Wednesday, November 16, 2011

USMC-air delusion

USMC-air leadership seems to have a lack of ability to face reality.

The comments from this article show an insane want to cut real war fighting aircraft that contribute well to the Corps.

The Yankee and the Zulu are highly useful. Yet the leadership is toying with the idea of pulling money from the program to pay for the waste that is the F-35.

USMC standard dumb-as-a-brick thinking doesn't help much.

But the Marines must have 420 F-35s, Trautman said. "There is no give there," he said. "The pace they reach 420 is the only thing in question."

Overall, the Marines' aviation portfolio is in great shape, Trautman said.

"There is not a lot of flexibility in the Marine Corps aviation portfolio because a lot of money is tied up in platforms," Trautman said. "They are 100 percent committed to these platforms," he said.

There isn't a lot of flexibility because there isn't a lot of reality going on in their thinking.

Given the current problems with the F-35 program, I figure the USMC will see their 420 F-35s around 35-40 years from now.

Will the F-35 program be around that long? Doubtful

I am sure we will hear more from the marketing department of the Corps as the budget battles heat up.

Hopefully that will include valid discussions of why the taxpayer should fund a second land army.


nico said...

This is exactly the kind of mind set I am talking about, prevalent not just in the Corps but across the services. Marine Corps needs, no, can't function or even exist without 420 JSFs, NOT ONE LESS!!!!


Lets get rid of stuff that actually works or proven systems like Yankee or Zulu,etc... but buy instead some gold plated system that hasn't been completely tested or even close to entering service.

Interesting article, I like the part where they compare how many fighters we bought in the 80s and how many in the 00s for almost the same amount.....Don't know why he thinks we bought 220 F22s,only bought 187 which is even worse...

Anonymous said...

If you want to get rid of one of the Land Armies - Keep the Marines and get rid of the other crowd. The Marines are actually useful and well trained.

Just sayin...

Cocidius said...

The USMC dedication to the F-35B is hilarious given the track record to date of this aircraft. Given the magnitude of costs per aircraft and the O&S needed for 420 STOVL B's it maybe the very last aircraft purchased by them for the foreseeable future (or maybe ever).

It will be interesting to see them do their job in the future without helo's after the Joint PowerPoint Fighter bankrupt's the USMC.

Distiller said...

Nuts. They need to be placed under disability.

But it reinforces my impression that they want to get away from wet and dirty stuff.

Corps Cold Turkey then re-focus them on forcible amphib entry:
Cut it in half, abolish the MEFs, take away their fastmovers and Abrams. Have a good hard look at equipping them with some H-60 version. Build a cavalry tank based on EFV technology. Build Makin Islands open end one per year as replacement for all the other amphibs. Assign the Burkes as escorts for the ARGs (build nuclear escorts for the carriers). Rebuild older Burkes with one AGS turret up front as NGFS platforms.

Naaa - not gonna happen.

They need to loose a war before anything changes. Trouble is that it will be a big one with negative grand strategy implications.

Anonymous said...

The retired Lt Gen does seem to contradict himself in the most simplistic sense, surprisingly for someone as distinguished and well educated as he apparently is.

"There is no flexibility since they're tied up in platforms. That's why they need 420 F-35 platforms and not one less."

And classic...

"The UH-1Y and AH-1Z is also doing well too" "But they're not in a multiyear, so that's one place where you can go to get a little bit of money"...


And the circular logic set up... because our Marines on the ground have lost a lot of expensive to maintain rotary air support, we now need to double down the F-35 priority to keep the Marines covered.

Re the broader USMC force structure discussion: I'll agree with Distiller to replace Abrams with a specialized cavalry IFV type. Perhaps partial license build one already on the market. There is redundancy in having two Tank Armored Armies but I'll also agree with the 2nd poster that US Army heavy Armor/Infantry divisions/Brigades can be chopped way back. Evolve Army as a lighter mobile fast reaction force with more specialized roles + Maximize and provide force-multiplying capabilities/fires for Elite forces.

I'll contemplate a revolutionized JHSV based Amphib fleet for the Corps however, even over the Makin Islands which can still provide essential capability. But I'd contemplate 20 or so JHSV configured with own fire support gun, UCAV operation + depending on the mission - a mix of CH-53K and Distiller's H-60 suggestion for rapid deployment Amphib capability. Perhaps ferry troops from the Makin Island 200 miles off-coast to JHSV 20-30 miles off-coast type flexibility. Cover with AT-6B or Super Tucano @ 6-9 hr endurance, operating from LHA/LHD.

Take $5 billion a year from a $50bn/yr reduced Army budget to help fund the new 'flexible' force capabilities.

But my gut feeling is indeed they can cut the total Force size (eg in fast jet aviation, and tank units), but still to maintain a Robust Marine Infantry capability - there's nothing wrong with a first in last out doctrine. That is, Marine infantry pound for pound is a better trained and more aggressive infantry than Army when manpower is being shrunk and force size becomes an issue. IMHO-

nico said...

I think Anon(1) you are making my point. The services need to step away from "my service is better than your service." That is EXACTLY how you will end up with a hollow, useless US military.

If you gut everything to maintain purchase of 420 F35Bs, you are going to end up with a bunch of grunts with M4s on the beach and nothing else. Oh, and a couple of F35s providing effects.Forget supplies and whatever because what's left is a bunch of used up/broke Hueys and CH46s. Not sure how you get to the famous beachhead anyways since EFV is dead and everything else is old as dirt.

By the way, if Navy has same attitude than you, what makes you think they won't ditch a couple of amphibs ships to save their precious big carriers??? Marines haven't hit the beach in anger in like forever, no way you can preserve Corps and cut back the other services, the US will end up with soldiers/grunts with pitiful equipment, poor firepower and some gold plated stealthy F22/F35 and nothing in between.

In the future, we will witness on TV AGAIN, some third rate country/ragtag army with more firepower (technicals/heavy MGs/tons of RPGs) at their disposal than what our troops have. But we have a fancy gold plated fighter that costs 200 million. Thanks a lot.I would prefer some new helicopters, artillery and some heavy Armour,etc.

You have to maintain some balance between the services.If everybody just thinks about saving their own asses, all the services will down together.

Distiller said...

The whole service branches setup is anachronistic and does not reflect operations requirements (the last 50 years already).

Only a unfied force, with the current service branches downgraded to just forces pools AEROSPACE - LAND - SEA, will enable real savings without cutting too deep into the warfighting capability. ONE tactical aerial forces pool, ONE ground combat forces pool (remember that USMC has *Corps* in its name as in "Amphibious Corps"; create an "Airborne Corps" from 82nd and 101st - voila the ground combat forces have their 3 forcible entry options), and the special forces to the CIA.

The whole civil ex War Department - Department of the Navy - Pentagon on top setup has to be changed, and a proper General Staff installed, controlling the tactical and theatre forces through expanded theatre UCCs (here the structure already mostly exists). And the rest goes to strategic commands like strat mobility, strat ISR, offensive and defensive strat deterrence, and strat cyber.

Anonymous said...

So in short, Distiller...

Specialized Commands should be created and operate under a General Staff, instead of separate Branches with overlapping commands as a means to maximize force structure and economy?

You might be ahead of your time on this.

nico said...

What Distiller proposes makes WAY too much sense and would save WAY too money for US taxpayers. So it more than likely will never happen. Between the paid lobbyists and our insider trading politicians, it won't happen. Our only chance is the massive cuts just might force DOD to do something drastic. Very unlikely, more likely military-industrial complex will put every politician on the payroll or whack them if they vote the wrong way.

Bushranger 71 said...

Hi Distiller; the military unification experiment in Canada was a disaster and has had similar consequences in Australia. Traditional military organisations properly involved political direction/oversight of armed forces; but in the Australian Defence Force scenario, this has morphed into Public Service control with attendant growth of huge dysfunctional defence bureaucracies. Consider the size of the civilian components of the defence organisations in the US, UK, Canada etcetera.

Amalgamations of multiple arms manufacturers has forged some major arms conglomerates that now exercise enormous economic and political influence and these agencies develop strong links with the government agencies within defence structures. The end result is an appropriate organisational process that once functioned well, where adequate political control and military leadership existed, has been undermined.

Esprit de Corps generates the will to fight within military forces and this essential requirement dilutes when amorphous structures are created. Doctrine for joint and combined operations of armed forces has also existed for decades and generally enabled effective applications of varied military force.

I would not argue against appropriate rationalisation of costly air resources; for example, the small ADF of only around 53,000 regular personnel absurdly tries to operate 3 separate air arms. But the solution is not trying to turn everything 'purple'; rather, having individual armed forces focused more on their primary functions.