A sword drawn at sea, should a Marine be wielding it?

TheWookie

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I found this article interesting, it talks about using Marines more as "solider of the sea", -- to help fight pirates and other shit bags at sea. I never went on a MEU; I hear they are high tempo, and from this article it sounds like the pace of them is about to pick up even more. Get some, Marines.

Amphibious ops to become default mode for MEUs

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Oct 19, 2009 5:31:16 EDT

Determined to get Marines directly involved with the fight against pirates and other threats at sea, the Corps is reinventing its seven expeditionary units.

Major changes, some already underway, will make the MEUs even more potent and versatile than they are now, equipping them with the latest weapons, gear and capabilities while ensuring they’re thoroughly trained to be the premier on-call first responders for any number of worldwide contingencies.

Officials want to shift their focus away from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — many MEUs have cycled through multiple combat tours during the past several years — and back to being “Soldiers of the Sea.”

A new policy issued in August updates the baseline MEU structure with new and future weapons systems and redefines its core capabilities to include 16 essential missions, along with special operations tasks already in high demand today. It’s the first big overhaul since Sept. 25, 2001, and touches on everything from pre-deployment training to the specialized skills Marines will need to get these jobs done.

“Amphibious forces are increasingly likely to be tasked with counterterrorism, counter-proliferation and counter-piracy missions,” Marine officials wrote in “Amphibious Operations in the 21st Century,” a doctrinal paper released earlier this year. “These will likely involve amphibious raids conducted for the purposes of destroying terrorists and their sanctuaries, capturing pirates or other criminals and seizing contraband, rescuing hostages or securing, safeguarding and removing materials to include weapons of mass destruction.”

Deployed MEUs serve as key “theater reserves” overseas, ready to respond to regional contingencies or crises. Each is designed as an air-ground task force with the capability to operate and launch missions at sea within six hours or operate ashore for a month before needing any resupply.

“A lot has changed in the last eight or nine years,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Impellitteri, MEU policy officer in the Expeditionary Policies Branch at Plans, Policies and Operations at Marine Corps headquarters. “We wanted to streamline the [mission essential task list] to make it basically say … this is what the MEU needs to do.”

MEUs will continue to be centered on battalion landing teams, and while the new policy outlines basic structure — still about 2,200 Marines composing air combat, ground combat and logistical combat elements, plus a special operations element — the MEU commander can tailor the force to fit his expected needs. Increasingly, there is a host of new assets from which to choose.

The 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, for example, left its home at Camp Lejeune, N.C., in May with the MV-22 Osprey, the first MEU ever to take the tilt-rotor aircraft on an overseas pump. Navy SEALs, once a routine component of amphibious ready groups, have largely disappeared, but the creation of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command and the re-emergence of Force reconnaissance offer comparable capabilities.

The U.S. may not need to conduct a hostile amphibious assault on a foreign shore anytime soon, but an MEU’s ability to decimate enemy forces or, with help from the Navy, quickly dole out humanitarian aid in the aftermath of a natural disaster, preserves the Corps’ role among the services as the expeditionary force in readiness.

Moving forward, amphibious ops will be the MEUs’ default mode.

“As the generals are fond of saying,” said Col. David Coffman, who commands the 13th MEU out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., “if there’s a sword to be drawn at sea, shouldn’t a Marine be wielding it?”

Fighting pirates and more
In February, Camp Lejeune’s 26th MEU sent a detachment of Marines to the Gulf of Aden, where they manned a makeshift brig for suspected pirates aboard the Military Sealift Command supply ship Lewis and Clark. Such interaction is only going to grow.

The new MEU policy expands Marines’ role in maritime interception operations, which include counterpiracy missions, security patrols, hunting for drug and weapons smugglers, enforcing international laws and seizing ships or platforms.

Marines assigned to MEUs will conduct more ship boardings — known as VBSS, or visit- board-search-seize — including noncompliant hostile boardings. The recent rise in high-profile pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden and elsewhere off the coast of eastern Africa, including the Somali pirate takedown of the U.S.-flagged ship Maersk Alabama in April, has given new urgency to the mission. The 13th MEU was called to help plan that operation.

“I was not called on to solve that problem. I was the supporting effort. [Special operations] forces solved that problem,” Coffman said, referring to the SEAL team that swooped in dramatically and rescued the Maersk Alabama’s American captain, who had been taken captive by a band of pirates.

Such missions, he said, are an important niche for expeditionary amphibious forces. “We can’t sit idly by and let legally flagged commerce fall to pirates. That is ridiculous,” he said. “We cannot sit idly by and watch civilian mariners be captured or killed. We are going to be in those places, because that’s what we do for a living.”

Is there room for spec ops?
Despite the new requirements, MEUs won’t be getting any additional personnel to fill the VBSS mission. In the past, that job was handled primarily by a Maritime Special Purpose Force consisting of recon and Force recon Marines. MarSOC has changed the game, though it’s still unclear how spec ops Marines will fit into the equation.

The new policy calls for MarSOC to provide 84-member Marine special operations companies — or MSOCs — to plan, train and deploy when needed as part of the MEU. It says also that those Marines should support missions involving direct action, special reconnaissance and foreign internal defense, but it stops short of mandating it.

The 11th MEU, for example, left Camp Pendleton in late September with no MSOC and no boat-raid company in the battalion landing team. However, “we are deploying with a VBSS capability,” said Col. Gregg Olson, who’s commanding the MEU during its six-month pump. He has pulled together a boarding force, taking a rifle platoon and a command-and-control team and partnering them with helicopters.

When a Marine spec ops company joins a MEU for its workups, certification and deployment, the unit is considered special-operations capable. Eventually, Impellitteri said, MEUs will operate with other commando forces, not just MarSOC units. But without a strict requirement for an embarked MSOC, ongoing demand for Marine special operators elsewhere makes it less likely MEUs would automatically deploy with one. The new policy doesn’t explain what will fill that gap.

Help could come with the resurgence of Force reconnaissance, giving MEU commanders a platoon of experienced recon men who could join with the battalion landing team’s division recon platoon to conduct and support missions similar to those that are tasked to an MSOC. The next three MEUs scheduled to deploy — the 24th, out of Camp Lejeune, and the 15th and 13th, out of Pendleton — will test the concept to re-establish that boarding capability. But, Coffman noted, “the jury is still out on exactly how we’re going to pull it all together.”

More airframes, firepower
The MEUs’ aviation and ground mix also is in transition.

As the Corps modernizes its inventory with new equipment, such as the UH-1Y Super Huey, AH-1Z Super Cobra and eventually the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, MEUs will begin to look and operate differently.

“You basically have an entirely new [air combat element], platform by platform,” Coffman said. “We have to decide what that mix is like again.”

His 13th MEU was the first to deploy with the UH-1Y, providing an operational test as the fleet grows, but none of the current units training or deployed have a Super Huey aboard. The 22nd MEU has a squadron of Ospreys, but with several years to go before that aircraft arrives at West Coast bases, Olson’s 11th MEU left San Diego with CH-46E medium-lift helicopters as its aviation core.

Coffman wants to see the MEUs expand their ISR — intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance — assets, to include unmanned aerial systems. His battalion landing team had smaller drones, but adding systems such as the Scan Eagle would only strengthen intelligence gathering.

During its workups, the 11th MEU equipped its AV-8B Harriers with Litening pods, advanced airborne targeting and navigation systems that feed live video to a raid force. It also experimented with balloons as surrogate satellite relays, Olson said.

Soon, too, more MEUs will deploy with advanced ground weapons systems, including M777 lightweight 155mm howitzers and 120mm towed mortar Expeditionary Fire Support Systems, though the new guidelines don’t mention the high-mobility artillery rocket system, which has replaced artillery cannons in some batteries.

A basic MEU will have a platoon of four tanks, although the 31st MEU, based in Japan, would take six combat rubber craft instead, along with more utility vehicles and up-armored Humvees and trucks. Some MEU commanders have deployed without Abrams tanks, but Olson, who’s served with four MEUs in his career, won’t leave home without them. When he led 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, to Iraq in the spring of 2004, those tanks provided extra firepower against hardened insurgent targets entrenched in Fallujah. After that, “I’m a firm believer that there’s plenty of problems that can be solved with an M1A1 battle tank,” he said.

Tougher workups
So how will the Corps integrate all these pieces? In short: new training.

Officials are revising the MEU’s pre-deployment program, last updated in January 2001. In September, Training and Education Command held the first meeting to rewrite the standards. The revamped program could be done by the spring, Impellitteri said.

Details are sketchy at this point, but here’s a basic outline of what you can expect. For starters, each MEU will form its command element one year before it is scheduled to deploy and begin training with its elements using the MEU’s standard 26-week workup schedule before getting certified and deploying.

There are three critical at-sea periods in which MEU Marines learn to operate in sync with the Navy and conduct the range of MEU amphibious missions. Olson and the 11th MEU melded its at-sea periods with ground and long-range from-the-sea operations. MEUs, he said, “have got to be ready to do both and be ashore for 15 days.”

From there, Marine officials have a lot to sort out and several questions still left to answer. Among the most obvious: How do you train for ship-boarding missions, and who gets to do it? The new guidance leaves that up to the commander.

“It’s going to be tough,” Coffman said. “A commander’s going to have to get them … on a specialized track to learn boarding skills and shooting skills. … It ain’t [done in] three days.”

Officials must also decide whether to revamp or do away with urban training exercises — known as TRUEX — and whether to require standardized theater-specific training. Regular battalions deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan have been required to complete Mojave Viper, the monthlong battalion-level exercises at Twentynine Palms, Calif., but MEUs have no such requirement.

There are no easy answers. No two pumps are the same, said Olson, a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq combat tours now on his sixth deployment with a MEU. “A lot depends on what the circumstances are into which you deploy,” he said.

“Every float has its own personality. You go to different places, you do different things — some are more oriented on training, some are more oriented on real-world operations.”

In 2001, the 15th MEU — with Olson as the operations officer — left the West Coast and wound up in Kandahar, but the call to combat doesn’t always come. It’s something commanders are mindful of when a half-year spent training for combat leads to six months of training foreign forces, visiting foreign ports or, of late, patrolling for pirates and terrorists.

“That’s MEU roulette,” Coffman said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. But you’ve got to do it in the crappiest of conditions, in the middle of the night off the ship somewhere in the ocean in a place you’ve never been before, and you’ve got to get it right the first time.”
http://marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/10/marine_meu_101909w/
 

HOLLiS

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Marine are different than sailors in days of Old, Sailors could be impressed into service, Marines enlisted. Marines primary job was to prevent mutinies. They served the Skipper. (I have a friend, that I can ask, was the top ranking NCO for the Marine detachment on the Missouri. I'll share this article with him)
 

Teufel

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MEUs always had the ability to "draw a sword at sea" before they gave up the "SOC" qual. They should never have gotten rid of Force Recon in the first place. If someone had actually taken a moment to do some planning they could have figured out a way to give SOCOM what they wanted without losing the Force Reconnaissance Companies.
 

0699

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MEUs always had the ability to "draw a sword at sea" before they gave up the "SOC" qual. They should never have gotten rid of Force Recon in the first place. If someone had actually taken a moment to do some planning they could have figured out a way to give SOCOM what they wanted without losing the Force Reconnaissance Companies.

Exactly. This sounds like good news to me; the MEUs have been spending too much time in Iraq & Afghanistan lately. They need to get back to doing what they do best.
 

AWP

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Exactly. This sounds like good news to me; the MEUs have been spending too much time in Iraq & Afghanistan lately. They need to get back to doing what they do best.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, but to understand the above.

MEU's are spending too much time in Iraq/ Afghanistan or the Marines are spending too much time in Iraq/ Afghanistan?
Does the task structure need to be pulled from the desert or the service?

Personally, I'd much rather have the Marines over here than mech infantry or armor.
 

0699

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I'm not trying to be argumentative, but to understand the above.

MEU's are spending too much time in Iraq/ Afghanistan or the Marines are spending too much time in Iraq/ Afghanistan?
Does the task structure need to be pulled from the desert or the service?

Personally, I'd much rather have the Marines over here than mech infantry or armor.

That's an OUTSTANDING question. Seriously.

I definitely think the MEUs are/were (I retired this year so I can't speak on what is happening now) spending too much time in AF & IZ. The MEUs need to be that initial entry force, on ground long enough to complete a specific short-term mission or provide entry for other (larger) forces. The MEUs should be ready & available at sea for mission such as ship recoverys, NEOs, etc. To put them on the ground long-term weakens their ability to complete all their required missions. I saw MEUs spend way more time getting prepared for Iraq-specific TTPs and missions than their other (MEU-specific) missions. Understandable, as they knew they were going to Iraq instead of floating for seven months, but if we're going to insert them anyway, why pretend they're MEU(SOC) ready?

As for the Corps in general spending too much time there, I can see pros & cons to both sides, but in general (got to get back to class so I have to be quick...) I think it would be better for the Corps to not spend as much time there as we are.
 

AWP

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That's an OUTSTANDING question. Seriously.

I definitely think the MEUs are/were (I retired this year so I can't speak on what is happening now) spending too much time in AF & IZ. The MEUs need to be that initial entry force, on ground long enough to complete a specific short-term mission or provide entry for other (larger) forces. The MEUs should be ready & available at sea for mission such as ship recoverys, NEOs, etc. To put them on the ground long-term weakens their ability to complete all their required missions. I saw MEUs spend way more time getting prepared for Iraq-specific TTPs and missions than their other (MEU-specific) missions. Understandable, as they knew they were going to Iraq instead of floating for seven months, but if we're going to insert them anyway, why pretend they're MEU(SOC) ready?

As for the Corps in general spending too much time there, I can see pros & cons to both sides, but in general (got to get back to class so I have to be quick...) I think it would be better for the Corps to not spend as much time there as we are.

So, MEU's/ Marines are best used as an initial entry force rather than a long-term fighting element?

I'm clearly not a Marine so I may not understand all of the dynamics, but I would argue against that for a few reasons. In interservice politics and/ or funding it wouldn't make much sense to keep a ~200K member (I think that's a rough approximation of the active duty numbers, please correct me if I'm wrong) branch around for the primary purpose of getting into a country. If they don't have a long-term mission then it becomes difficult to argue for such a large force, however well-trained and equipped, to exist. Cut it down to one division, maybe an over-sized one, and shift the assets to the Army if that is the case.

I don’t say this with an eye on being a former Army guy, I'm looking (maybe shortsightedly) at the economics of keeping such a force around. I won't argue that the initial invasion is easy though our recent experiences may convince some that it is. What I would argue is why we should expend so much of our national resources on a force that isn't committed, trained, or used in a long-term fight. (doctrinally speaking)

Outside looking in? I think keeping a 4 division force in two theaters is a bit much. Someone at the Joint Chiefs level should have stepped in some time ago and committed the Corps to one theater over the other. Of course, we’ve proven that our nation is incapable of fighting a two-front war so maybe the problem isn’t unique to the Corps, but the Corps is feeling it more than the Army? But to continue this train of thought, committing a smaller overall number of Marines (by reducing the theaters in which they are fighting) would free up other units within the Corps to focus on their key tasks, the marine environment. The challenge would be what units are sent to sea and what units are sent to the desert.

There probably aren’t any easy answers. :)
 

SCCO_Marine

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A little clarity

So, MEU's/ Marines are best used as an initial entry force rather than a long-term fighting element?

I'm clearly not a Marine so I may not understand all of the dynamics, but I would argue against that for a few reasons. In interservice politics and/ or funding it wouldn't make much sense to keep a ~200K member (I think that's a rough approximation of the active duty numbers, please correct me if I'm wrong) branch around for the primary purpose of getting into a country.


Your merging 2 different things & I'm not sure your understanding the article or whats being discussed clearly.

The MEU is not the Marine Corps. The MEU serves multiple functions as well as the Corps as a whole.

The MEU is an on call Rapid Reaction Force for a laundry list of wide ranging missions, to be performed 6hrs or less anywhere in its Theater Command.

Thats why the Marines on this site are glad to see them out of Iraq & A'stan. Not the Marine Corps as a whole but the MEU.

The USMC as a whole has been very successful in both theaters & requested to shift to A'stan when things quieted down in Iraq & are Presently asking that their #'s be significantly increased.

What the Q?s being raised are is how does the MEU continue to adapt as the Priority of missions changes, does this become more of a focus & that less.

Also, with increasing roles in CT, Co-Pir, Co-Prolif, & other missions considered the purview of SOF how does it tackle the preparations for these missions?

Does it de-emphasize some of its more conventional training like the TRUEX? Then what happens when that particular MEU is called in for an Urban Raid?



The point is ANYTHING can happen on a MEU, the discussion is putting together the best Training Package B4 they embark.

I hope that provides some clarity for you.
 

0699

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So, MEU's/ Marines are best used as an initial entry force rather than a long-term fighting element?

I'm clearly not a Marine so I may not understand all of the dynamics, but I would argue against that for a few reasons. In interservice politics and/ or funding it wouldn't make much sense to keep a ~200K member (I think that's a rough approximation of the active duty numbers, please correct me if I'm wrong) branch around for the primary purpose of getting into a country. If they don't have a long-term mission then it becomes difficult to argue for such a large force, however well-trained and equipped, to exist. Cut it down to one division, maybe an over-sized one, and shift the assets to the Army if that is the case.

I don’t say this with an eye on being a former Army guy, I'm looking (maybe shortsightedly) at the economics of keeping such a force around. I won't argue that the initial invasion is easy though our recent experiences may convince some that it is. What I would argue is why we should expend so much of our national resources on a force that isn't committed, trained, or used in a long-term fight. (doctrinally speaking)

Outside looking in? I think keeping a 4 division force in two theaters is a bit much. Someone at the Joint Chiefs level should have stepped in some time ago and committed the Corps to one theater over the other. Of course, we’ve proven that our nation is incapable of fighting a two-front war so maybe the problem isn’t unique to the Corps, but the Corps is feeling it more than the Army? But to continue this train of thought, committing a smaller overall number of Marines (by reducing the theaters in which they are fighting) would free up other units within the Corps to focus on their key tasks, the marine environment. The challenge would be what units are sent to sea and what units are sent to the desert.

There probably aren’t any easy answers. :)

SCCO Marine may have said it better than I did. The MEU is just the smallest step of the MAGTF organization (not counting SPMAGTFs for now) and was designed with a certain mission scope in mind. For larger missions, you'd use a MEB or MEF. The MEU was never designed to be a part of a larger land-based strategy. The way the 15th MEU was used in AF in 2001 was an appropriate MEU mission. The use of the MEUs to prosecute the land wars in IZ & AF are not appropriate missions, by doctrine. If you want to send Marines in to conduct those missions, a MEB or MEF would be the appropriate size unit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAGTF
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Expeditionary_Unit

When I was in IZ in 2005, we had several MEUs come in theatre. From a logistic perspective, they were a bigger PITA than they were worth, because they didn't have the logistical footprint required to support themselves (30 DOS...) and required other units to provide them support.

The Corps doesn't only supply MEUs to the nation's arsenal. Right now there is a MEB in AF and a MEF(-) in Iraq.

The Corps has specific doctrinal missions as directed by DOD. Most of what we've been doing in IZ & AF is outside the scope of those missions and has been done to 1) get us in the fight and 2) provide extra forces to supplement the Army's success in completing their doctrinal missions. My concern is that we're raising a generation of Marines that does an outstanding job at executing those missions, but has never done an amphibious assault or MPF off-load.

Lastly, the Commandant tried to "get" AF as a MC AO. Didn't happen. :) Like anything else in DOD, politics played a big part...
 

AWP

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I'm tracking now. Being an outsider it is sometimes harder to pick up on the nuances of the intent of one's post. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

And Gypsy, "incapable" is the correct word IMO.
 
8

8'Duece

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Outstanding thread and great questions that are answered.

Sitting back and reading this is very informative if you've not served in the Corps.
 

Hitman2/3

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0699 brought up a very good point about a generation of Marines being good at one thing but not being as well trained in the other potential rolls. Looking at it from the recon side you have newer 21's who are great at urban combat, urban and desert recon, and mounted patrols, but aren't quite as well versed in the amphibious side of amphibious recon. Not a problem in the short run but when these junior Marines become the guy responsible for teaching the next generation how to rig a zod for a helo cast or perform a beach recon, we're going to loose the knowlege and possibly the capability. The same could be said for the Corps as a whole. We are focusing so much on the threat in our current AO that certain skills are being neglected.
 

Teufel

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That's an OUTSTANDING question. Seriously.

I definitely think the MEUs are/were (I retired this year so I can't speak on what is happening now) spending too much time in AF & IZ.

Here is the real question I have always asked myself. How could we afford to dedicate 3 battalions on the west coast (11th, 13th, 15th MEUs), 3 battalions on the east coast (22th, 24th, 26t MEUs) and 2 battalions to the UDP cycle (31st MEU) while most battalions were stretched so thin they were doing a one to one dwell time ratio. It is better now, but back in OIF III-V it didn't make a whole lot of sense. Think about all the MEUs that ended up going into country anyway. I understand the purpose of a MEU in peacetime; it makes a lot of sense to forward stage an infantry battalion with all the supporting arms they would need to establish a beachhead.

So, MEU's/ Marines are best used as an initial entry force rather than a long-term fighting element?

The whole concept of the MEU is to forward stage a battalion to immediately respond (within 6 hours) to any worldwide contingency i.e. the Scott O'Grady rescue, the USS Cole recovery, security following the Beirut bombing, the invasion of Afghanistan, the evacuation of American citizens from Lebanon, humanitarian relief during the Sri Lanka and Indonesia Tsunami, etc etc etc.

In interservice politics and/ or funding it wouldn't make much sense to keep a ~200K member (I think that's a rough approximation of the active duty numbers, please correct me if I'm wrong) branch around for the primary purpose of getting into a country. If they don't have a long-term mission then it becomes difficult to argue for such a large force, however well-trained and equipped, to exist. Cut it down to one division, maybe an over-sized one, and shift the assets to the Army if that is the case.

What I would argue is why we should expend so much of our national resources on a force that isn't committed, trained, or used in a long-term fight. (doctrinally speaking)

America keeps the Marine Corps around because America wants a Marine Corps. The Marine Corps has a great track record (not to mention a great PR machine) and a history of making do with less. The Marine Corps budget for 2009 was 24.9 billion. The total DOD budget for 2009 was 651.2 billion. This puts the Marine Corps at 3.8% of the entire DOD budget. In comparison, the Army received 140.7 billion (17%), the Air Force received 143.9 billion (22%), and the Navy received 124.4 billion (19%). The Army has 10 active duty divisions so that puts the cost of each Army division at 14 billion (2.1%) a piece if you divide the total Army budget by the number of infantry divisions they can put on the deck (I know this isn't that accurate of an equation but bear with me). The Marine Corps has 3 active duty divisions at 8.3 billion a piece (1.2%).

Here is another fun fact, the Army has 302 generals (with 548,000 active duty personnel) while the Marine Corps has 80 (with 200,000 active duty personnel). This puts the Army at 1 General per 1,800 soldiers, and the Marine Corps at 1 per 2,500. Coincidence? By the way there are 279 Generals in the Air Force (1 per 1517 airmen), and 216 Admirals in the Navy (1 per 1099 sailors)
 

TheWookie

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America keeps the Marine Corps around because America wants a Marine Corps. The Marine Corps has a great track record (not to mention a great PR machine) and a history of making do with less. The Marine Corps budget for 2009 was 24.9 billion. The total DOD budget for 2009 was 651.2 billion. This puts the Marine Corps at 3.8% of the entire DOD budget. In comparison, the Army received 140.7 billion (17%), the Air Force received 143.9 billion (22%), and the Navy received 124.4 billion (19%). The Army has 10 active duty divisions so that puts the cost of each Army division at 14 billion (2.1%) a piece if you divide the total Army budget by the number of infantry divisions they can put on the deck (I know this isn't that accurate of an equation but bear with me). The Marine Corps has 3 active duty divisions at 8.3 billion a piece (1.2%).

Here is another fun fact, the Army has 302 generals (with 548,000 active duty personnel) while the Marine Corps has 80 (with 200,000 active duty personnel). This puts the Army at 1 General per 1,800 soldiers, and the Marine Corps at 1 per 2,500. Coincidence? By the way there are 279 Generals in the Air Force (1 per 1517 airmen), and 216 Admirals in the Navy (1 per 1099 sailors)


OUT-fucking-standing, nice job with the math, can't argue with that. And I agree with 8'Duece in that this thread has brought out some good info, nice work by all.
 

Teufel

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Yeah. The worst part is that the Marine Corps really tries to stay at around 3% of the budget for some reason. It's good to be lean and all but sometimes we overdo it. I do like that our ratio of troops to generals is pretty good...too many generals and you start running into problems.
 

0699

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I think it was Krulak the elder who said in his book First to Fight (and I paraphrase...) that we have a Corps for two reasons. 1) America loves Marines and 2) we're cheaper than the Army. He said when either of those reasons go away, the Corps will disappear...
 
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08steeda

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I have learned a lot about the Marine Corp reading this. It sounds like the MEU's would be able to make a huge difference on the High Seas with this huge issue around Piracy! Seems they are the best equiped to be Anti-Pirates!!!

I have wondered why a country (not necessarily the USA) didn't put some Marine type Combat troops into the theater and provide some ship based air support then pre-position platoons on a few high target cargo vessels! Then have a rapid reaction force readily on hand to lend support. I don't think we are using the Navy or Marine ships that much in Afghanistan or Iraq, right?

Now go kick some Pirate A_S!!!

Thanks for the education folks!
 

TheWookie

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I have wondered why a country (not necessarily the USA) didn't put some Marine type Combat troops into the theater and provide some ship based air support then pre-position platoons on a few high target cargo vessels! Then have a rapid reaction force readily on hand to lend support. I don't think we are using the Navy or Marine ships that much in Afghanistan or Iraq, right?

I was told FAST Company had some missions related to what you're talking about, maybe a FAST guy, or someone else from here can add to that. From a Marine side, I think FAST and/ or MEU's are perfect to fight piracy, but I wonder who's paying for all of this? :doh: Of course we could just drop in some SEALs when the situation dictates and spare the long-term cost. ;) Gotta love them shooters. But why does it also always have to be us (the US) paying and fighting for every conflict?

And where's the oil money from Iraq? But, I digress.

I think some of the responsibility for protection of commercial vessels has to lie with the vessel itself. But that's just my two cents.
 
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