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Marine Aviation- Where is it headed?

Choppering

Member
pilot
None
BLUF- I’m of the opinion that Marine Aviation will not exist except as a shadow of itself in say ~ 30-50 years.

My opinion- Over the course of the last several decades as global threats have continued to emerge and develop, specifically those now coined as “peer competitors,” the utility and technological edge once held by US and coalition air power is eroding. I see this especially true in the Marine Corps with antiquated assets and a limited budget share. As is, the force struggles to support its legacy platforms and I wonder how it affords follow on FVL acquisition and employment?

The current Commandant has already called into question the current MAGTF structure, ship to shore doctrine, and the amphibious elements (LHD/ LPD’s) that go with them. If that goes then I see Marine aviation going as well. The whole idea of the “ACE” is to provide support and risk mitigation to the Marine ground force and without the niche role of amphibious warefare where will the Marine Corps find itself as a fighting force and what’s the point of it’s redundant airframes?

To be clear, I’m not arguing the validity of current or future threat assessments, or ARG/ MEU effectiveness in the future fight, but instead taking the commandants direction at face value and making the point that if the Corps goes down that road, I believe the USMC and ACE will look very different once her current aviation assets reach the end of their life cycle, if not before. The future reality of lean fiscal times, and a difficult to define USMC mission, make for a tough sell if the ACE is only providing redundant mission capabilities as her sister services. And while the current size is congressionally mandated, that is subject to change if required.

Thoughts?
 
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Hotdogs

Leeroy Jenkins
pilot
I believe the USMC and ACE will look very different once her current aviation assets reach the end of their life cycle, if not before. The future reality of lean fiscal times, and a difficult to define USMC mission, make for a tough sell if the ACE is only providing redundant mission capabilities as her sister services.
Difficult to define mission? It’s stated pretty clearly in Title 10.
 

Choppering

Member
pilot
None
Difficult to define mission? It’s stated pretty clearly in Title 10.
Agreed:

“The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained, and equipped to provide fleet marine forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the fleet in the seizure or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign...”

As its currently written, it’s to do so with no less than three wings, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the future, however.... Especially if it’s deemed unaffordable or not feasible. It’s seems the new Commandant agrees based on his comments on downsizing (becoming lighter and more lean) and diverging of large Amphibs.
 

Hotdogs

Leeroy Jenkins
pilot
As its currently written, it’s to do so with no less than three wings, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed in the future, however.... Especially if it’s deemed unaffordable or not feasible. It’s seems the new Commandant agrees based on his comments on downsizing (becoming lighter and more lean) and diverging of large Amphibs.
I am not sure you fully understand what the CMC is trying to do. The force structure implementation horizon is going to take place over a decade. I fully suspect that Marine Air in it’s current and future forms will provide critical maneuver and fire support inside the first/second/third island chain scenarios the CMC is training and equipping the future FMF. You should understand the “why” behind a concept before trying to comprehend the “who.” If anything we’re just going back to what we did decades ago with newer technologies. Lastly I suspect there will be a large uphill battle in Congress with regards to military industry to accomplish all of it.

Expedtionary Advanced Base Operations.

A decent read on the basics of EABO
 
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