Saturday, March 04, 2017

Rethinking Operating ... from the Sea

The Marines will forward deploy a Marine unit to the Pacific to practice using advanced technology to see if it allows the use of smaller Marine units to achieve missions:

The Marine Corps’ infantry battalion designated as the service’s experimental force is gearing up for a final evaluation before it deploys to Japan, Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert Neller said Thursday. ...

Last summer, the Marine Corps equipped 3/5 with high-tech equipment and semi-autonomous systems including small drones, robotic vehicles, off-road vehicles, “smart” digital tablets, wearable batteries and energy-generating gear. ...

Small units in the future fight must be ready to operate and fight in dispersed operations and in a more and highly-digitized battlespace than in a traditional, conventional war, officials have said.

This would allow the Marines (and the Navy that carries them) to disperse assets to achieve a common mission (or achieve multiple missions in the same time frame, of course) rather than going straight in with one task force and an entire MEU.

As the Army learned from similar deployments, some gee whiz stuff that looks good on paper isn't worth the effort in the field. I'm sure the Marines will learn a lot from this deployment.