Sunday, October 29, 2017

From the Hulls of Navy Amphibs To the Shores of Latvia

The Atlantic Marines are raising the profile of the Marine Expeditionary Force--the air-ground team centered around a full ground division--in response to increased Russian threats to NATO. Good. Look to the Baltic Sea.

A full division of Marines backed by Marine air power is looking at Europe:

The prospect of a near-peer fight against the Russian military in Eastern Europe is pushing the Marine Corps to shift more warfighting capability to its top-level Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters, a top Marine general said.

For years, the Corps thought it was unlikely to need to deploy a full Marine Expeditionary Force, which is the largest element of Marine combat power that can include more than 25,000 Marines. ...

“The MEF command element will have to be ready to support a warfighting effort in Europe,” Hedelund told attendees at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference on Tuesday.

I don't see a Black Sea mission because I'd fear the bottleneck of the Turkish Straits trapping our Navy ships there.

I personally see the Baltic Sea as the natural stomping ground of the MEF, to seize and secure islands and to conduct a flanking attack into the Baltic states to support a NATO counter-offensive should Russia invade and (inevitably) conquer them.

So the Atlantic MEF needs to relearn tank warfare and scrape up all the tanks, artillery, air defense weapons, and armored vehicles the Marines have in their warehouses.

And be able to hit the shores in the Baltic Sea, of course; build up forces; and attack inland.