he said. "I used them in and around Ramadi and in and around Fallujah [in Iraq]. They've paid their dues in blood. These are Marine warriors from the Korean War until now.

​

 

From the Korean War? The USMC has operated tanks continuously since 1 March 1937. We raised six tank battalions in WWII. Fallujah was 2004 and tanks went to Afghanistan much later.

 

I have sent a copy of my Marines under Armor to Gen. Berger.

 

------------------------

 

Stuart, the Congress has oversight responsibilities, but will take too much time, cf our own EchoFiveMike's comment earlier on the Military Current Events, indicating the rush to execute shows they are worried in this USMC cabal.

http://www.tank-net....44490&p=1486785

 

 

 

Congress

Report To Congress Seeks Clarification On Marine Corps’ Redesign Plans

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

Share:

   

By Matthew Beinart |
13 days ago |
05/14/2020

Also In This Issue:

A new report from the Congressional Research Service details lawmakers’ potential concerns over the Marine Corps’ plan to redesign its force by 2030, including questions on reducing the required number of F-35s and eliminating its tank battalions.

The document previews the scrutiny Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, will likely face from Congress as he looks to implement his vision of retooling toward naval expeditionary warfare and building a lighter force capable of meeting future challenges against peer competitors such as China.

A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)

“Congress in its regulatory, oversight, and authorization and appropriations roles could take interest in this major proposed force design initiative,” wrote the authors of the report.

The Marine Corps’ force design plan, which was released in March, includes completely divesting from tank battalions, downsizing the number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21, artillery cannon batteries from 21 down to 5, amphibious vehicle companies from 6 to 4 and reducing all tiltrotor, attack and heavy lift squadrons (Defense Daily, March 24). 

The report states the elimination of tank battalions “represents a significant reduction in the ability to confront enemy armor threats,” and notes “the estimated elimination of 76% of the Marine Cannon Artillery Batteries represents a significant reduction in organic on-shore artillery fire support.”

For both areas, the report asks how the Marine Corps plans to address the loss in tank and cannon artillery capability.

The Marine Corps’ force redesign would also include reducing the number of F-35B and C aircraft per squadron from 16 to 10 platforms, as well as potentially cutting the number of required Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. 

“The reduction of F-35s per squadron and the possible reduction in JLTVs resulting from unit eliminations/deactivations have implications beyond the Marines, as both are major Joint Service programs. How might this planned reduction in Marine requirements for F-35s and JLTVs affect the other military services procurement plans for these systems?” the report asks.

The report also seeks to address how the Marine Corps’ implementation of the redesign will align with current and future Navy efforts.

“How do proposed Marine force design changes and intended future capabilities efforts (e.g., long-range fires, smaller infantry battalions) fit into the larger context of changes in Navy and Marine Corps operational concepts and Navy fleet architecture, including the amphibious fleet?” the report’s authors wrote.

​


Edited by Ken Estes, 23 July 2020 - 0433 AM.

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#78 JohnAbrams21

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 2109 PM

The article is a hoot:
 

They [tanks] were of massive value, I mean huge value, in the past," he said. "I used them in and around Ramadi and in and around Fallujah [in Iraq]. They've paid their dues in blood. These are Marine warriors from the Korean War until now.
​

 
From the Korean War? The USMC has operated tanks continuously since 1 March 1937. We raised six tank battalions in WWII. Fallujah was 2004 and tanks went to Afghanistan much later.
 
I have sent a copy of my Marines under Armor to Gen. Berger.
 
------------------------
 
Stuart, the Congress has oversight responsibilities, but will take too much time, cf our own EchoFiveMike's comment earlier on the Military Current Events, indicating the rush to execute shows they are worried in this USMC cabal.
http://www.tank-net....44490&p=1486785
 
 
 

Congress
Report To Congress Seeks Clarification On Marine Corps’ Redesign Plans
A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)
Share:
   
By Matthew Beinart |
13 days ago |
05/14/2020

Also In This Issue:

A new report from the Congressional Research Service details lawmakers’ potential concerns over the Marine Corps’ plan to redesign its force by 2030, including questions on reducing the required number of F-35s and eliminating its tank battalions.
The document previews the scrutiny Gen. David Berger, the Marine Corps commandant, will likely face from Congress as he looks to implement his vision of retooling toward naval expeditionary warfare and building a lighter force capable of meeting future challenges against peer competitors such as China.
A U.S. Marine F-35B Lightning II aircraft during the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) Redesignation Ceremony at Hangar 80 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Nov. 20, 2012. The squadron, activated in 1941, operates the newest Marine Corps aircraft, the F-35B Lightning II. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans/Released)
“Congress in its regulatory, oversight, and authorization and appropriations roles could take interest in this major proposed force design initiative,” wrote the authors of the report.
The Marine Corps’ force design plan, which was released in March, includes completely divesting from tank battalions, downsizing the number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21, artillery cannon batteries from 21 down to 5, amphibious vehicle companies from 6 to 4 and reducing all tiltrotor, attack and heavy lift squadrons (Defense Daily, March 24). 
The report states the elimination of tank battalions “represents a significant reduction in the ability to confront enemy armor threats,” and notes “the estimated elimination of 76% of the Marine Cannon Artillery Batteries represents a significant reduction in organic on-shore artillery fire support.”
For both areas, the report asks how the Marine Corps plans to address the loss in tank and cannon artillery capability.
The Marine Corps’ force redesign would also include reducing the number of F-35B and C aircraft per squadron from 16 to 10 platforms, as well as potentially cutting the number of required Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. 
“The reduction of F-35s per squadron and the possible reduction in JLTVs resulting from unit eliminations/deactivations have implications beyond the Marines, as both are major Joint Service programs. How might this planned reduction in Marine requirements for F-35s and JLTVs affect the other military services procurement plans for these systems?” the report asks.
The report also seeks to address how the Marine Corps’ implementation of the redesign will align with current and future Navy efforts.
“How do proposed Marine force design changes and intended future capabilities efforts (e.g., long-range fires, smaller infantry battalions) fit into the larger context of changes in Navy and Marine Corps operational concepts and Navy fleet architecture, including the amphibious fleet?” the report’s authors wrote.
​
What is Berger’s end goal? He seems to be intent on forcing the Marine Corps to turn into a bunch of light infantry shepherding mobile anti ship missiles around island chains. His actions and words also seem to invoke the sense that he doesn’t know his own history. ANONE saying some current major capability is a “thing of the past” needs to looked into for mental issues or possible malicious intent.
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#79 Ken Estes

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 0613 AM

Hard to say. Look at his last assignments before becoming Commandant [July 11, 2019]:

 

 

August 28, 2018, Berger assumed the post of Commanding General of Marine Corps Combat Development Command [Quantico VA]

 

He assumed command of United States Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. [Replacing LtGen Toolan, retired-unscheduled 2016

 

In July 2014, Berger was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and assumed command of I Marine Expeditionary Force, Cp Pendleton CA]

 

Berger served as commanding general Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command [29 Palms CA] and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center from 2013 to 2014. 

 

In 2012 he deployed to Afghanistan as the commanding general of 1st Marine Division (forward) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

From 2009 to 2011 he served at Headquarters Marine Corps as the director of operations.

 

While serving as assistant division commander of 2nd Marine Division, Berger was appointed to the rank of brigadier general. He then deployed to Kosovo, where he served for one year as chief of staff for KFOR Headquarters in Pristina. 

 

 As a colonel, Berger commanded Regimental Combat Team 8 [November 2005] in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom [but well after the Fallujah area saw major combat.]

 

Berger commanded 3d Battalion, 8th Marines from 2002 to 2004, deploying the battalion first to Okinawa, and later to Haiti in support of Operation Secure Tomorrow.

 

 

------------------------------------

 

So, he certainly moved around more than usual as a flag officer, hard to know what he picked up; He may have fallen under the spell of the USN while commanding USMC Forces Pacific from his HQ, located not far from the USN Pacific command complexes. At Quantico, he may have devoted more time to war games, already begun in Hawaii.

 

His only combat decoration is a Legion of Merit with combat 'V' and that's rather unusual for an infantryman/recon specialist.

 

One really has to wonder who his daddy was.


Edited by Ken Estes, 24 July 2020 - 0613 AM.

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#80 Jeff

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Posted 27 July 2020 - 1320 PM

He must have support among the USMC leadership? This seems to have come out of the blue, was there any discussion of this among the ranks? It would be like the Navy suddenly saying, we're done with carriers and scrapping all of them within a year. WTF?


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