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14 February 2011

Amphibious Assault Standoff Range Could Shrink To 12 Nautical Miles 

The following is a RECAP of a discussion held on MILINET. This RECAP is organized with the SUBJECT ARTICLE first followed by the 12 GROUPS OF RESPONSES in the order received and/or posted by MILINET.

Semper MILINET,

Anthony F. Milavic
Major USMC (Ret.)

===============SUBJECT ARTICLE==========

Inside the Pentagon - 01/27/2011

Amphibious Assault Standoff Range Could Shrink To 12 Nautical Miles

The New Amphibious Vehicle expected to replace the aborted Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program may have to travel as few as 12 nautical miles from ship to shore, Navy and Marine Corps officials told the House Armed Services Committee in a hearing Wednesday.

The EFV was designed to travel 25 nautical miles over sea, matching the Marine Corps' doctrinal requirement -- set in the 1980s -- that an amphibious ship should be 25 miles from the beach before dropping Marines in the water. Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert and Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford said yesterday that times have changed.

"In recent discussions with the Navy, those figures have in fact changed," Dunford said. "We're in the process now of defining the requirement, and we think it's somewhere in excess of 12 nautical miles and something less than 25 nautical miles, so we are in fact reviewing the requirement right now."

Among the factors that have led to the decision to review the requirement, according to Greenert, are the fleet's anti-cruise missile systems, its counter-mine capabilities and its methods of countering airborne threats. The key change since the 1980s, he said, is that the Navy now has sensors afloat and in the air to spot and track a wide variety of threats, and those sensors are integrated with firepower.

"NIFCA. NIFCA is the key," Greenert told sister publication I during a break in the hearing, referring to naval integrated fire control counter-air.

Navy Under Secretary Robert Work raised the possibility of changing the standoff distance at a speech in August. Before retiring, former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Conway suggested that if the EFV program were canceled and the Marines had to start at square one, a smaller standoff requirement could lead to a more feasible program.

Yesterday morning, Dunford said the minimum distance required would be 12 nautical miles because that is the point at which ships are no longer visible on the horizon. He also noted that even in operations against a non-state actor like Hezbollah in 2006, ships would have to be outside that range.

"The distance from which we would launch Marines absolutely depends on the situation," Dunford said, "and we're going to deploy Marines across the range of military operations, I mean everything from the noncombatant operation in Lebanon, as was cited here today, to a forcible-entry operation against a peer competitor."

The Marines have also said they plan to leverage knowledge gained during the development of the EFV to get NAV on its feet. Dunford said when cancellation negotiations are over, the Marines will own rights to much of the data from the failed EFV.

"There's protection things that we have learned," he told ITN after the hearing. "There's communications that have been put into that system that we have learned. There's mobility, propulsion, computer systems. All those things are part of that body of knowledge." 

-- Cid Standifer

----------------------------------1ST GROUP OF RESPONSES-------------

28 January 2011
 
Recent Defense Science Board and Naval Research Advisory Committee studies--I participated in the latter as a member of NRAC--stated that at least 25 miles stand-off distance and preferably 50 miles was necessary because of anti-ship missiles, which could be launched from buildings and from trucks in parking lots.  (I believe both studies--unclassified--are on the Internet.)
 
Reference the Israel corvette HANIT struck by a land-launched cruise missile a few years ago; she was 10 miles offshore.   One of two missiles launched struck the Israeli warship and the second sank a merchant ship (Egyptian crew, Cambodian flag) some 35 miles offshore.
 
Launch "amtracs" from 12 miles offshore... good luck.
 
Norman

-------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------

Did I miss something?  I was aware that the EFV Program 
was in danger of possible change or cancellation, but
I didn't know the Commandant, et al, had already concluded
that the Program was dead!
 
S/F
 
TFF

------------2ND GROUP OF RESPONSES------------

29 January 2011

Norm Polmar has provided a bit of reality re the probable stand off distance for exercising forcible entry.  Based on that, from the time our Marines board an EFV and their group of EFVs get organized until they arrive at the beach will vary from two to four hours; tell me about the "readiness to fight" of a group of Marines who have been vomiting on each other en route in their enclosed bobbing "boat". Is a dehydrated Marine considered "ready" to attack enemy troops who have been comfortably awaiting his arrival (remember, there is little fire support to harass the bad guys)? I have never been there but it doesn't sound like a good way to prepare for ground combat. In WWII, most of the trips to the beach were less than two miles and that was not fun (our veterans tell me). At least they had persistent/heavy suppressive fires to dampen enemy courage/resistance, a capability our Navy has abandoned. 
 
Chuck Myers

--------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------

Chuck: there is not as much difference in what we are saying and what Norman 
Polmar is saying.

In 1986, when the OTH amphibious assault concept was being developed, the threat 
was a Soviet MRD.  Enemy assumed to have primarily subsonic land-based ASCMs. 
Fleet defenses included the newly arriving SM-2, NATO Sea Sparrow Missile, and 
CIWS.  Our battle network was NTDS.  Given the threat, the Navy concluded it 
needed to be over the RADAR horizon to get DOF 2 (shoot look shoot) at any 
inbound threat (25 nm).  LCACs splashed at 40 nm, EFV splashed at 25nm. 

Now, we assume most adversaries will have supersonics. Our analysis shows that 
on day one of the fight, when an adversary's battle network is up and good to 
go, need to be a minimum of 40 nm offshore for DOF 2.

You cannot assemble an amphibious task force before 30-35 days.  In the interim, 
we are fighting against the enemy's network, degrading his ability to do OTH 
targeting and attacking systems.  At some point after the arrival of the ATF, 
CATF and CLF assume the missile threat is reduced, and max raid densities are 
manageable.  When the order to "land the landing force" is given, we assume E2D 
is orbiting over the beach, looking 200 nm inland.  Missile defenses will 
include SM-6, advanced block SM2s, ESSM. RAM, Block 1b CIWS.  Fully netted with 
NIFC-CA and CEC. Under these conditions, can get DOF 2 relatively close to 
beach.  Analysis shows you can splash tracks as close as the VISUAL horizon (12 
nm).  We will not keep the ships there.  We would run the LSD/LPDs in to 12-18 
nm, splash and return them to 25-40 nm, under a dense defensive umbrella.

The problem with focusing on a specific distance is that tactical options are 
not static.  I wish people would give us credit for good campaign planning.  

Best, Bob   

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy

---------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------

The problem with focusing on a specific distance is that tactical options are not static.  I wish people would give us credit for good campaign planning. 
 
Sir, agree people get wrapped around a specific distance the same way they get wrapped around a specific piece of equipment vice a capability. Frankly, the HASC is not being helpful in all this after reading ACMC's testimony to Congress. It appears Rep Hunter tried to throw ACMC under the bus in favor of bankrupting the USMC over the EFV to save General Dynamics; Hunter's number one campaign contributor. USMC cannot afford the EFV. What does Hunter want DOD to give up to save and fully fund the EFV ?
 
V/r  GI

---------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------

See ACMC HASC testimony from Wed.  Navy saying yeah, about 12.   Seems like DOD 
would invest a little in EFV to save capital ships.... but that's just me.

CY
------------------------3RD GROUP OF RESPONSES-------
1 February 2011

"The problem with focusing on a specific distance is that tactical options are 
not static.  I wish people would give us credit for good campaign planning." 
 
Sir, agree people get wrapped around a specific distance the same way they get 
wrapped around a specific piece of equipment vice a capability. Frankly, the 
HASC is not being helpful in all this after reading ACMC's testimony to 
Congress. It appears Rep Hunter tried to throw ACMC under the bus in favor of 
bankrupting the USMC over the EFV to save General Dynamics; Hunter's number one 
campaign contributor. USMC cannot afford the EFV. What does Hunter want DOD to 
give up to save and fully fund the EFV ?
 
V/r  GI
-----------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----
GI: great to hear from you.

You ask a good question.  As the CMC has said, if Congress forces us to buy the 
EFV, it will be a "catastrophic success."

Best, Bob

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy
-----------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------
Sir, as long as I have known you, you always do your homework and due diligence! For the life of me do not understand why folks do not get it. As you note if Congress forces USMC to buy the EFV, it will be a "catastrophic success." with a host of unintended consequences As for HASC and Rep Hunter (GD is his number one contribute), got to tell DOD what DOD has to give up to get the EFV. I am not in favor of EFV (am in favor of the capability), USMC cannot afford for the contractor never produced, cost over was a past time for them, and regrettably Quantico did the suspended animation gig as the money was sucked up. By the way you did well for an artillery officer; now it is time to bring some dignity to the HA$C for it's the same ole crap-o-la...fire for effect, over!   
 
V/r GI

----------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------

GI: The total vehicle requirement for the Marine Corps, validated through the 
FSRG, is about 32,500 vehicles.

we are taking to $2.8 billion across the FYDP earmarked to start building 573 
EFV to do the following:

$500 million for New Amphibious Vehicle, cost as major KPP
$400 million for 3 year acceleration of Marine Personnel Carrier, wheeled, 
V-hulled armored personnel carrier, IOC now 2017/18
$200 million for HMMWV recap/modernization
$700 million for LAV survivability upgrades, M1A2 upgrades, and AVLB
$1 billion for AAV upgrades (major upgrade of 392 AAVs for 4 Bn forcible entry 
lift, survivability enhancements for some 300 more AAVs.

If we buy the 573 EFVs, between 2018 and 2015, we will consume 100% of the total 
Marine Corps historical vehicle procurement budget; 50% of the entire Marine 
Corps procurement account; and 90% of total vehicle O&M.

This is about as much of a no-brainer as can be.

Best, Bob 

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy
------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE----

Yes, sir, you nailed it: Right you are ! "If we buy the 573 EFVs, between 2018 and 2015, we will consume 100% of the total Marine Corps historical vehicle procurement budget".  It cannot be any clearer to me than that...wish the HASC could grasp this as well and move on. Will be in DC soon and I will buy the Guinness. 
V/r  GI
-----------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------
Dear Mr. Secretary:

In addition to squandering a large amount of defense money on EFVs for
Marines, there is another case of unnecessary expenditure that could even
top this. The Marines face another critical amphibious assault problem the
current attempted "solving" of which will cost a fortune with small results:
the absence, since the 1992 decommissioning of the last Iowa BBs, of any
effective naval surface fire support (NSFS). The solution has been sought
with deploying the problematic DDG-1000; however, the Marines have made it
clear that this mission would require at least 24 of these ships. The order
is down to three with each ship now costing up to an estimated $6 billion.
The Marines have made clear that carrier air cannot substitute for NSFS.
Former CMC General Hagee complained that air strikes can be "weathered out."
Later the March 18, 2009 report Amphibious Operations in the 21st Century
signed by MCCDC CG LTGEN George J. Flynn complained that the current
short-range of Navy guns results in "an over reliance on more expensive -
weather dependent - carriers and aircraft." The report also favorably
referred to the 2007 Joint Advanced Warfighting School's study on NSFS, the
most exhaustive and best documented such study in recent memory which
received a award for excellence from the National Defense University
Foundation. This study made a very strong and persuasive case for major
caliber guns (11-inch and above) for NSFS using modernized battleships (with
missiles and enhance range projectiles) on an interim basis to be replaced
with Capital Surface Warfare (CWS) ships, large gun, extensively armored
platforms, less costly to build, operate and man than large carriers which
would deliver substantially less ordnance than CWSs in any given period.

In the November 19, 2004 GAO report on NSFS, the Marines had the temerity to
support reactivating two battleships [Iowa and Wisconsin]. Rear Admiral
Charles Hamilton, in charge of the then DDX-1000 program, saw this as a
direct threat to his program and in a few months launched a full court press
misinformation campaign on the Hill which got both ships stricken from the
NVR and donated.  The HASC in 2006 issued instructions to the Navy to regard
these ships as potential mobilization assets inter alia whose infrastructure
must be preserved.  These instructions were referred to in the FY07 NDAA,
but the Navy has largely ignored them and continues to get rid of all BB
spare parts and other support to ensure that the BBs can never be returned
to service.  

In connection with waste-of-money programs, you might want to read in the
January 2011 USNI Proceedings (p.17) the article on the LCS program entitled
"The Wrong Ship at the Wrong Time."

Respectfully yours,

William Lloyd Stearman, PhD
Senior [flag-rank] US Foreign Service officer (Ret.)
National Security Council staff member under four Presidents
Former US Navy officer with considerable combat experience

---------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----

This says it all:
 
 
General Dynamics is top donor to Congressionals: Hunter, Davis, et al

The company, fighting to save vehicle contract, has given $234,500 to Armed Services Committee members
By Danielle Cervantes
San Diego Tribune
 
As General Dynamics tries to save its $15 billion defense contract to build the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, The Watchdog decided to see how much money the company has given to members of the House Armed Services Committee.
 
Monday, January 31, 2011 at 4:25 p.m.
 
Members of the House Armed Services Committee who reported contributions in 2010 of more than $10,000 from General Dynamics through employees or political action committee:
 
Joe Courtney (D-Conn.): $32,350
 
Jim Langevin (D-R.I.): $24,050
 
Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Santa Clarita): $20,000
 
Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine): $15,600
 
Susan A. Davis (D-San Diego): $10,500
 
Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas: $10,500
 
Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.): $10,500
 
Todd Akin (R-Mo.): $10,000
 
Jeff Miller (R-Fla.): $10,000
 
Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.): $10,000
 
Tim Ryan (D-Ohio): $10,000
 
Adam Smith (D-Wash.): $10,000
 
The amphibious assault craft, tested last month at Camp Pendleton, has been proposed for cancelation in Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ latest budget cuts.
 
At least 21 Armed Services Committee members received General Dynamics contributions in the 2010 election cycle, totaling $234,500. Rep. Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, sit on the committee.
 
Hunter received $15,600 from General Dynamics. That’s about 2 percent of his total contributions, and it makes the company his top donor, according to the database at OpenSecrets.org.
 
Davis received $10,500 from the company, about 1.7 percent of her donations — also making General Dynamics her top contribitor.
 
In its first hearing of the year, the committee met last week to examine Gates’ recommended $78 billion in military spending cuts.
 
Hunter wants the vehicle program to continue, and he said that General Dynamics’ contributions — made through political action committees and employees of the contractor — have “zero play” in the meetings since everything the committee considers is on an advisory basis and in the case of General Dynamics, put to bid by the Department of Defense.
 
“It doesn’t matter who gave whom anything. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you’ve given,” he said. “I’ve probably gone to bat more for companies that make good products that don’t even know my name.”
 
Davis said she doesn’t support the program at this point.
 
“Unless I hear a compelling need for the EFV from our men and women in uniform, in this instance I am inclined to support the decision of the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, and Commandant of the Marine Corps to terminate this program.”
 
Neither of the representatives’ financial disclosures since 2008 show investments in General Dynamics or any other defense contractor. They also reported no travel or gifts from the firm. None of their 2009 Congressional earmarks were directed to the company.
 
Though it is no longer based in San Diego, General Dynamics owns shipbuilder NASSCO, which is based in the county and employes about 4,100, according to its corporate website. The EFV is made in Ohio.
 
Last week, the contractor announced the assault vehicle’s prototypes had excelled the latest performance testing at Camp Pendleton.
 
The vehicle was first envisioned during the Reagan administration and $3 billion has been invested in its development. According to The Washington Post, the price per vehicle has grown from $5 million in 1995 to $17 million in 2011.
GI 
-------------------4TH GROUP OF RESPONSES------

2 February 2011

GI,

Thanks for the list of crooks to campaign/Vote against. We have been used and abused by the 'Powers that be' for far too long. Time to turn the tables and screw THEM. 

Any EFV needs environmental survivability greater than that of a Jeep in a firefight with a Tiger Tank (or, more aptly, and historically true, than that of an M4 Sherman in a firefight with a Tiger Tank. THOSE crews were told by 'the powers that be' that the M4 was the best tank on the field, D-Day proved them liars. After we're committed, isn't when we want the TRUTH). I don't want MY kids/Grandkids murdered by the money hungry LIARS. 

sniperbait66  

------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------

An exchange of views re the character of a ship-to-shore transportation vehicle for execution of forcible entry across a defended beach is irrelevant when one considers the lack of ship-to-shore fire support. It may be that Marine Corps leadership is content with maintaining a "symbolic" mission capability. However, I seem to recall that the Marine Corps is the responsible agency for establishing amphibious warfare principles and guidelines for all, including the Army. If they have decided to abandon forcible entry across the beach it could relieve fiscal pressure across the family of programs related this mission capability. Recent history of how the Navy backed out of its responsibility to provide adequate fire support is presented by Dr. William Stearman who's interested/advice is bolstered by his experience during seven amphibious assaults in the Pacific Theater. I'm not adverse to abandoning the mission, I just hate to witness "making believe"; its dangerous. 
 
Chuck Myers 

-----------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE--------

Chuck
 
You make some very good points here. The big problem is the persistent Pentagon mantra "we'll never do another Normandy landing."  In other words, amphibious warfare is finished. This is really beside the point. It is of prime strategic importance that we maintain a forcible entry from the sea capability for political/diplomatic reasons. For this we must have a "fleet in being" credible amphibious capability. For its credibility, an effective NSFS capability is essential. Whether or not we actually believe we will make any amphibious landings is really beside the point. In fact , since most of the world's population lives within 50 or so miles from the sea, the likelihood of being engaged in the littorals is, in any case, not exactly small.  In any case, think of all the assets we put into our nuclear capability without really believing we will ever use nukes. I learned in 1959 during a critical conference on Berlin, which I attended, that we almost sold out Berlin because we believed in the "missile gap." For the first time I understood what strategic systems are  really all about.They're the blue chips in the diplomatic poker game. I feel the same applies to forcible entry from the sea as a potential threat to the many in the world who do not wish us well.  There may well be occasions when a timely visible show of force may be necessary to keep the peace or at least make a point. I can think of several such occasions in recent history. I might add that, as you know, in addition to my WWII experience (I also experienced combat in Vietnam), I have kept up to date on naval matters since then. Of course, as an old "Gator" officer, I have always felt close to the Marines. In the Big One it was Gators, Marines and  CBs united, on occasion, against the Navy.
 
Best wishes,
 
Bill


-----------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE--------

All: I can't say this enough.  The definition of an amphibious assault is very 
simple: The principal type of amphibious operation that involves establishing a 
force on a hostile or potentially hostile shore. The definition of forcible 
entry is also very simple: Seizing and holding of a military lodgment in the 
face of armed opposition.

This is about projecting a ready-to-fight combat force into an environment where 
enemy action is expected.  Period. There is nothing in the definition that says 
you have to do this against an enemy surface.  It makes far more sense to this 
against an enemy gap.  The Marines have be planning to do that since the 
mid-1980s. 

The question then is what kind of shaping/prep ops do you have to do to project 
the force ashore, and what type of counter-attacks might you expect once you 
seize the lodgment.

Amphibious assaults in the Pacific are therefore not the best model for NSFS 
planning.  Chance of Marines landing on a shore defended at the beachline is 
remote. No major plans to seize heavily defended islands.  There is a chance we 
would seize small islands, but their fortifications would be far less than 
anything faced in the Pacific or ETO. WE PLAN TO LAND WHERE THE ENEMY IS WEAK.

So the future NSFS model is closer to that used in the ETO for Army theater 
entry ops.  Length and density of the preliminary bombardments, and number of 
gunfire ships, was much less than ETO.  

Also, all bombardments prior to the advent of guided weapons must be reviewed 
given the power of these weapons, and the fundamental change they have had on 
massed fires. 

Also no longer expect mechanized counter-attacks against lodgments.  Major 
threat is G-RAMM attacks.  

Most recent CNA fires AOA concluded NSFS best met with 6-in and 5-in guided 
rounds.

6-inch round progressing nicely.  Problems with the 5-inch round, which will be 
addressed once again in POM-13.

Again, this is all about good campaign planning, not rushing troops ashore.  
With the capabilities portfolio we have, these types of operations can still be 
done if planned smartly.

Best, Bob

Robert O. Work 
Under Secretary of the Navy  


------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------


Amen to this: you write above:This is about projecting a ready-to-fight combat force into an environment where enemy action is expected.  Period. There is nothing in the definition that says you have to do this against an enemy surface.  It makes far more sense to this against an enemy gap.  The Marines have been planning to do that since the mid-1980s.
 
S/f  GI 

-----------------5TH GROUP OF RESPONSES-------

3 February 2011
If we are to meet future requirements with fewer resources in both the Navy and Marine Corps then we must be creative in the way we project sea power and organize our naval expeditionary capabilities for maritime missions and sea-based intervention to include redefining amphibious operations. Whenever U.S. forces are deployed in the world with little or no logistics in place, only sea-based ground forces can offer sustaining combat power ashore from the inception of an operation to its conclusion. By maintaining a close relationship with the Navy and developing innovative sea-based initiatives/capabilities, both the Marine Corps and Navy will truly remain this country's force-in-readiness.....and relevant per article one of the US Constitution: raise an Army, maintain a Navy
The naval focus of effort has always been on getting to the crisis by the most expeditious means; be it by sea, air, or maritime pre-positioning force (MPF). Sadly/regretably,according to Inside Defense Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future), was axed in the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan nevertheless, the Marine Corps has run sea basing tests searching for alternatives to the Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future). Fortunately, for the Nation the Marines have not lost sight of the utility of using the sea as maneuver space when faced with “geographic impediments.” 
S/f  GI
--------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----

GI: story is actually better than you might think.

We have agreement with SecDef, SecNav, CNO, and CMC on a 33-ship amphib force: 
11 big decks; 11 LPD-17s; 11 LSD-41/49s.

We have 12 LSDs, and have fully funded a mid-life SLEP to get them to 40 years.

The LPD-17s program, despite its troubles, has given us a superb design.  
Wellness program is fully funded.  Big problem right now is Northrop Grumman 
spin out.  We can't complete the class until that is resolved.

We have 8 LHDs and 2 LHAs funded.  The FY16 ship is the 11th big deck.  We 
expect to go back to a welldeck in either the 16 or 21 ship; 16 preferred.  That 
would give us one aviation design on each coast.

LSD(X) is a 17 ship.  AOA completed this year. 

We gave up on one MPFF to get three MPF squadrons with enhanced seabasing 
capabilities.  Each squadron will have an LMSR; a T-AKE; and an MLP.  Far more 
flexible force across the ROMO.

LCAC SLEP funded.  SSC follow-on tracking.  You know story on EFV.

Last year, we put 23 JHSVs in the 30 year shipbuilding plan.  We are adjusting 
the number this year, but will have many of these fine intra-theater connectors.

All in all, combination of amphibs/MPF/JHSV/sealift is quite capable.

Best, Bob 

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy

-------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------

This is an impressive amphib lift capability. More than I would have
guessed.

Bill Stearman

------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE---------

Sir, THIS IS REALLY GREAT NEWS.....you made my day !
 
V/r  GI

-----------------ANOTHER RESPONSE----------

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): A classic example of setting conditions that attempt to predict what an opponent will/may do to counter a classic "mass/speed/tactical opportunity" argument that "requires" the selected "opponent" to "counter" the U.S. strategy.
 
Problem with this platform centric "high cost/low return" strategy is that the opponent "always" gets a vote.
 
Build a complex "high cost" military platform & the military is compelled to "employ" the new weapon system. Remember the latest USMC Afghanistan experience employing MLRS: inappropriate targeting, poor delivery, massive over-match, high risk, low return: Outcome: remove MLRS from list of "approved" cold-war kinetic weapon systems employed within the COIN fight.
 
 


What must be considered with the EFV argument is "how" the USMC actually employs the platform: no impact no ID.
 
POWDER
 
--------------------6TH GROUP OF RESPONSES---------

4 February 2011
In the Southwest Pacific where I was in the first wave in nine assault
landings, McArthur always sought to land where the enemy had just pulled out
or had never occupied. He often succeeded. After experiencing BB and CA
bombardments, the Japanese ceased defending at the coast line when they
could. At Iwo Jima, however, they had to attack our troops as they landed.
The main problem with out BB bombardment at Iwo is that we didn't use AP
projectiles that could have more deeply penetrated their positions. On
Okinawa, the Japanese didn't defend at the coast line again to escape BB
bombardments.  I remember the worst enemy fires we encountered were after we
had established a beachhead and the Japanese knew we would not shell close
to our troops.  At Normandy the weapon system the Germans most feared were
our two WWI BBs. This was made clear in statements by the top German
generals there and even by Hitler. I also got the same view from
ex-Wehrmacht officers who had defended at Normandy.

As to guided 5 and 6 inch rounds for NSFS, in March 2000 a three star Marine
testified on the Hill that 5-inch rounds, including ERGM, "lacked lethality"
needed to meet Marine Corps NSFS requirements; nevertheless, the Navy
continued developing ERGM with periodic optimistic progress reports until
this clearly failing project was mercifully abandoned in 2008 after some
$600 million had been squandered on it. Obviously the 6-inch (or 155mm)
would be better, but is still limited against any kind of fortifications. In
any case it is better than nothing and certainly better than 5-inch. 8-inch
guns should certainly also be developed. They would be the best for NSFS of
all the less than major caliber guns.

I believe one of the Navy's main weaknesses in the post BB era is it
inability to display a visible show of force in high threat situations. A
carrier task force "show" of force 2 or 3 hundreds miles away from its
target becomes an abstraction and is essentially oxymoronic, to say the
least. Our present ships are, in any case, too vulnerable (see Cole
disaster) to risk going into any potential harm's way; moreover, our
warships with one small gun on the bow look more like merchant ships than
warships and certainly do not look threatening. We would do well to note
that the Soviets fully realized the importance of a ship's looking
threatening. They always, in any case, looked upon their armed forces as
primarily political instruments. (The threat of armed force is what held
their empire together and kept us on guard.) Their warships bristled with
ordnance that we conceal on our ships. See, for example, the now Russian
battle-cruiser Peter the Great. Former CMC PX Kelley once declared, "There
is no weapon system in the world that comes close to the visible symbol of
enormous power represented by the battleship." The Soviets were posing a
serious threat to Turkey until April 1946 when Missouri showed up off
Istanbul. The threat then began to substantially diminish. I believe a
strong case can be made that the appearance of a battleship off Kuwait City
in July 1990 could well have discouraged the Iraqi attack the set off the
Gulf War. Also, according to our last ambassador to Yugoslavia, in October
1991, a battleship off Dubrovnik prepared to fire on attacking Serb forces
might well have headed off the murderous fighting which subsequently
devasted former Yugoslavia. I got interested in BBs when, as head of the
NSC's Indochina staff in 1973, I concluded that the only threat that could
stop massive North Vietnamese violations of the recent Peace Accords was to
position a reactivated New Jersey off the DMZ.  From my Vietnam service, I
knew that this was clearly the weapon system they by far most feared.
Unfortunately I couldn't sell this to my boss Henry Kissinger --probably
because reactivation would have taken too long. During its six months on the
gunline off Vietnam, New Jersey turned in a stellar performance. General
James Jones had this to say about it. "I owe my life to New Jersey. -- When
the enemy was attacking everything would go quiet when NJ appeared off
shore.-Within the arc of a battleship's guns war evaporates."  When, in
April 1969, NJ rotated back to the US, the North Vietnamese insisted that
its return would jeopardize peace talks. (They never mentioned the four
carriers usually off Vietnam.) It therefore never returned. Then-CMC Leonard
Chapman declared that, off Vietnam, NJ "saved thousands of American lives."
How many American lives would have been saved had a BB been on the gunline
for all seven years of the war? (As one who came very close to being KIA in
Vietnam, I find this is an extremely vexing question.) In November 1964, a
Navy commission headed by VADM Edwin Hooper had recommended activating two
BBs and two CAs for possible Vietnam contingencies. The aviators who ran the
Navy ignored this request. We subsequently lost 1067 aircraft attacking
targets in North Vietnam, 80% of which could have been taken out with
16-inch guns. Finally to reduce this loss the Navy was forced to reactivate
New Jersey. In 1968 real progress was being made in greatly increasing 16
inch range when the Navy scrubbed this low cost program.

I grant that given the persistent, deepseated, albeit largely groundless,
prejudice in the Navy against battleships, the issue of battleships in the
fleet will, for some time, alas remain moot. Nevertheless, I feel there is
merit in those at your level knowing some of the background of this issue.
Maybe future Navy leadership will someday see the merit in having capital
ships which are highly survivable with extensive passive and active
protection and which could, therefore, operate with relative impunity in
high threat situations, (such as hostile actions or threats in the Persian
Gulf) and would mount highly visible major caliber guns (as well as smaller
guns) firing extended range projectiles (e.g., 500 mile range scramjet) and
have dozens of VLS cells for a variety of missiles. These ships would, in
most time frames, be capable of accurately laying down a far heavier and
varied load of ordance on targets distant and near than could be delivered
from a large carrier and do it all-weather and at much less expense in
operating costs and manpower. As a diplomatic/political visible show of
force instrument it would be ne plus ultra. (See the 2007 JAWS NSFS study on
the CSW concept.)

Bill Stearman 

-------------------7TH GROUP OF RESPONSES-------

5 February 2011


Bill,  Can you provide any citations for statements by German generals or Hitler saying anything about our battleships on D-Day.  

Thank you/Norman (Polmar)
 

--------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------

Bill: thanks for this informative and thoughtful reply.

I always tell people I would have be a Navy officer had the USS New
Jersey still been in commission when I graduated in 1974.  I am a very
big fan of a battleship's awesome staying ability and punch.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the proven utility and visceral
visual impact of BBs.  I also believe their contributions to shore
bombardments in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam to be significant.  I would
disagree, however, that the Japanese made their decision to defend away
from the beach line due solely to BB/CA bombardment.  The fact is that
many Japanese emplacements close to the beach survived extensive naval
bombardment.  It was that the US proved itself capable of such rapid
buildup on/over the beach that it could fight through, albeit with great
casualties, any level of defense on the beach.  I'd argue that their
decision to shift inland on Peleliu, Iwo, and Okinawa reflected a move
away from seeking a decisive victory on the beach to wearing the
Americans down through a grinding attrition battle.

In my view, it was the shift to the missile age that made the BBs less
relevant, and precision delivery made large-caliber cannon fire a
nice-to-have luxury.  A landing force supported by 5-inch guided rounds
in DS, 6-inch guided rounds in GS, massed 57mm suppression fire at the
littoral penetration point, armed loitering UAVs and naval aircraft with
24-hour through the weather guided munitions more than makes up for the
regrettable loss of the BBs.

Their time has passed, unfortunately.

Best, Bob

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy

-----------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----

Sir, this has been a first class exchanged based on fact, logic, budget realities, and reason. However, amazed how Rep Hunter does not see the forest before the trees. Hunter does not addresses the costs of the EFV, what trade offs are better than the ones made by SecDef, nor does he offer a solutions other than shovel money to GD. As you note, "If we buy the 573 EFVs, between 2018 and 2015, we will consume 100% of the total Marine Corps historical vehicle procurement budget; 50% of the entire Marine Corps procurement account; and 90% of total vehicle O&M." 

See the latest which seems indicate bankrupt the USMC to keep DG alive. Hunter continues to throw ACMC under the bus.


-------------------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-------------------

During WWII it is my understanding that no expense or effort was spared to rescue downed Naval aviators, especially in the Pacific theatre of operations. It was also not unknown that in several operations the off shore shelling was not of a duration that pleased Marine commanders.  One can only wonder if Naval commanders really give a rat's ass about Marine snuffies being snuffed out in a trade off where budgetary considerations cramp their style.
 
I am a very unsophisticated personality, inexperienced in the ways of the ruling elite, except that I know that shit rolls down hill. 
 
 I do believe we would know what  the answer  would be  if all  American mothers and fathers were aware of the budgetary considerations being weighed to Go or NoGo with the expense of developing this subject amphibious assault capability under discussion.

Will Clifford
Capt., USMC (Ret)

----------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------

Reality or Illusion?  The US DoN (Marines/Navy) can "kick down" the littoral door, gain entry and maintain a doormat 
into any nation bordering the sea. Once there were USMC leaders who believed they could because they had.
 
There was a time when this US capability was recognized in the minds of global politicians; it is perceived as a useful 
tool in the negotiating kit for a Secretary of State and the President.
 
It may come as a surprise to senior USG officials that the DoN has abandoned that capability for the lesser mission of
 
performing amphibious insertions in the absence of heavy resistance: administrative landings (more or less)?
 
A key element for forcible entry is heavy, sustainable/persistent ship based all weather fire support as described in 
past Marine Corps testimony to Congress and well documented by history during WWII invasions in both the 
European/Pacific theaters, in Korea at Inchon and for "escape under pressure" at Hungnam.
 
Provisions for such fires is missing in programmed force planning, ergo, backing off to a "doable" objective seems prudent.
 
I suggest that this more modest mission objective erodes the historical image of the value of USMC.  Restoration of the full 
capability begins with an internal debate within the DoN over funding realistic fire support assets or discovering a "forcible
entry concept that is less fires dependant.
 
Backing off may be acceptable; permitting senior officials of government to believe that the capability exists is dangerous.
 
Chuck Myers

--------------8TH GROUP OF RESPONSES---  

7 February 2011

On 08 Feb. 1991 I slept on the deck at MCAS Ras Al Mishab, KSA - then home
of MAG-16, 3d MAW, IMEF.  RAM was located about 20 miles south of the KSA -
Kuwaiti border.  We slept on the sand in our sleeping bags, as there was "no
room at the inn."  I am a big man, 6'3", 200+ #.  I found myself being
bounced off the sand like a featherweight.  I didn't think we were
experiencing an earthquake, but I couldn't figure out what was causing this.
The next morning I learned that the venerable battleship, the USS Wisconsin,
was servicing targets north of the Saudi - Kuwaiti border with its awesome
16" naval guns.  Physics was never my forte academically, but I shuddered to
imagine what it would be like to be in the impact area of such fearsome
firepower after my long distance experience with the vibes. Later in Kuwait
I got to see the results. I am sure glad the BB's were on our side, and I
wish we still had a few in the fleet today.

Semper Fi,

Wally McTernan
LtCol., U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)

-----------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------

I think a number of the observations about the BBs were on the money, but one item that was overlooked is their survivability.  
They had armor like no other ship and could take a beating and keep on swinging and we could have upgraded their big guns and 
added an extensive variety of missiles.   I am sure Norman will correct me, but most modern ships have minimal armor, are one hit 
wonders (ok, maybe two) and then man the life boats.  There is so much electronic complexity in them, any significant hit has the potential 
to disrupt all those complex systems which the Navy is struggling to maintain and operate even under peacetime conditions.  
And the one 5 inch goes down and then what?  The Navy continues to neglect the First Law of One relating to operations at its peril: 
Never have one of anything, except one God, one CNO and one wife. That also includes single screw frigates.    
 
If we have a war of any magnitude, those 33 amphibs and the pre-positioned fleet will be the only players in the game as there is no way 
to create a "surge" of new ships in short order anything like what we did in a WWII.  If we can move 2-3 divisions it would be a big deal but 
whatever the number, facilitating a prospective ship to shore assault phase from beyond visual range in some kind of a surface vehicle 
becomes a preeminent requirement.  You can't do it all with helos, a few SES and 50 year Mike boats at 5-8 knots.  
 
With all the R & D money and tests that have been gone on over the years on our favorite EFV I cannot believe something like a water 
jet powered trac or perhaps even a wheeled LAV  cannot be built to do 15-20 knots in the water - hopefully more- at a reasonable price.  
Its job One.

 PatG.  

---------------9TH GROUP OF RESPONSES----------

10 February 2011
Bob,

Sorry I'm a bit tardy in replying to your e-mail, but have these points to
make. In the Southwest Pacific there is little question in my mind that the
Japanese usually abandoned the beach in large part to avoid BB bombardment
because that was where nearly all of the BB NSFS action was. I can tell you
from considerable personal experience that troops are most vulnerable when
they first land and that defense at the beach area made sense if it could be
risked. In the Central Pacific where the Marines were and where the 3rd/5th
Fleet held sway, BBs unfortunately were generally not  used for NSFS.
Japanese fortifications that survived were never targeted by BBs. I always
thought it tragic that the Marines landing at Tarawa, for example, suffered
needlessly from a want of adequate NSFS. Had a BB been present, this would
have been an entirely different fight since most Japanese positions would
have been blown away. The Navy in this theater had the newest, fastest most
modern BBs but used them almost exclusively to protect carriers, a task they
performed with great success, but which, alas, were not usually used to
support the Marines The BBs used for NSFS were the old ones with the 7th
Fleet in SW Pacific. Even in Operation Olympic, scheduled for Nov.1, 1945,
(where I was to be in the first assault wave) the Navy was only going to use
the old BBs for NSFS and keep the new ones to protect the fleet from the
thousands of kamikazes. 

I'm afraid that all the systems you cited for possible current NSFS taken
together could not hold a candle to a BBs capability when it came to
penetration and blast effect. Missiles do have their place, indeed the Navy
had  plans to install 96 VLS cells in each Iowa BB. But what missile in
anybody's inventory could equal the effect of a  1.25 ton projectile coming
in at over 2000 ft per sec.? As I said before, the Navy ought to continue
once promising 8 inch programs and forget most of the smaller stuff. What
the Navy should really do is scrap the incredibly costly ($6 billion a
ship) DDG-1000 program of limited utility and promise and switch the funds
to constructing the Capital Surface Warfare ship (CWS) described in the
incomparable 2007 Joint Advanced Warfighting School NSFS study. With the
great improvement in armor technology you could have an incredibly
survivable ship firing long range (460 miles in nine minutes according to
Pratt & Whitney) 16 inch scramjet projectiles. As well as a wide variety of
missiles from dozens of VLS cells and a number of UAVs for reconnaissance
and spotting. This would be a ship that could go anywhere and do almost
anything. It would at last, for example, give us a ship that could risk
going in harm's way and with its highly threatening appearance would provide
a useful visible show of force in high threat situations, a strategically
important capability we haven't since we lost the BBs. According the well
documented and tightly reasoned JAWS study, a CWS would cost much less to
build than a large carrier, would be far cheaper to operate and would
require but a fraction of the manpower, but could accurately deliver at a
variety of ranges a far greater load of ordnance that could, in a comparable
time, be delivered from a carrier and do this in all weather conditions and
in high threat areas which must be avoided by intrinsically vulnerable
carriers. Actually I believe our carriers should largely concentrate on
preserving air dominance. Unfortunately,in any case, our remaining two BBs
probably could not be reactivated because the Navy contrary to congressional
instructions and the law, instead of preserving the BB infrastructure, has
been systematically dismantling it, notably in spare parts. (Please excuse
the large font. My quirky computer is acting up again.)

With my best regards,

Bill


-------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE------


Bill: thanks for this informative and thoughtful reply.

I always tell people I would have be a Navy officer had the USS New Jersey
still been in commission when I graduated in 1974.  I am a very big fan of a
battleship's awesome staying ability and punch.

I wholeheartedly agree with you on the proven utility and visceral visual
impact of BBs.  I also believe their contributions to shore bombardments in
WWII, Korea, and Vietnam to be significant.  I would disagree, however, that
the Japanese made their decision to defend away from the beach line due
solely to BB/CA bombardment.  The fact is that many Japanese emplacements
close to the beach survived extensive naval bombardment.  It was that the US
proved itself capable of such rapid buildup on/over the beach that it could
fight through, albeit with great casualties, any level of defense on the
beach.  I'd argue that their decision to shift inland on Peleliu, Iwo, and
Okinawa reflected a move away from seeking a decisive victory on the beach
to wearing the Americans down through a grinding attrition battle.

In my view, it was the shift to the missile age that made the BBs less
relevant, and precision delivery made large-caliber cannon fire a
nice-to-have luxury.  A landing force supported by 5-inch guided rounds in
DS, 6-inch guided rounds in GS, massed 57mm suppression fire at the littoral
penetration point, armed loitering UAVs and naval aircraft with 24-hour
through the weather guided munitions more than makes up for the regrettable
loss of the BBs.

Their time has passed, unfortunately.

Best, Bob

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy

---------------------10TH GROUP OF RESPONSES------------

11 February 2011

Bill: I should also append my last email.  I told the CMC at my swearing
in that I hoped he wouldn't object to me saying I'd probably be a former
Navy officer if the USS New Jersey was in commission in 1974. I then
told the CNO I was now a Marine officer because my midshipman cruise on
the USS Chicago, CG-11, scarred me for life...she was the ugliest ship I
had ever seen!

Thank you for enlightening me on the role of BBs in the Southwest
Pacific.  If you have any suggested reading on their roles I would be
most appreciative.

The power of a 16-in naval cannon is, as you say, quite awesome.
However, I agree with your assessment that the likelihood of bringing an
Iowa back into commission is zero.  And the cost to build a CWS would be
prohibitive.  

I still think you may be undervaluing lethality of even small guided
weapons with "near zero miss."  We now routinely fire a Griffin where we
used to fire a Hellfire or 500-lb LGB.  And the 250-lb SDB is often used
in place of 500 or 1000 lb dumb bombs.

So this is the way I think of it:

2000-lb dual-mode JDAMs that can be dropped through the weather now
replace the 16-in high capacity and AP rounds fired by the Iowas

1000-lb dual-mode JDAMs that can be dropped through the weather now
replace the 14-in high capacity and AP rounds fired by New York, Texas,
Nevada, and Pennsylvania

500-lb dual-mode JDAMs that can be dropped through the weather now
replace the 8-in high capacity and AP rounds fired by heavy cruisers.

All three of these weapons can be delivered over ranges beyond anything
a BB or CA could ever hope to throw.

AGS on DDG-1000s replace 6-in guns on light cruisers.

We are once again looking at guided 5-in round for our CGs and DDGs.

The LCS, with its preprogrammable ammunition and rof of 200 rpm, gives
the landing force a close-in suppressive fire capability unseen since
WWII/Korea. Our New amphibious vehicle will likely have a stabilized
cannon of some kind capable of firing on the move in the water, adding
more suppressive fires.

Add in AH-1Z Vipers with Hellfire and guided 2.75 aerial rockets,
KC-130Js with pallets of Griffins.

Sounds pretty good to me.

I love BBs.  But I also like the power of precision.

Best, Bob 

------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE---------

Question for Sec Work: 
 
How many total platforms do you expect will be built and crewed, what will be the percent availability, 
and thus how many of those destroyers with their single five inch gun will be available to support the landing force. 
How many naval gunfire lads (we used to call them ANGLICO) will be ashore and competing with each other for the fires of those 
how many (how few) destroyers in direct support? What platform will have the six inch gun you mentioned as being in general support 
and how many of those will be available? 
Bottom line, given the current and (likely) future efforts to constrain procurement budgets, then O&M funds to keep those ships' crews
 trained up and actually deployed when *that opposed landing* requirement confronts the Nation, how many will be off shore? 
(Keeping in mind that tactical requirements do not necessarily allow for long wait times while we assemble a formidable task force, 
so ships on the other side of the world will not arrive in time to join the few ships that happen to be near *there* wherever *there* 
happens to be.) In other words the total number of ships procured and built will be divided between several geographic dispersals, 
and in each area, further subdivided between fully deployable with trained up crews and other ships that are in overhaul or other less than 
deployable status.
 
Your response did not address the other ship mentioned in the email to which your response was made 
<snip> the Capital Surface Warfare ship (CWS) described in the incomparable 2007 Joint Advanced Warfighting School NSFS study. 
With the great improvement in armor technology you could have an incredibly survivable ship firing long range 
(460 miles in nine minutes according toPratt & Whitney) 16 inch scramjet projectiles.<end snip> 
Is that another good idea the Navy will chose/has chosen not to fund (again, budget constraints)? 

Most of us on MILINET are age limited out of the fight now but most can remember when *enough* fire support was 
the only reason we survived a particular action, and are not reassured by the amount of fires now suggested as *adequate.* (Air wings, available over *that fight* will be very limited by the incredible increases in cost per aircraft, so the general statement that we should be happy with air support, whether manned or droned, does not give much solace if the fight gets bigger than a limited *rescue* operation.) 

Higinbotham 

------------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE-----

Anthony,

This is one of the most interesting threads you've had for a long time.  There is another perspective here:
That old Marine Corps tactical motto - “hey diddle diddle, strait down the middle” - has some basis in reality.  
It is the need to get firmly established ashore so the supporting amphibious force which is a ripe soft target can withdraw or maneuver if necessary.  
One reason the Japanese are believed to have changed their tactics and defended inland instead is they could hold out longer forcing
 the amphibious force to remain near at hand making it a better target.  At Tarawa one Japanese submarine with one torpedo sank a supporting 
carrier killed more sailors than Marines were killed at the beach. 

That seems to have been the plan at Peliliu but Japanese navy did not venture an attack on the amphibious force.  
At Saipan they did which resulted in the “Mariannas Turkey Shoot” which broke the back of Japanese naval air power.  
At Leyte Gulf the Japanese almost got right in with the amphibious force but the Japanese commander, not recognizing 
he had such a target in his sights, lost his nerve and withdrew.  At Okinawa the Japanese navy was not much of a factor 
but the drawn out fight ashore kept a large naval force offshore which made a great target and took heavy losses from the Kamikazes. 
Given appropriate modifications due to new technology, those are lessons to remember today.  Control of the Pacific is going to depend 
on who controls the green and blue lines of islands that lie off the Asian coast.  The PLAN may romp up and down the Yellow Sea,
 the East China Sea and the South China Sea but if they want to play in the majors they are going to have to be able to penetrate both 
lines in more than one place. That will involved seizure and defense of a lot of islands.

The Chinese are certain to be thinking seriously about amphibious operations and watching us very closely.  
They will be very happy to see us abandon the idea of “forced entry.”

PR

----------------------11TH GROUP OF RESPONSES-----

February 2011

Higinbotham, PR: 

We are not abandoning an amphibious assault/forcible entry capability.  The 
plans for our sea-based maneuver fleet:

11 big decks, 9 with well decks, 2 without  (2 non-well deck ships support 
vertical assault forces, and have an auxiliary aircraft carrier role)
11 LPD-17s
11 LSDs/LSD(X)s

These will carry the assault echelons of 2 brigades

3 Maritime prepo squadrons with improved seabasing capability.  (Each squadron 
with LMSR for better selective offload; T-AKE for dry cargo/ammo stores; Mobile 
Landing Platform that can be seabased intermediate staging point for 6 LCACs)

Each squadron supports 1 brigade.  So we could easily mount a MEF-level forcible 
entry operation if needed.

Plans also include
8 bns lift with new amphibious tractor, an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle
4 bns lift with new Marine Personnel Carrier, an amphibious APC

All assault support squadrons equipped with V22.

Heavy lift squadrons with CH53K, also configured for assault support

Brand new recapped UH-1/AH-1 fleet

All F35 JSF fixed wing force

KC130J with Harvest Hawk precision engagement kits (cannon and small guided 
missiles)

New Ship-to-shore connectors to replace LCAC

In terms of NSFS, we will have
3 DDG-1000s, each with 2 6-inch advanced gun systems.  Fully automatic, each gun 
has an equivalent rate of fire of one 6-gun 155mm battery.  Demonstrated range 
of over 60 nm; objective range is 83 nm.  These will normally be in GS of the 
MEF

We haven't yet solved the 5-in guided round problem yet.  When we do, we will 
have 22 Tico CGs with 2 5-in/62 mounts (44 total), and 72 DDGs with 1 5-inch 
mount.  Depending on the number of DDGs we backfit, we could have up to 116 5-in 
gunmounts.

We plan on 55 LCSs, each with one 57mm automatic cannon.  Go online and watch 
the options you have with its 3P ammo.  You would not want to be in the beaten 
zone.

The CWS is not affordable, neither is it needed. We need to move on.

The bottom line: The 21st century Marine Corps will remain the nation's naval 
expeditionary force in readiness. It will have awesome capabilities, optimized 
for the middle part of the combat spectrum.  But make no mistake.  If we need 
access, this Marine Corps will provide it, by force if necessary. 

Best, Bob

Robert O. Work
Under Secretary of the Navy

---------------------ANOTHER RESPONSE---------------

In reply to: "2000-lb dual-mode JDAMs that can be dropped through the weather now replace the 
16-in high capacity and AP rounds fired by the Iowas. 1000-lb dual-mode 
JDAMs that can be dropped through the weather now replace the 14-in 
high capacity and AP rounds fired by New York, Texas, Nevada, and 
Pennsylvania. 500-lb dual-mode JDAMs that can be dropped through the 
weather now replace the 8-in high capacity and AP rounds fired by heavy 
cruisers. All three of these weapons can be delivered over ranges beyond 
anything a BB or CA could ever hope to throw." Any Marine could, and 
can, call for NSFS, only a school qualified JTAC can call and use JDAMS 
(actually, only JTAC's are supposed to call for air now). Time to 
deliver NSFS compared to obtaining air and then getting clearance to 
use the JDAMs- waaaaay to long. Suppressive fire - lots of steel for a 
long time - NSFS can do that- JDAMS unfortunately are precision weapons 
- they WILL kill what you strike - but again their exists a long time 
on developing the grid, altitude to the specifications required for 
JDAM. Give me air, artillery, mortars and NSFS and let the Marine on the 
ground use what is timely and capable of killing, suppressing the enemy 
and keeping our folks going
.

Ed Blanz 

---------------------12TH GROUP OF RESPONSES--------

Anthony Milavic - - For Navy Under Secretary Work: 
 
Thank you for your very thorough outline of forced entry planned 
capabilities. Appreciate your taking the time to participate in 
MILINET, since we all know your assignment carries a very busy schedule. 
 
Headcounting: 
 
<snip> In terms of NSFS, we will have 3 DDG-1000s, each with 2 6-inch 
advanced gun systems. Fully automatic, each gun has an equivalent rate 
of fire of one 6-gun 155mm battery. Demonstrated range of over 60 nm; 
objective range is 83 nm. These will normally be in GS of the MEF <end 
snip> 
 
Three ships, two gun systems each, six gun systems. One gun system 
equals one battery of 155mm artillery ashore, or two battalions 
equivalent, total. 
 
Not trying to be a doom and gloom prophet but with world wide set of 
oceans, likely each of three ships in a different geographic area, so 
one ship available in support of *that objective* with the additional 
caveat that the one ship assigned to Fleet with responsibility for that 
region of the world will be fully trained up and deployable/deployed. 
Steaming/transit time (for sister ship normally assigned elsewhere in 
the world) will quite possibly (going on probably) preclude time enough 
for repositioning of sister ships to support *that objective.* Most 
probable scenario says one ship with its two batteries equivalent will 
be the available. 
 
*If* the crisis is slow developing and we can send all three ships, and 
all three are trained up and deployable then we get those two 
battalions equivalent. Otherwise, something less. 
 
Range question. Since the title of this thread centers on changing the 
launch point from 25 nm (over the horizon) down to only 12 nm, will 
the 60-83 nm range for these weapons systems be necessary? Or will 
their impressive range capabilities result in that firepower being 
hijacked by higher headquarters to strike deeper targets far inland 
with result that fires from those 155mm battery equivalents are NOT 
available on the beach? 
 
<snip> We haven't yet solved the 5-in guided round problem yet. When 
we do, we will have 22 Tico CGs with 2 5-in/62 mounts (44 total), and 
72 DDGs with 1 5-inch mount. Depending on the number of DDGs we 
backfit, we could have up to 116 5-in gunmounts.<end snip> 
 
22 ships plus 72 ships means maybe two thirds available/deployable 
(guessing we will not have the personnel assets to run boomer style 
blue and gold twin crews), and with world wide fleet activity when 
*that* happens, we will expect (top end) about ten Tico CG and 30-40 
DDG to assemble. Will all those platforms be assigned to shore fire 
support or will some have been fragged out to anti-sub pickets or other 
legit demands on available assets to meet known or likely *other 
threats* to the invasion fleet? 
 
Have a limited understanding of previous amphib assault operations but 
seem to recall that despite the large number of large caliber gun 
systems/batteries on large number of fire support ships, many enemy 
remained to be dealt with by landing force. Increased accuracy of 
current/planned fire support systems will no doubt increase 
effectiveness of H-minus shelling/degrade enemy forces to some degree. 
 
The actual extent of that effectiveness will be very mission 
specific. (Some enemy forces will be more effectively bunkered-in than 
others.) Historically, our G2 has been less than crystal ball perfect 
in with respect to ID of all enemy positions for attack (by whatever 
means, of whatever accuracy). If we don't know about it, we can't 
target it. 
 
For example, we have been studying NoKos intensively for 60 years and 
we still have been surprised by some of their concealed facilities. 
They have *almost completed* numerous tunnels under the DMZ before 
detection. They could and did develop a fully functional enrichment 
facility with the extent of centrifuges we were recently shown coming 
as a complete surprise. Thus, I cannot be very positive we will have 
solid ID on existence/location of all shore defenses at all possible entry 
points. 
 
Reading Richard Frank's *Downfall* account of the (pre-nuke) planned 
invasion of Japan, we discern that even with a full National 
mobilization of all available resources, focused on only one 
operation/objective, and a four year period of war which had given all 
echelons of command and staff vast experience/*train up* time, we 
managed to quite badly underestimate Japanese forces on southern island 
(first phase of the invasion) and were unaware of many of their 
tunnel/bunker complexes. Will concede we have many better intel 
sensors now, but we cannot bring total focus on one single objective 
(we don't know where *it* is till the crisis arrives) and we certainly 
do not command total focus of *all* National resources. Thus we get 
quickly back to *how much* of the now more accurate shore fire support 
will then be enough. 
 
Again, thanks for your participation on this segment of MILINET. 
 
Respectfully, 
Lewis Higinbotham 
Lt Col, Infantry, US Army (Retired) 
 

---------------------END OF DISCUSSION----

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