Basic instincts: Resetting USMC core operational mindset

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quicksilver

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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:27

vilters wrote:100 combat sorties over 50 days means exactly that. => 2 combat sorties /day.

One aircraft flew twice, or 2 aircraft flew ONCE. Sorry guys, nothing to write home about.


The problem with that is the “1200hrs” quote. That makes the ASD 12; not unheard of, but very unlikely. Thus, my caveat “if the reporting is correct.”
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:30

spazsinbad wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Is it considered a "sortie" if they don't drop the bomb?

What else would it be? Do YOU define a 'sortie' in some other way?

I was just trying to make the numbers make sense.

My thought was if an F-35B goes up with a couple of 500lb JDAMs, circles the battlefield for a while waiting for the call, then RTBs without dropping them then maybe it was not counted in the specific metric that drove the report.
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:34

citanon wrote:The wording of the article caused me some confusion. 1200 hours IS 50 days. So my take is they are saying that the F-35B had 50 days in accumulated combat flight hours through the deployment.

At first I thought the ship was out for 50 days.


Ship typically out for about 6 mos. These days 6ish +/- a bit depending on what’s going on. 50 days on station launching jets in one lump would be unusual; ESGs do lotsa other stuff besides launch strike sorties.
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 17:37

SpudmanWP wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:Is it considered a "sortie" if they don't drop the bomb?

What else would it be? Do YOU define a 'sortie' in some other way?

I was just trying to make the numbers make sense.

My thought was if an F-35B goes up with a couple of 500lb JDAMs, circles the battlefield for a while waiting for the call, then RTBs without dropping them then maybe it was not counted in the specific metric that drove the report.

OK - yes Confucius REIGNS eh. :roll:
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 18:56

vilters wrote:100 combat sorties over 50 days means exactly that. => 2 combat sorties /day.

One aircraft flew twice, or 2 aircraft flew ONCE. Sorry guys, nothing to write home about.


One, a combat sortie can be 1 aircraft or 100 aircraft in a sortie, and aircraft often do not fly alone. Please don't comment on things as if you have knowledge about them but clearly demonstrate that you don't.

Two, they maintained a 75% readiness rate which is better than the average for legacy aircraft. That is irrespective of sorties.
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 19:02

“Term Source: JP 3-30 (Command and Control of Joint Air Operations)

1.) In air operations, an operational flight by one aircraft.

In the United States, military vocabulary is standardized by the Department of Defence. These terms are used by the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.”

https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Document ... jp3_30.pdf
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 19:17

vilters wrote:100 combat sorties over 50 days means exactly that. => 2 combat sorties /day.

One aircraft flew twice, or 2 aircraft flew ONCE. Sorry guys, nothing to write home about.

"F-35Bs flew MORE than 100 combat sorties against the Taliban and ISIS while deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex,"

That's certainly a pronounced increase in OPTEMPO, and absolutely something to write home about, as is twice the missions as AV-8Bs could generate, and >75% MC rate.
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 21:31

IIRC did not we read that some F-35Bs landed in Kandahar? How does that affect the mind boggle under discussion here.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54421&p=403086&hilit=Kandahar#p403086 [p.10 of F-35B in the ME for first time thread]

Also:
Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms page 225: "sortie — In air operations, an operational flight by one aircraft. (JP 3-30)" [cited by 'QS' earlier (I'm self referential much?)] https://fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/jp1_02.pdf (1.9Mb)

Another 3F software citation: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=54421&p=401681&hilit=land+software#p401681
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Unread post26 Feb 2019, 22:24

wrightwing wrote:
vilters wrote:100 combat sorties over 50 days means exactly that. => 2 combat sorties /day.

One aircraft flew twice, or 2 aircraft flew ONCE. Sorry guys, nothing to write home about.

"F-35Bs flew MORE than 100 combat sorties against the Taliban and ISIS while deployed aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Essex,"

That's certainly a pronounced increase in OPTEMPO, and absolutely something to write home about, as is twice the missions as AV-8Bs could generate, and >75% MC rate.


The reporting seems to be a bit jumbled. I wouldn’t make too much about any of it apart from the fact that they went, they saw, they conquered, they brought all the jets home and they didn’t get bad headlines while doing so. Flight hour production for Harrier Dets aboard amphibs can vary greatly from float to float (by over 100 percent) as does aircraft availability. 75% is good but only compared to the somewhat depressed standards assumed these days with limited funding.

“They done good.” Leave it at that.
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Unread post28 Feb 2019, 01:12

First Marine F-35B Combat Deployment Hints at New Roles for Amphibious Ready Group
27 Feb 2019 Gidget Fuentes [LONG POST BEST READ AT SOURCE]

"After eight months at sea with a squadron of F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, the Marines and the Navy are seeing how the next-generation aircraft will expand the effectiveness of U.S. amphibious forces....

...“The aircraft and its integration with the ship and integration with the mission exceed my expectations,” Lt. Col. Kyle Shoop, who commands VMFA-211, told USNI News. “Just in our time with 5th Fleet, we supported over 50 days of combat for over 1,200 flight hours … didn’t drop a single line of FRAG or combat support.”

At times, the jets flew off Essex for long missions, “and we kept employing ordnance in both theaters,” Shoop said, referring to Afghanistan for Operation Freedom Sentinel and Syria and Iraq for Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The jet itself proved to be very reliable. Throughout that whole time period, Marines did a great job keeping it serviceable,” he said. “We were gone away from the ship for an extreme amount of time – a lot of times over five, six hours away from the ship – and they’d turn them around that night to fly again the next day. So that went really well.”

The F-35B performed “like we expected,” Shoop added. “Some of the sensors onboard would do better than, say, a Harrier would through adverse weather or things like that. So it proved to be pretty versatile.”

The F-35B crews operated from Essex for nearly all missions, except when the ship pulled into port for a mid-deployment repair.

“We did step off the ship during that time to keep employing the aircraft in theater, so we did a short period of time ashore,” Shoop said. “We were used for defensive counter-air in-theater, as well as sustaining alerts on the ship, able to launch with air-to-air weapons,” he added....

...“We learned some things along the way, especially with supportability of low-observable airplane aboard the ship,” Shoop said. “Obviously, there’s a lot of corrosion concerns aboard the ship. Saltwater is on it all the time, so for over eight months we got to learn a lot of lessons from that. In fact, Lockheed was out here just recently. We hosted them. They are very interested in coming to check out one of the airplanes as we come back ashore, to capture those lessons, maybe change some materials, et cetera.”...

...“This was a great deployment for us, a great experience especially with being a part of a new, revolutionary aircraft and figuring out how we’re going to use (the F-35B),” Olin said. “There’s a lot of lessons that we learned and to be learned.”"

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/02/27/first- ... eady-group
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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 12:21

Marines seize an airfield and small island while testing tactics for fight against China
21 Mar 2019 Shawn Snow

"Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, or MEU, seized a small island and airfield with elite special operations airmen and soldiers as part of a test of its future fighting concept. That fighting concept, known as expeditionary advanced base operations, or EABO, will see Marines spread thinly across the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, operating from small bases — a tactic that will help Marines stay alive in a high-end fight with China. EABO is still in the early stages of experimentation. The concept recently was signed off by Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller, but still awaits the signature of Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson.

It’s a fight that will require assistance from the other services and the recent exercise that spanned March 11–14 included participation by U.S. Air Force 353rd Special Operations Group and soldiers with 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group, according to details in a command release....

...After the airfield was captured, Marines and members of the 353rd Special Operations Group air dropped supplies necessary to establish a refueling and arming point, according to the command release. The refueling point further enabled F-35B stealth-aircraft, the command release said. The Marines also inserted a rocket artillery system known as HIMARS via C-130J to bolster the island with long-range precision fires....

...The exercise included many elements of the Corps’ future vision of a fight with a near-peer rival such as long-range fires, distributed operations over vast distances, and use of high-tech F-35 aircraft…."

Source: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your ... nst-china/

USMC Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations, or EABO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54b_gwKSu4o

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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 12:28

EABO https://www.candp.marines.mil/Concepts/ ... perations/

EABO
Following publication of the LOCE concept described above, the CNO and CMC directed development of an official naval concept for Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO). That action resulted in development of a classified white paper formally endorsed by the Commander Fleet Forces Command and the Commander Pacific Fleet. A Navy-Marine Corps concept development team is expanding the white paper into a full, classified concept with submission to CNO and CMC anticipated in the spring of 2018. Once the classified concept is approved, an unclassified version will follow.

As described in the LOCE concept, EABO seek to further distribute lethality by providing land-based options for increasing the number of sensors and shooters beyond the upper limit imposed by the quantity of seagoing platforms available. The EABO concept espouses employing mobile, relatively low-cost capabilities in austere, temporary locations forward as integral elements of fleet/JFMCC operations. Expeditionary advanced base operations may be employed to position naval ISR assets, future coastal defense cruise missiles (CDCM), anti-air missiles (to counter cruise and ballistic missiles as well as aircraft), and forward arming and refueling points (FARPs) and other expedient expeditionary operating sites for aircraft such as the F-35, critical munitions reloading teams for ships and submarines,or to provide expeditionary basing for surface screening/scouting platforms, all of which serve to increase friendly sensor and shooter capacity while complicating adversary targeting. They may also control, or at least outpost, key maritime terrain to improve the security of sea lines of communications (SLOCs) and chokepoints or deny their use to the enemy, and exploit and enhance the natural barriers formed by island chains.

The EABO concept provides the opportunity to “turn the sea denial table” on potential adversaries and deter fait accompli actions. This can be done in a pre-crisis manner through security cooperation activities with our partners and allies. This could include pre-staging equipment and supplies in key regions, conducting EABO exercises, and perhaps even creating more persistently forward postured— but continuously mobile—forces task-organized for EABO. This would give the fleet commander/ JFMCC sea denial assets persistently postured in potentially disputed areas in order to deter aggression. In the event of crises, EABO can be employed in support of task forces maneuvering into the area to seize the initiative. To fully leverage the EABO initiative, the Navy and Marine Corps must pursue the ability to network sea-based and landbased sensors and shooters. Additionally, the Navy should determine what current or planned sensors and weapons can be fielded in an expeditionary variant while the Marine Corps should determine what changes to existing Marine systems can enhance their utility in a sea denial or sea control fight. Furthermore, new initiatives, such as fielding a common anti-ship missile that can be launched from existing surface combatants, submarines, manned (and perhaps unmanned) aircraft, and mobile ground launchers, should be explored.
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Unread post23 Mar 2019, 20:00

Maybe I've been viewing all the Chinese island building in the Southeast Asian Sea (or Indochina Sea or South Sea) through the wrong lense.

Maybe I should be thankful that the PRC has been building all these advanced FOB's (EABO's ?) for the USMC.

Well, I suppose the Chinese will be really pissed (can't say right pissed, since there's nothing right about it) when the USMC takeover all those bases with runways and facilities and all...

With Killer Bees + HIMARs + C-130J / KC-130J, maybe even toss in some older P-3 Orions or maybe even P-8 Pegasuses, it will be the USMC pushing the PLAN back...
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post26 Mar 2019, 16:49

BASIC INSTINCTS? (part of thread title) Here is how the USMC exercise today for those 'island chains' - even a P-8 stars.
Pacific Blitz Tests How Navy, Marines Could Fight the Next Island Campaign [LONG POST - Details not here]
26 Mar 2019 Gidget Fuentes

"As amphibious exercise Pacific Blitz 2019 wraps up today, senior commanders already are reviewing after-action lessons and thinking ahead to future exercises that will help develop, train and prepare forces for fights on the move and close to shore.

The exercise, which began March 12 off Southern California, is the result of combining the logistics exercise Pacific Horizon and amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz “to try to start getting at this complicated concept,” Vice Adm. John Alexander, the U.S. 3rd Fleet commander in San Diego, said of the Marine Corps’ Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) concept that involves moving small groups of Marines around on shore or between islands. “It’s a different way of doing business.”

...Officials say that naval amphibious forces will face and fight capable near-peer adversaries in the future, and they must maintain “sea control” so forces can operate and maneuver across the vast battlespace. One likely battleground is Indo-Pacific region that’s home to many islands, U.S. allies and trading partners, and potential threats from China and Russia.... [then lots of detail]

...The exercise addressed the CNO’s latest strategy – A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority 2.0 – for a more lethal, agile and capable future force. Goals include maturing the distributed maritime operations concept, posturing logistics capabilities ashore and at sea that support and sustain the fleet globally, and creating resilient ways to refuel, rearm, resupply and repair.

So Marines and naval expeditionary forces were spread across simulated “islands” and expeditionary advanced bases or advanced naval bases, all designed to help facilitate sea control. “It’s meant to be dynamic because it’s meant to keep us untargeted in a contested environment,” said Alexander. But that also make logistics and resupply more challenging.

“We are optimized to move it in big quantities” of fuel supplies, he said. “Now we’re having to figure out how do we move it in smaller quantities but utilize it in a fashion that … is dynamic, quickly moveable and untargetable.” It’s not easy relocating equipment, such as smaller fuel bladders and pumps, to support maneuvering, distributed forces at sea and ashore.

The logistics of expeditionary advance base operations, such as resupply, refueling, medical care and aviation support, is relatively new to Marines. “If you’re going to put a transient base forward, an EAB, how do you get enough fuel there to operate aircraft for 72 to 96 hours, whatever it might be?” Osterman said. “It’s not quite as exciting as shooting missiles or stuff like that, but it’s one of those fundamental things that if we can’t get it right, we’re not going to be able to do the mission we’ve got to do.”...

...On San Clemente Island, NECC sailors loaded an exercise torpedo on a P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft that “was in an expeditionary role, which was kind of cool,” Alexander said. “But what we also saw was a big footprint for loading gear for that, and we need to get technologies that can do that on a smaller footprint.” Marines and sailors set up a joint forward arming and refueling point, where aircraft brought in fuel and crews filled fuel bladders that, in turn, refueled fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

At sea, Marines on aviation logistics ship Curtiss fixed and maintained aircraft. “We’re not actually going to land aircraft on there and work on them, but they are actually fixing components while they’re at sea,” Osterman said, “and we’re going to provide the supply.”…"

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/03/26/pacifi ... d-campaign
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Unread post17 Apr 2019, 06:11

F-35B Allowed Essex ARG to Flex New Blue-Water Capabilities in Absence of Carrier Nearby [best read at URL]
16 Apr 2019 Megan Eckstein

"ARLINGTON, Virginia – The F-35B Joint Strike Fighter is not only changing the way Marine forces conduct their missions, it is also changing the way the amphibious navy can do its work in the absence of an aircraft carrier, leaders from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Essex Amphibious Ready Group said.

The Essex ARG and 13th MEU were the first to deploy from the United States with the F-35B, and they operated in the Pacific and Middle East from mid-July until their March 1 return home to San Diego. The deployment not only generated lessons learned on how to operate and sustain the F-35B jets as part of the Marine unit and in support of its objectives ashore, but also how to use the new jet to support blue-water Navy missions at sea, 13th MEU Commanding Officer Col. Chandler Nelms and Amphibious Squadron 1 Operations Officer Lt. Cmdr. David Mahoney told the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies on April 12.

“We’re definitely changing the way amphibs are employed, especially on the blue side – we’re no longer just the trucks that carry Marines that we used to be,” Mahoney said. “There was no carrier in 5th Fleet, for example, so a lot of the CSG-like duties we started taking over just because we had to.”

Though Mahoney made clear the ARG/MEU team could never replace a carrier air wing, he said “the ARG is now becoming almost like a mini CSG, where as part of the warfare concept we were executing many of those duties that would normally reserve to a CVN. There was no CVN except for the last couple of weeks while we were in theater (in 5th Fleet), so we were doing that traditional role on USS Essex (LHD-2) and working with other ships too. The ARG/MEU team is definitely in high demand to fill those roles as the Navy is spreading out further and further around the globe,” he said, noting that the deployed aircraft carrier, USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was at the time focused on operations in Europe and north of the Arctic Circle rather than deploying to the Middle East as many had expected it would.

“We are being treated as a CSG in a lot of respects: you can see that layered defense, so we were always bringing in destroyers to help work with us – East and West Coast, wherever they came from, they were integrating with the team,” the operations officer continued....

…[Other assets] ...the F-35Bs of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 to maintain air control and situational awareness in a way that an ARG/MEU couldn’t have done previously with the legacy AV-8B Harrier strike airplanes. “We self-supported ourselves on this deployment with combat air patrols,” Nelms said, and the F-35Bs – while not an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) plane – could also use their sensors to provide “non-traditional ISR) for the ARG/MEU team.... [more details]

...Though the Navy still has much left to learn, Mahoney said he’s sure the presence of the F-35B in an ARG/MEU will change the way the group is tasked by fleet commanders going forward.

“It definitely starts changing the thinking status. A lot of times amphibs are the guys who just haul Marines, kick them out, and if they need help they need to bring in some other offensive or defensive capability; whereas this is one of the first times we can really have that option to just reach out and touch somebody, whether that’s supporting the colonel and the Marines ashore or as we fight to get into the fight if that’s ever called upon – the F-35 gives us that option to get there because we may not have control of the seas and that’s definitely an option, “Mahoney said. “We’re not a carrier air wing, of course, but who knows where the carrier’s going to be, and this definitely gives us a much stronger option than we had in the past. We’ve already started changing the mindset of how we employ an ARG, and an LHD specifically, because the 35 gives us a lot more options than we had.”

Nelms and Mahoney said the deployment was notable for many other reasons. The deployment was extended by a month, keeping the sailors and Marines out for 234 days. They had a packed schedule on the transit through the Pacific, working with many partners big and small. The ARG/MEU parked in the Arabian Sea for two weeks to conduct strikes in Afghanistan – the first-ever combat strikes by the F-35 – and then spent more than 50 days flying more than 100 combat sorties over Syria, for a total of more than 1,200 combat hours in support of Operation Inherent Resolve alone. Anchorage sailed as far as Rota, Spain – an unusual location for a West Coast ship to end up, Nelms and Mahoney said. Both the Navy and Marines brought 3D printers to begin learning lessons about printing small plastic parts at sea, as a first step forwards eventually being able to print more complex metal parts. And the aircraft maintained an average readiness rate of 70 percent, with the F-35Bs maintaining a 75-percent readiness rate."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/04/16/f-35b- ... ier-nearby
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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