Thursday, January 15, 2015

Marines prep for unpredictable amphibious operations

Marines prep for unpredictable amphibious operations: The Marine Corps is refining its new concept of operations — Expeditionary Force 21 — as it begins to apply the new doctrine to real-world missions and large-scale military exercises, a Marine general told a gathering of Naval officers Wednesday.

That could include basing mini special-purpose Marine air-ground task forces on small ships in the Pacific and the Gulf of Guinea to quell crises on a moment's notice, said Maj. Gen. Andrew O'Donnell, the deputy commanding general for Marine Corps Combat Development Command, at this year's Annual Surface Navy Association symposium in Arlington, Virginia.

The major tenants of EF-21 and the closely related Marine Expeditionary Brigade Concept of Operations, which together place an emphasis on scalable forces built and deployed within hours of a crisis, are sound, he said.

But service leaders are now weighing the nature of distributed operations, studying after action reports — most recently from Bold Alligator 14 — and carefully considering how current and future amphibious and air platforms will influence how the doctrine is applied to meet unpredictable missions in a post-Afghanistan operating environment.