VOL. 25 - NO. 8
FEB 16 - 23, 2020
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

510.595.7777 FAX

Joint Forces Journal is published privately, and in no way is connected with DoD, the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard. This website and the printed newspaper are intended for the members of the Armed Forces and their families. Contents do not necessarily reflect official views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, and do not imply endorsements thereof. The marital status, physical handicap, political affiliation, or any other non-merit factor of the purchases, user or patron for advertisers prohibited. If a violation or rejection of this equal opportunity policy by an advertiser is confirmed, the publisher shall refuse to print advertising from that source until the violation is corrected. Editorial content is prepared and edited privately, and is provided by the Public Affairs Office of U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard installations. Correspondence and material for publication should be addressed to: Editor, Joint Forces Journal, P.O. Box 13283, Oakland, CA, 94661-0283. Deadline for receiving articles and photos is 3 p.m. Monday for publication on Friday of that week. Joint Forces Journal editorial policy is to use bylines and photo credits where applicable and when submitted.

China's Antics Are a 'Game-Changer' for the Navy and Marine Corps, 4-Star General Says

Jan 17, 2020
by Gina Harkins
The Navy and Marine Corps must join forces to combat threats China poses at sea, according to a top U.S. general.

The U.S. needs an integrated naval force that is prepared to take on China, Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger said at the annual Surface Navy Association conference. That's going to require the sea services to work a lot more closely than they have over the last 20 years.

"The significant thing that's driven as to where we are right now is a paradigm shift by China in moving to the sea," he said. "We have watched them build and expand a conventional defensive force and kind of yawned for a long time until they went to sea.

"Game-changer," Berger added.

China has been building forward-operating bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea. The islands have barracks, runways and hangars.

"New threats are here," Berger said. "We must change."

Here's a look at how the Navy and Marine Corps could adapt to take on China.

"Marines on More Decks." Leathernecks aren't going to limit their cruises to amphibious assault ships. Marines could someday deploy on littoral combat ships and next-generation frigates too, Berger said.

"I think those ships have roles for Marines," he said. "I would just tell you there's nothing off the table for the Marine Corps and the Navy. There are no red lines, 'we don't get on that ship' or 'that's not for that use.'"

Marines must learn how to complement other platforms, the commandant added.

"Smaller, But Capable." The Navy and Marine Corps are going to need a lot more ships, Berger said, as the sea services look toward distributed operations across the vast Pacific theater.

Fixed bases and large ships would leave sailors and Marines vulnerable, he said, citing "Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations" by Wayne Hughes and Robert Girrier.

That doesn't mean big-deck amphibs will go away completely, Berger said. "But I think we add a lot of small" ships.

"I'm not talking cheap because we don't need cheap," he said. "It's great power competition -- they are good. But we need a distributed maritime force. ... That drives you toward more. Smaller, but capable."

"Fit to Fight." The Navy and Marine Corps can no longer expect to operate from a distance when it comes to China.

Crews, he said, must be prepared to switch from deterrence to offense quickly.

"There is an argument to be made by some who feel that two great powers can stand off with long-range precision weapons and hold each other at bay," Berger said. "I am not in that camp. And reality over the last few years should tell you that doesn't work against this adversary because the farther you back away from China, they will move toward you."

"Keeping Them Guessing." The Navy and Marine Corps can't send warships out that look the same every time, Berger said.

To "mess up an enemy threat's mind," he said, the Navy and Marine Corps must be unpredictable.

That could mean loading an amphib up with F-35B Joint Strike Fighter jets on one deployment then sending the next ship out full of MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, followed by a mix of the two.

"We need to constantly pose this adversary with different looks," the commandant said.

"Force-Wide Reviews." The Navy and Marine Corps are both undergoing assessments that could reshape the look of each sea service.

The Navy's force-structure assessment will determine the optimal size of the fleet. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday said that the assessment could be done within weeks and is likely to top the 355-ship fleet the last assessment suggested.

The Navy will also make room to add a fleet of unmanned vessels to that count, Gilday said. The service is working closely with the Marine Corps to determine the best fleet size.

The Marine Corps is looking at its fleet, too, in terms of personnel. Berger called a force-structure review his top priority in his planning guidance, and it could close some military occupational specialties while others ramp up.

In November, Berger said, "The Marine Corps ... will look very radically different than what we have right now."

* * * * *

Photo caption: U.S. Marines conduct a simulated amphibious assault exercise during Talisman Sabre 19 in Bowen, Australia. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Tanner D. Lambert)


US Navy Just Got Its Hands on a New Kind of Iranian Missile

Colonel Aboard Space Station to Enlist 800 Army Recruits

Marine Killed During Island Battle in WWII Identified

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Foothill Music Theatre Presents The Tony Award-Nominated Musical Whodunit “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”

Rifle Designed for Aircrew Ejecting in Hostile Regions Delivered to the Air Force

“KITCHEN GOURMET” – Truth Bars Offer Nutrition with a Purpose!

Coast Guard Abandons Plans to Move Grounded Hawaii Ship

TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Satirical Dark Comedy “Gloria Plays at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater in San Francisco

“KITCHEN GOURMET” – Discover the Delicious Taste of Italy with Michael’s of Brooklyn Authentic Recipes

Marine Uses Wrestling Past to Train Martial Arts Teachers