Marine Doc Says Lighten Up

Marine Doc Says Lighten Up

The new Marine Corps Operating Concepts calls for the service to emphasize its small wars legacy and return to its naval infantry roots and serve as the bridging force between ships afloat and operations ashore. Before it can do that, however, the Corps must shed some serious weight.

The concept document says the imperative to significantly lighten all of the component parts of the Marine’s combined arms air ground task force (MAGTF) “will have a significant impact on research and development, programmatic budgeting, acquisitions, doctrine development, and employment of future systems.”

The amount of sealift provided the Marines is not likely to increase by much, it says, so radical changes are in order to get everything on the ships; “business as usual” won’t do it.

“The process of leveraging emerging technologies should begin with a bottom-up reevaluation of all systems from individual equipment through large principal end-items with a specific focus on making each system smaller, lighter, and more efficient whenever possible.”

Toward that end, the Marines will pursue the following objectives:

• With the one exception of the KC-130 aircraft, every item in the Marine inventory must be able to be embarked on an amphib and be employable from ship to shore without the use of a pier.

• Consideration should be given to requiring that all combat vehicles have scalable armor protection capable of being embarked separately from the vehicle.

• Infantry companies must be able to operate independently without combat vehicle support. To further reduce vehicle dependency, the Marines should buy the aerial cargo drone; reduce equipment density; reduce energy demands by emphasizing renewable and alternative energies; and reduce battlefield contractor dependence.

• All units must be self sustainable for 72 hours.

• Reexamine the basic building blocks of the Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) to determine whether its current organization accurately reflects the realities of where and how it will be employed.

• Lighten the logistical footprint required to support the aviation combat element (ACE) by buying newer, less maintenance intensive, aircraft. The ACE must also reduce the amounts of fuel and oil it consumes.

• Add Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTACs) to the lowest echelon possible.

A really interesting little nugget:

“[T]here may be a requirement for a light-attack platform to add to the ACE inventory; one
which can perform multiple missions; filling in the mission seams between our JSF, MV-22 and rotary aircraft – including escort of assault aircraft, point resupply, and medical evacuation.”

Join the Conversation

Nice doc. But is basically says the Marines want more of everything everywhere. There’s no trade space with Army, National Guard, international partners, or for the money to make all this happen.

I would have to disagree with you in some aspects. Last I checked the Army is developing the M1-A3, the M1-A3 would be a good addition to the Marine Corps because of this document. The M1-A3 is lighter then the Marine Corps M1-A1’s and this would be a considerable weight savings for a MEU by several tons per vehicle.
Also, these unmanned cargo helicopters are already being fielded to units in Afghanistan. These unmanned helicopters will reduce the required amount of helicopters carried by a MEU.
The Army is also developing many other technologies that can be made easily applicable to the Marine Corps mission (renewable and alternative energies).
As far as I know outside of the EFV, the Marine Corps is developing no piece of equipment without outside support.

You make some good points. But an M1-A3 is just a replacement program for an existing capability. Not an issue. The helo UAVs could become a substitute operational logistics technology for existing/high risk methods. My focus would be on a joint Army-USMC capability that can accommodate both as needed, rather than separate developments. And yes, the Marines need an EFV, but maybe a third fewer based on actual experience. It’s not that we havne’t used the over-the-beach capability in the last 50 years, but that operationally, we always have 60–90 days planning before we jump off. That enables us to move heavy equipment anywhere in the world. So we have an on-station capability for emergent responses and a delayed engagement for larger needs. These trade offs are not part of the new doc.

The weight of the vehicles is the issue to the Marine Corps. Both the M1-A3 and the UAV Helo’s would help in reducing the weight of the average MEU. The reduction in weight of the MEU is of pretty high importance to the Marine Corps. Look at all the issues that the Marine Corps has with the weight of the JLTV.
The Marine Corps is meant to be a medium weight force. It would be to hard to support a heavy weight force through amphibious means during an amphibious assault and a light weight force just could not get the job done.
I would also have to disagree with your statement that we always have 60–90 days planning before we jump off. Desert Shield would be an example of where we had troops on the ground in less then 1 month. A very similar situation would exist if China attacked Taiwan. The Marine Corps would be able to get some forces there within a week because of amphibious capabilities.

What I should of said in my original comment is that by using equipment others have developed or codeveloping equipment with others the Marine Corps can significantly lighten the MEU without it becoming overly burdensome financially.

M1A3 will not be lighter that the current M1A1 or M1A2, therefore the question is; “If the USMC really acquires the EFV that requires no ship-to-shore flotilla, will that negate the need for the 400+ M1A1’s currently in their inventory?” That would lighten up their sealift requirements and give them a 30mm cannon for firepower.

These are the two articles that I have read that support the M1-A3 being lighter. Do you have anything else?

From rereading these articles I realized that the Marine Corps will probably not buy the M1-A3.

I would still think that the Marine Corps would need the M1 for support only that it can provide. If you are facing another tank or a highly defended position having a tank would be your best option.

Good Afternoon Folks,

A good start to the dialog. In regard to tanks and armor, the Army has lot of it, the MEG’s don’t need to be dragging it around the world. Artillery, with offshore fire support and UAV’s scrap the M-198’s/M-199’s. The Marines don’t need any ADM’s or long logistic tails, the 72 hour sustainment is about right, it’s the same as the Army’s airborne troops operate under. Cut Company size by 50% and consolidate battalion service and support.

Big savings can be made by the marines and the Army having the same equipment. The marine can use the same rifles, MG’s, SAW’s and other gear the Army does. The era of minor twiking a weapon or other system just to say it’s a Marine system should stop.

More sharing of schools with the Army. It makes no sense to have two wheeled vehicles schools one for the Army and one for the Navy/Marines for example.

Go back to traditional the Marine three line and one support company battalions. Cut the MRG’s at sea to two.

Regarding air (Close Air Support) this activity cries for inter service consolidation. Combine Navy and Marine fixed wing and operate of the VC. The VTOL and MV-22 have been disappointments. Get rid of them and cancel the F-35B. Where land bases operation is available merge the CAS roll of the Navy and USAF. Shared maintenance and support facilities for the Navy/USAF Expeditionary Force. In short the Marines don’t need their own air wings, it’s just duplication of facilities.

Byron Skinner

God … I reeeeeeally hate agreeing with Byron, but.….

I believe the USMC may be entering the twilight years — probably would save a bunch of $ to just fold them into the USA.

The USMC has a history of always providing their own CAS to Marines own the ground, the Harrier may not have been a great performer, but it was by all accounts an excellent CAS machine, especially later variants which could carry precisoin guided weapons. In addition, those Marine Air Wings equipped with the AV-8B (which is due to be replaced by the F-35B) are deployed off the various LHDs and LHAs in service, something the F/A-18 can’t do.

As it stands the Navy’s ability to provide fire support is relatively limited. DDG-1000 was supposed to change that, but it appears we will be lucky to get just three of the ships and without the fancy new supersonic land attack missiles and other PGMs once planned. As it stands now the Marine’s 155mm artillery (M777s now?) is pretty important. UAV’s may be very useful to the USMC in terms of reconnisance and observation, but currently they aren’t delivering fire support unless they are the bigger drones (Predator, Warrior, and Reaper) from the USAF or Army.

Generally I agree with you about using the same equipment for the infantry, but nothing is wrong with some minor differences or unique equipment. The M16A4 shares plenty in common with the M4 carbine variants more commonly used by the Army, and the only difference between the Marine M240G and the Army M240B is that the G model is lacking a few heat-shields and other components to lighten the weight.

Got to agree with Byron’s comments, and disappointed with engineers.. As long as there’s a Navy, then we will always have the Marines (although that discussion could go on forever) but interweaving schools, equipment etc will allow the Marines to focus more on the basic needs then trying to fill more than the amphib requirements.

When the Pentegon changed the Marines from a Naval Amp Unit, into an Army Ground Force, it screwed around with the best prepared fighting unit in the world. If it is to stay the way it is now, it may be “impossible” to have everything they use, fit on a Amph Unit Capability for ship to shore, misus the pier or dock, today?

Good Evening Folks,

The past two decades have seen the Marines basically being Army even to the point of Marine Battalions serving in Army Brigades and Army Brigades serving in Marine Divisions. This says that the Marines mission has changed.

The Marines have certainly resisted, they kept the M-16A2 when the Army moved on to the M-16A4, which caused a crisis in the invasion of Iraq and brought the 1st. MEF to a stop. The Marines have no other reason then stubornness held on to the H-1 airframes after the other services move on thus necessitating a different maintenance program, the AV-8, MV-22 etc.

All these issues cost money, money that need not be spent or could be used for other more pressing equipment. This is the history of Marine procurement.

Everybody defending the Marines brings up its history. So what, Battleships have a history, Seaplanes have a history as did the Horse Calvary, witch by the way the Marines had in the 1920’s, the Marines history is not going to change, but times and missions do change.

It no longer make sense for the Marines to support a Divisional structure. The Marines no long fight as a Division and their Regiments when used with the Army find them selves under an Army Corps command. For you nostaliga buffs the Marine Division is not a traditional formation for the Marines the 1st and 2nd. Marine Divisions were not flagged till Feb. 1941. They were not intended to be a permeate formation. In the First World War the Marines served in the Army’s 2nd. Infantry Division.

The Marines historically have operated in Company and Battalion size formations as Naval Infantry and did a fine job. Its time to let the Marines do what they do best and that is not living in the shadow of the Army.

Byron Skinner

well byron the 1947 national security act clearly states that the USMC will be a 3 active div. and 1 reserve div. service. this despite the top army commanders including ike, bradly and just about everyone else trying to reduce the usmc to nothing but a regimental size service for no other reason than to soak up their buget allocations. the USMC has already been disbanded once in 1783 and later reinstalled in 1798 under the 1794 frigett act. since then there have been 15 different occasions to merge the corps. or disband them outright with the most serious attempt being shortly after ww2. it was noted then and should be again and whenever necessary that perhaps america doesn’t need a marine corps. but america wants a marine corps. and so a marine corps. we shall have. it’s future form should and probably will change to meet our needs and we should do as former commandant grey said ” shorten our tail and sharpen our teeth”.

Well said jim sgt. usmc. Most appropriate post I’ve read in this debate across many different sites.

When we are confused by the personal perspectives, programmatic details, and ignorance; ask a Marine NCO what the score is. Pure unadulterated realism. This is part of the reason why “…America wants a Marine Corps.”

“…shorten our tail and sharpen our teeth…” indeed.

Shortening our tail and sharpening our teeth.….

Sustaining the operating forces is the elephant in the room no one wants to recognize. Sustainment ain’t sexy…it, in and of itself, doesn’t directly “kill” the enemy…doing it right doesn’t give you an adreneline rush. Without it, however; all the rifles and tanks and artillery going down range and EFVs hitting the beach and ship to shore, etc. etc. etc.…grinds to a halt.

The Marine Corps made its bed with “shorting” its self-sustainment capability during the past 20 years, particularly. Not THE topic, but A topic at the highest levels of Marine Corps leadership is the use (necessity) of contractors on today’s battlefield. This is a tough situation: the geni is out of the bottle.

As the Corps ramps itself back below 202K it will be very interesting to watch how the relationship between “trigger-pullers” and “sustainers” plays itself out. The balance point is likely to include tacit acknowledgement that contractors (and POM’ing for their support) are here to stay.

A Marine Veteran

I know I’m gonna upset some and appoligize up front for it, But when you want an unforgiving task completed then you go to the MARINE’s, They will not go to ARMY schools because they dont push the individuals enough, In fact if a MARINE does go to an ARMY school and fails out he is pretty much done as a MARINE. The MARINES held onto a lot of old gear and for good reason — it performed better, that is why they kept the 45’s and designated them for MEU’s, kept the M60’s for as long as they could, had a large inventory of 12 gage riot guns and M14’s available to them, LAW rockets and so forth. For some reason you ex infantry guys seem to think the MARINES have no place today but if you go back and research the MARINES have been given every Hell hole the ARMY did not want or could not take themselves and the MARINES acomplished the job. I have worked with all the branches and love and respect them all, I never hear RANGERS or SF talk down the marines and I bet its from earned respect working with them.

77705256 Oooorah! “…shorten our tail and sharpen our teeth…” indeed.
SF… Rangers… Marines… USA should and must be support, control and give command to those whom get the job done best! It is still kill or be killed, not — let us talk, compromise and forgive or I will have to be mean…
Give it a rest just “Get the job done now!”

Fewer technologically intricate solutions may result in a decrease in contracted sustainment support. Where the technical and tactical skill of a professional force can reasonably be developed and leveraged to take the place of a technological solution we may want to look at allowing it to. Perhaps relying less on whiz-bang technology and more on the basics could be seen as sharpening the teeth while shortening the tail.

In the ACE portion of this — looks to me like they may be moving away from 35B and towards COIN planes and the blackbird defender 500’s they have shown a strong intrest in. Support fire is going to be a major issue as they get back to thier roots since most NAVAL ships have moved away from guns to missiles — looks like they are going to need to backfit some MK45 (5″ auto) guns onto our current platforms and wire them up. 72 hrs should be more than ample self sustainment of anyone in uniform once they develope new TOE’s that does not include carrying a 160 lb ruck full of needless items in a combat zone for 72 hrs. of course the big answer is how far back to old school is congress going to let them go, because if they cannot

CONTINUED: assault from inland with helos and gunships, and planes hitting the main objective from high as naval gunfire hits them from coast with no concerns being given for collateral damage as the remainder of the body conducts the amphibious landing? In other words if congress wont pull the gloves off and fight a real fight — then the MARINES will be hard pressed to come up with tactics that wont require heavier/faster/tech advanced/super expensive equipment and congress will be the blame for it all (even though publicly they will blame someone else as always).

Byron the M16A4 and M16A2 are virtually the same besides for the flat top receiver and KAC M5 RAS usually installed on the weapon. Don’t forget that a good portion of the Army in 2003 was still using the M16A2 as well.

A “Sea Apache” was actually offered back in the 1980s, but the Marines didn’t take the offer due to cost concerns I believe. The latest AH-1Z Super Cobra is a very capable attack helicopter by any measure and the UH-1Y is much improved machine from the earlier Huey. The AV-8 was procured to provide air support that could be deployed from LHAs, LHDs, and other such amphibious assault ships, I don’t know why you think that was such a poor decision.

In the Marine Corps,everyone is a rifleman first.Always has been , always will be. That’s the difference between services. That’s why the Corps is needed. For clarification , rifleman means warrior first.

Also, the AH-1Z and the UH-1Y now have 75% commonality of parts. Same avionics, same rotors, same engines, etc.


Im sorry, but you really dont know what your talking about! The Army hasnt used the M16A4 the Marines have. The Army has gone almost all M-4, and slowing down the invasion? The 1st Marine Div. had to stop so the Army could catch up and protect the western flank of the Marines. Not to mention the fact that the Marines were the first into Baghdad. You really dont know much do you?

The UH-1Y and AH-1Z are positive steps for the Corps. Ask any Army aviator and they are impressed with that concept, as well as the fact that the new Cobra has capabilities the Apache D Longbow does not.

I would suggest learning more about this topic before putting your two steps in.

Good Afternoon Folks,

To Nic. I was referring to 2003, not current. The Army had the M-16A4 in the early 1990’s as its service rifle and the Marines in an effort to save money kept the M-16A2. If you know anything about Infantry weapons you would have know that the ammunition used in the M-16A4 is a 62gr. round and is not compatible with the M-16A2 which takes the old 55gr. round. They have different barrel twists and the 62gr. round will not cycle in the M-16A2.

The Marines brought with them insufficient ammo stocks for the invasion and ran out and tried to tap into the Army’s stocks. The Marines for a couple of days came to a stop which the AF flew in 55gr. ammo from Okinawa and Guam.

To jim sgt usmc. While the National Security Act of 1947 does in fact allocate to the Marines three active and one Reserve Division, that really means nothing. No Congress can pass a law that binds any future Congress. The same holds true with Presidential mandates. In short Congress and the President can do what ever they like even disband the USMC, which is not even on the table as I understand.

The only thing in the Constitution regard the military is that Congress is authorized to form a Navy.

To TBM. I was referring to maintenance compatibility between the UH-1’s and the UH-60’s and AH-64’s, not with in the UH-1 family. ALL of the other services have left the UH-1 air frame and moved on. To bring the Marines in line with the other services would be a large costs savings.

Byron Skinner

It may be useful to go back and read Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. It’ll tell you what the enumerated powers of the Congress are. Article 2, Sections 2 and 3 lay out the Executive power of the President as Commander in Chief. Understanding the tension between the two branches of government is important.

Byron, the M16A2 and M16A4 both use the same barrel which was designed to fire the 62 grain M855. The M16A1 was designed to fire the 55 grain M193. I believe the M16A1 can technically fire the M855, but the round loses stability and accuracy after a short distance.

Perhaps the M16A1 was still used by a handful of reserve units back in 2003, but I don’t know for sure. There were indeed some logistic problems getting enough rifles and ammo to Iraq, but I don’t believe it had anything to do with different equipment required by the USMC.

Regarding the UH-1, I believe it was only very recently that the National Guard retired the last of their models. The USMC eventually switching over to the Blackhawk and Apache could bring savings in the long term, but they have already invested in the H-1 upgrade program which has delievered choppers that can serve on till at least 2020. IIRC, the Marines were looking at tilt-rotor attack aircraft as a possible replacement for the AH-1Z.

How many damned apaches can fit on an LHD vs how many cobras can fit on an LHD?

Its not only parts, its SPACE!

First of all I would like to introduce myself as a 6yr combat vet Marine. Now let’s talk about weapon systems. There is no diferance between the m16a2 and m16a4 except for the removable caring handle on the m16a4. Now if you want to talk about money saving ideas. The Army does very well with spending money. Look at their ACUs which they are changing again by getting rid of the Velcro. May sound simple to the simple minded but when you look at the size of the Army that’s a pretty penny. Or here is one you can answer. Why in the army a Plt Sgt. is a e-7 and in the marines it is a Staff Sgt.(which is an e-6) So that means everyone else is a lower rank in the marines compared to a Army unit. Now I am comparing infantry units so there is no confussion. Anyway Byron these are a few things I thought of when reading your posting.

Good point, recently I got to see a Super Cobra and Apache side by side, and the Apache was sure wider.

im a civilian. i wish you guys would use words instead of abbreiations. i enjoy this site but dont know these abbreviations. keep up the good work.

Byron, you are smoking a good rope hammering on the h-1 frames. The h-1 frames Save the Corps time money and space. On the time, the amount of time it would take to transition and re-train all of the h-1 units in the corps, would be detrimental, especially as right now they are still transitioning all of the 46 squadrons to MV-22’s. Second ‚in the time, the pilots and maintainers only have to go to one school instead of two for the 60’s and 64’s, this also transitions over into the money. They save money, by having the common parts between the Cobra and Yankee platforms. How many parts are common between a 60 and a 64? As to the space, this goes back to the them of the article, they have a smaller footprint than both the 64 and the 60 for shipboard use, so you can fit some more airframes on the ships. The Cobras performed as well as the Apaches in recent combat use, and don’t cost as much to use or procure.

Also back to the Need for the Marine Corps concept, it was the Marine Corps concepts in Anbar that Petreaus adopted for the rest of the Army, that helped turn Iraq around for the better. Now they have moved a large bulk of the Marine Combat arms into A-stan to let them figure out how to win in that clime of the world also. The Marine Corps has a long and recent history of figuring things out that the Army couldn’t, so don’t knock the land force concept until someone figures out a better way to do it than the Marines have.

So, the Marine 2006 operations in Anbar taught Petreaus the concepts that he needed to turn Iraq around. Then the Corps problems must be over, because they have the time travel machines that let them go back to 2003 when Petreaus was using those same tactics in Mosul as commander of the 101st.

I’m going to go a bit farther than the Commandant on the Corps need to ‘lighten up’. I think the Marines should require that all of their equipment lighter than a tank be transportable on a C-130 and airdroppable as well.

In fact, I think that the Marines should give serious thought to equipping themselves along the lines of the 1990’s era Soviet airbourne troops. Consider that the Russian airbourne was a motorized force where every soldier rode inside some variant of the BMD IFV. For those of you not familiar with them, BDMs are small IFV’s that are both airdroppable and amphibious. Armament ranges from heavy machineguns up through 125mm mortars. The BMD is used by both the Soviet Airbourne and Naval Infantry forces.

Using BDM’s made the Soviet airbourne an extemely mobile force with armor protection and a massive amount of fire power. They could be dropped in anywhere, move large distances very quickly and hit their targets hard.

Good Morning Folks,

To Som marine. On the M-16A2’s and M-16A4’s. I will only address two differences, but they are major. There are others.

You say the barrels are both the same. That is incorrect the A-4 barrel is a few grams heavier and has a 1:9 rifling. The A2 barrel has a 1:12 rifling.

What does this mean, well may things but I will on mention two. First is combat zero. The A2 using the M-193 55gr. round is zeroed at 250 meters with the 1:12 rifled barrel of the A2. The A4 uses the M-855 62 gr. round and it is combat zeroed at 300 meters in the A-4. If the M-855 A2. grain round is fired from a 1:12 rifled barrel zeroed for the M-193 it will have an additional 150mm’s of drop at 100 meters. Most likely you would miss your target with that amount of additional drop.

Secondly. The M-193 55gr. round has a 3200/3250 fps in the cartage for a 20″ barrel (the M-16A2) in a 16″ M-4 barrel the M-193 has about a 3150 fps.

The M-855 62 gr. cartage has a 3050/3100 in a 20″ A4 barrel and 2950/3000 in the M-4’s 16″ barrel. This reduced pressure doesn’t allow the M-855 62. gr. bullet fired from an A2 with a 1:12 rifling to function the cycling of the bolt. Thus the M-16A2 using the M-855 round becomes a single shot weapon that is inaccurate beyond 90 meters.

Fired from an A2 with a 1:12 rifled barrel with a 20″ barrel the M-855 will lose it’s stability at between 90–95 meters.

All of this by the Sgt. Som marine with six years in the Marines can be found in the TM’s on the M-16/M-4 weapons systems. I would say that every Army Pvt. who went through Infantry AIT would have been aware of this information. Perhaps the Marine just consider it worthless information.

As usual no one address the issue of why we need the Marines and just put up personal rants. Which is OK with me, but you are not doing the Marines efforts to save themselves any good. History is history, but it doesn’t address the future or as we use to say “…it don’t mean nottin’ ” The debate taking place with in the OSD right now on the future of the Marines has serious problem and the uniforms are not at the table.

All you folks who are showing those interested in this argument are not saying anything, you really can’t think of any real reason why we need the USMC in the future.

For any of you really interested in this issue of keeping the USMC as it is, and want to go beyond above the level of barroom chatter, there is a book you may be interested in. “Attack from the Sea: A History of the U.S. Navy’s Seaplane Striking Force” by William F. Trimble, USNI press 2005.

Basically what the book is about is the demise of the “Seaplane Strike Force” that in 1954 seemed to be a sure thing as an alternate to Carriers and the Navy’s role in the nuclear mission but by 1959 the Navy had dumped the whole program.

The text goes into the nasty little economic details on weapons systems. procurement, R&D, and how one new technology can mature quickly and displace old thinking riddled with unjustified cost over runs and delivery delay problems by a complacent manufacturer (ironically The Martin Co.) that resulted in the downfall of an older established technology in favor of what was then new ideas. The USMC is currently sitting in the same seat as the “Seaplane Striking Force” was in 1954.

Byron Skinner

You are correct about the M-16A4’s barrel being heavier but I believe you are wrong about the rifling. The M-16A2 has a 1–7 twist while the M-16A1 has a 1–12 twist. I believe that the M-16A4 maintained the 1–7 twist. I have looked at several websites and the only differences they mention are the barrel weight and the picantilly rail system

The Marine Corps is capable of doing forcible entries into coastal areas that the Army cannot do. The Army does not have the ability to land heavy equipment even in a lightly contested environment unless their is a port. The Marine Corps has this ability to bring in heavy equipment as a part of a lighter force (medium weight). All of the Marine Corps equipment is meant to be easily deployed from ships to shore unlike Army equipment. Ex: Most Marine Corps helpicopters have the ability to quickly feather back their blades unlike the Army helicopters.


You are completely wrong about the M16A2. I was still in the Army when it was introduced to the Marine Corps in 1986. The A2 was the first weapon to use the M885 and it had the 1 in 7 twist required by the tracer version of that round. The M16A3 and M16A4 and the M4 carbine all use the same 1 in 7 rifling because that gives the spin required by the round. The M16A1 was the last version with the 1 in 12 twist.

Alot of these posts about the reduced lethality of the M855 ammo give me deja vu, brcause all of this was being talked about the weapons were introduced. In fact, that was put out as a reason to adopt the round — it was a more ‘humane’ round that would not cause the type of severe wounding seen with the M16A1. The brass didn’t care, they wanted the armor penetration. Now we are back to real combat where the neat little holes in the bad guys give them a chances to kill our guys before they go down.

“All you folks who are showing those interested in this argument are not saying anything, you really can’t think of any real reason why we need the USMC in the future.”

So you are saying the United States will never have to do another NEO like they did with Lebanon a few years ago? I highly doubt airborne troops will ever have the capability to evac a large amount of civilians with an equal amount of firepower/protection/efficiency. A bombed out runway isn’t gonna help either.

So you are saying that the entire Pacific campaign of WW2 could have been done without the USMC using what? Light airborne troops that had no way of resupply, nor heavy equipment in an island heavily entrenched with heavy weapons? Let’s redo Iwo Jima that way, save alot of lives I’m sure.

Are you sure the US will never have to do another Grenada, another Panama, or another Inchon. Apparently, that’s your bet.

Good Morning Folks,

To Guest. Your right and the fact that last week the Marines issued a 165 page report that was a PR disaster is a very clear signal that there are deep problems with what is going to be the future of the marines.

For an institution as old as the Marines if they can’t say way the country needs them in three pages or less they are in deep institutional trouble.

But since I served in the Army, I could care for the Marines. If the supporters for the USMC want to limit their discussion to a minor supportive points I made in the larger argument and not address the issue, well maybe that says more then we think about the Marines and perhaps they deserve extinction.

The Army has an absolute advantage over the Marines in all aspects of making war. I’ve made the arguments before on this so I won’t repeat myself. What the Marines have to do is show where they have a comparative advantage on certain missions over the Army.

The Special Operations folks like the small up to 12 man missions that involve a lot of glory and shooting. The Army doesn’t seem much to care for any thing that requires less then a battalion. I would think that hole is where the Marines could find some missions where they could fit into the mix.

The Marines are going to see deep budget cuts and are going to be forced to dump a lot of stuff, some of t they hold very dear. As General Conway said the Marines have got way to heavy.

The people deciding the fate of the Marines have everything on the table form “Boot Camp” to the very need of the “CMC”.

I do have ideas about this, but since I could care about the Marines, I will let them figure it out for themselves as soon as they finish cleaning their “guns”.

Byron Skinner

You get id of the F-35B and you just flushed 11 flight decks that can operate fixed wing aircraft down the toilet. Not a smart move when the administration is cutting CVN numbers.

Get rid of the Chinook and replace it with more CH-53Ks. That’ll bring the unit cost of the K down and reduce costs through commonality.

Good Morning Folks,
To seferrin. The Navy/Marines still have plenty of F-18’s to fill the flight decks of CVN’s. The X-47 is moving along quite well too.

The Marines don’t use the CH-47 Chinook airframe. While the Marines could use more CH-53’s they would replace the not yet ready for prime time MV-22 Osprey. The Ch-47 would be a welcomed addition to the Marines.

Neither of the thought though address the issue of why do we need the Marines, and what can the Marines do that needs doing in the future?

Byron Skinner

Byron Skinner: You’re missing the point. The USN/USMC may have enough F-18s to fill the CVNs, but 11 (or 10 or 9 that they’re reducing to) is a FAR cry short of the 22 flight decks available with the F-35B. Secondly, not all carriers are deployed all the time. A third to a half (at best) is available at any given time. Also, by removing fixed-wing aircraft from LHAs/LHDs that means you’ve you have to allocate CVNs to missions they weren’t required for before which means you’re spreading yourself further still.

Where did I state the Marines use the CH-47? “Taxpayer” was talking about lack of commonality between the Army and Marines. I was suggesting replace the Armys CH-47s with CH-53Ks.

Byron, I’ll make this point very short.
You need the Marine Corps because they do everything that the Army can’t or won’t do.
Not that the army isn’t any good, but they lack either the will, the attitude, or the intelligence of the army to adapt and overcome in all situations. Current case in point, the removal of all Marine corps assets to A-Stan, and their leading of all offense there since they arrived. The Army can’t adapt quick enough, the Marine Corps can. They are taught this in Boot Camp. There are also always two forward deployed MEUs in the world who can get there way faster than Any airborne troops for most situations. They aren’t called “America’s 911 force” for nothing. How many Army people were called in for NEO operations n the last 20 years? None. the Marine Corps always gets the call.
There is also no self contained unit in the Military like a MEU that has it’s own self contained CAS, heavy lift, fighter cover, and armored force all rolled into one.

Like I said, the Marines do everything the Army can’t or won’t do, on a far meager budget at that.

By the way Byron, you failed to respond to my comments on the airframes, so I’m assuming you concede I’m right.

Also, in case you’ve missed the news lately, the Osprey is being used in prime time in A-Stan in combat, and is passing with flying colors, bullet holes and all, so get off of the Osprey –hating bandwagon. All of the East coast 46’s are gone, and the West coast will be done in the next two years, it’s here to stay.

Good Evening Folks,

To El Gato. Since the US Army can and has done everything the Marines can do and do and a lot more, I don’t see amy merit in that argument. The statement of the Army of what the Army won’t do, has some validity to it and could be a nitch for the Justification for the Marines.

You statement regarding the Army’s ability to quickly respond to international crisis is simply factually incorrect. The Marines are often used for this role as a default because the Army prefers to channel its resources into something else.

If the situation becomes to large for a MEG to deal with the Army can always step in and take charge. The nations “9/11 Force” is nothing more then another Marine clever PR slogan. I believe I’ve seen the same slogan at Ft. Bragg in the 82nd, Airborne Divisions area too.

As for commenting on the Marines aircraft, if you look at the post by Greg it’s not about Marine air craft.

The likely mission at this time for the Marines that might be institutionally sustainable is the Civic Affairs and Psychological Warfare or Soft COIN capabilities of the DoD. The Army clearly don’t want to do it the have even changed Psychological Operations to Military Information Support Operations or MISO. Even with the long wars going on the Army still has only a single active battalion in this area.

The Marines have a long history from the Marines role in the occupation of Japan in 1945, to Vietnam and the Civic Action Platoons, to General Mattis and the an Bur in Iraq.

The Marines are victims of the Economy, the country entering into an era of continuance small wars fought in difficult places to get to, and the advancing technology of warfare.

These stateless opponents, Terrorists if you like, chose to attack US interest away for coastal areas, this negates the huge expense that the US since WW II has invested in the Marines and the amphibious mission.

As for the Ospery all audits of the program, including the GAO’s have shown the MV-22/CV-22 to be a troubled system with an over all average fleet readiness of <80% which is considered unacceptable by US military standards. But you are correct the MV-22 as unfit as it is will be around for a long time to many careers and billions of dollars have been put into it.

Byron Skinner

As we all have participated in forms regarding social, political, military, cultural affairs we always come across the “know it all” with his pretentious script. We feed his ego with our counter points for which the precocious adolescent now an adult either dismisses or fails to acknowledge, pontificates with opinion as truths. For there is no accountability, no consequence for being obnoxious and anonymous. So if you want to continue bearing with his ego, continue to debate hoping to win the argument you have a better chance of winning the lottery.


Byron, the Army can indeed perform an amphibious landing (although the Navy having enough resources for that is another matter), but they cannot do it in the same manner the Marines currently do. It is one thing to land armor and infantry on a secure beech via LCUs, anothing thing to attack a defended coastal area via helicopter assault from LHDs and LHAs, and get mechanized infantry to shore in short order via the AAVP-7A1 or (hopefully) the EFV.

The fact that we are fighting in landlocked Afghanistan doesn’t change the fact that a huge % of the world’s population lives by the coastline, we never know where the next conflict may occur, and a LHD filled with Marines can cause quite an impact.

Regarding the EFV and MV-22, the MV-22 is rather safer than the old CH-46s the Marines were flying, even when they were new. Personally I believe the Osprey is on the track to becoming a proven piece of equipment. The EFV however I am concerned over. I believe we can make the vehicle work reliably, but the compromises involved in obtaining such high speeds in the water are still there. You naturally can’t make an amphibious vehicle too heavy, so a modern AAV with Abrams-like armor is out of the picture, but it seems the EFV’s design makes it difficult to develop ERA or composite armor kits. The engine setup of the EFV also means you only have that small rear door, and that the troops in back will be more cramped than in earlier AAVs. It has got to be quite fuel hungry as well.

OK — all military M16 variants use a 1 in 7 twist, civilian barrels are 1 in 9, the A2 was the first go for 3 round burst. but if you didnt hold the trigger down till all 3 were down range you may only get 1 round off next time. The A3 fixed that problem and the A4 as mentioned have removeable handles. The 855 can be 62 to 64 grain by the specs with various powder weights also which is why the round is inconsistent in accuracy. The 55 gr will work in any of them but tears up the rifling in the A2 and up, the heavier rounds can also be used in any of them.

Just one thought, everyone here is still thinking about a battle to win a war. The way to win a war, the only way, is to take real estate keep it and move forward. There is too much interference from our Politicians. Not since WW II has the mission been to “Go all the Way”. In the Korea war, the Vietnam War, the Gulf war and now this war. They kill a few of us and we send troops out to kill a few of them. No way to win a war, and it is the most costly choice. Marines are Marines, they are the sea-going Army of our Military. The have a specific job, and they are very good at it. We need to make the most of their unique abilities. You do not throw away hundreds of years of experience on a whim. The Army has its land mission, and they are very good at it. We have the best Navy and Air Force, bar none, in the world. Bring those forces “up to snuff” with new technologies. Lets not mess with something that works when allow to. “It ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!

Section 8:
Except for the terms “common Defense and general Welfare” and the fact that the major wars lasted more than two years, Civil — 4, WWI — 3, WWII — 4+, how did the army survive the two year rule? The militia is another matter, unless the army and the militia became the same body at some point.
The Navy is the only mandated permanent service = Marines.

Very well said and correct. Let us never think of undoing the best force this Country has!


I’ve been reading all of your feedback with mixed emotions. Therefore, I will not comment at this time.
I’m a former Marine Corps GySgt. I served in Vietnam twice, El Salvador & Beirut. In Beirut we were nothing but an impact area. We were never assigned a mission by Ronald Reagan. The Honorable James Webb resigned his position as Under-Secretary of the Navy, over this. We did however, make unofficial forays into the hills & wacked a few individuals. Our STA Platoons, (Surveillance & Target Acquisition), Snipers, also took out many bad guys.
I have to cut this off & start another section. Would appreciate your comments.

Steven T. Perkins

Here’s something to bite on. Has anyone been following the Barrett M468? It uses the lower receiver of the M-16. It fires the 6.8mm SPC. It has kickass & penetration. It does more damage than both the M-16 & AK-47. It is now called something different, but it’s the same weapon.

Continuing with the above comments.
I also was a SWAT commander in Indianapolis, Indiana. We were rated as 2nd in the nation in competition, on occasion, while I was with the department. We never had to shoot anyone. We were able to bring most situations to a non-violent conclusion. There were, however, two suicides during these confrontations.
One occurred minutes after our team arrived on the scene and could not have been avoided.

I worked with Capt. Dale A. Dye, USMC, (Ret’d), training the actors, stunts & extras for “Forrest Gump” and other films. I now have my own organization doing Military/Law Enforcement Technical Advice & Training.
This is my creditability & “back-patting”!
Would appreciate your comments & feedback.
Semper Fi!
Steven T. Perkins


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.