Basic instincts: Resetting USMC core operational mindset

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spazsinbad

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Unread post18 Apr 2021, 20:51

XanderCrews wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:NOT anything about the USMC F-35s in this article about the radical changes being asked for - except the last paragraph.
[XC]...I presume the 10 aircraft squadrons are to get as many F-35 squadrons "stood up" quicker. and then add more some years later. Every time we get a new CMC we get new F-35 numbers.

An old explanation for reducing F-35B every which way but loose: viewtopic.php?f=61&t=56085&p=437651&hilit=disparity#p437651
"The Marine Corps’ inability to recruit enough pilots has led the commandant to question the F-35’s place in the already budget-constrained Corps’ future plans, a potentially huge shift for the service that first fielded the Joint Strike Fighter and fought harder than any other service to build it and buy it. “Our continued inability to build and sustain an adequate inventory of F-35 pilots leads me to conclude that we must be pragmatic regarding our ability to support” the program,” Gen. David Berger says in a blunt new 10-year force design plan. He calls for an external assessment of the aircraft’s place within the service relative to what he’s being asked to do in the National Defense Strategy and the forthcoming Joint Warfighting Concept, a document the Joint Staff is expected to wrap up later this year.

Berger not only singles out pilot shortfalls, but also notes high costs of maintaining and flying the F-35B as factors he’s weighing “in reconciling the growing disparity between numbers of platforms and numbers of aircrew.”...

...Berger appears to be keenly aware he needs to bring the rest of Washington along with him: “A certain degree of institutional change is inevitable when confronting modernization on this scale, and that type of change is hard.”..."

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/03/sho ... -35-fleet/
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quicksilver

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Unread post19 Apr 2021, 03:43

My bet is that having had some time to think about it, the service chief wouldn’t use a pilot shortage as justifying rationale for the alteration of a multi-billion dollar acquisition program (that the Congress has supported the service on thru thick and thin for a couple decades). To put it mildly, that’s not sound thinking. Pilot shortages are cyclic.
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element1loop

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Unread post19 Apr 2021, 05:31

This strikes me as a very odd problem and conclusion combination. Are the systems so complex or multipurpose that a single-pilot can't fly it, plus wield it as a high-end weapon? Too much software? Too much data? Too many factors? Doubt that.

I'd want to get to the bottom of why USMC is failing to transition or train pilots in sufficient numbers if that's the rationale, this situation merits some serious external review. USMC has been IOC with F-35B since July 2015, 6 years. They should have the training process and numbers nailed-down and running smoothly. Right now the USMC finally has a real challenger in the Western Pacific, young pilots should be stacking up to get into an F-35B at this point.

If people are motivated from inside themselves there is no holding them back, they'll meet the standard, and excel. It may be worth a close look at the service's culture here, to figure out why that isn't happening efficiently, because it should be in the sprinting phase of crawl, walk, run now. Is this a US service problem, in general, or just a USMC service culture and practices problem that is not being recognized?

The tools to generate and maintain proficient pilots have never been better than now. Advanced trainers and rapid expansion of cheap and far more realistic simulators, plus advanced display technology is common to develop and maintain system proficiency and tactical skills. Plus networked full-mission sims on top of this. Something's really amiss if USMC is not able to build the pilot numbers needed for a new strikefighter.

COVID19 also removed the pilot-demand soak from airlines, so that's not it. There's a real air power challenger now to, so demoralization and lethargy shouldn't be the cause. And if OLD aircraft had been retired as the F-35A/B/C came into higher-rate production as was planned, then that would not be a problem to transition experienced pilots to STOVL F-35B also. Plus the jet was designed to be far easier to fly, it doesn't even need a two-up cockpit trainer.

Either way it's a problem that should not be present, and the conclusion about what to do about this fact of fewer pilots than anticipated makes little sense to me, even as a pragmatic response to the reality. Either the culture is the culprit (in part) and/or the software and systems lack sufficient simplicity and automation for pilots to assimilate it and retain proficiency without being burned-out by the combination. Self-motivated people should be coming out of the wood-work right now, mastering the aircraft and fitting into the USMC culture and career. That should not be happening, there's a big problem here if potential pilots are getting turned-off, it's not attractive to them, or they prefer to leave. This requires a lot of different people to identify the reasons why it isn't happening in high enough volume or retention, and make continuous improvements, as the internal process is not good enough to reform itself, if it can't make enough pilots for the most important tactical platform in service.

I don't believe for one second the F-35B is the basic problem or that flying less of them is the pragmatic and necessary solution.
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Unread post19 Apr 2021, 11:39

“I'd want to get to the bottom of why USMC is failing to transition or train pilots in sufficient numbers...”

Retention problem; the airlines were on an extended hiring binge.

The virus fixed his retention problem by killing the hiring binge.
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Unread post19 Apr 2021, 21:33

NOT USMC but USAF but things CHANGE and CHANGE AGAIN but and whatever:
The USAF’s Bad Bets on Pilot Retention Show It Needs Outside Help
19 Apr 2021 Brian Kruchkow & Tobias Switzer

"Service leaders think the same old tactics can reverse a pilot shortage in a resurging economy. Despite the pandemic, the Air Force is still short of pilots, thanks to low retention and strong airline hiring.... Its bet against prevailing macroeconomic trends shows that the Air Force has a brewing personnel issue so severe that outside intervention is now required....

...Unfortunately, the Air Force doesn’t have the negotiating leverage it thinks it does, for three reasons.

First, thanks to the financial lifelines Congress extended, the economy and passenger airlines survived 2020 and are poised to make a big comeback this year. The Federal Reserve updated its GDP growth predictions in March and now expects the U.S. economy to grow between 5 percent and 7.3 percent in 2021. With U.S. COVID-19 vaccine deployment accelerating, Americans are flying again and in higher numbers than expected, leaving airlines scrambling to keep up with the demand."

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2021/0 ... lp/173431/
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Unread post19 Apr 2021, 22:49

Just another reason drones will find a mission for about everything under the sun. It's pretty obvious our adversaries are exploiting that avenue in and around our bases today. Those UFOs around our forces look anything but from out of this world. We need our guys to have the best.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post21 Apr 2021, 15:39

quicksilver wrote:My bet is that having had some time to think about it, the service chief wouldn’t use a pilot shortage as justifying rationale for the alteration of a multi-billion dollar acquisition program (that the Congress has supported the service on thru thick and thin for a couple decades). To put it mildly, that’s not sound thinking. Pilot shortages are cyclic.


Binge, Purge, Binge, Purge

Its very difficult and the personnel problems go beyond pilots the last 15 years.

The Surge in the late 2000s saw an increase in the size of the armed forces to deal with the increase need in combat manpower in Iraq, then that was ""over" then there was the Afghan Surges and then we declared peace and purged, but then the world had other ideas. They were then giving bonuses for Infantry they had just purged out. The USMC got rid of all the Iraq Vet "Fallajuh crew" quick fast and in a hurry since things had been declared "peace time" and there's no room for that kind of fighting, tattoo-covered riff raff in this peacetime war organization.

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Unread post21 Apr 2021, 16:08

IF one substitutes EABO for the Woodpecker Call in Woody Woodpecker Song then one has a fun time with it perhaps?

Woody Woodpecker Song by Gloria Wood & Kay Kyser's Orchestra on 1948 Columbia 78.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc0Uytp0R3c MEANWHILE...
Marine Corps Ready to Conduct EABO Experiments with Allies in Indo-Pacific
20 Apr 2021

"After honing naval integration and then exercising in the Indo-Pacific with the joint force, the Marine Corps is ready to take its new island-hopping campaign concept to the next level by drilling with international allies and partners.

The Marine Corps last month wrapped up two sprawling exercises in the region focused on Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and plans to further test out the concept this summer with Australia during exercise Talisman Sabre....

...Last month, the Marine Corps – along with the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Space Command – participated in Spartan Fury and Castaway, exercises that took place across islands in Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan, respectively. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97) participated in the exercise from Hawaii. The drills focused on practicing Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations and simulating the future capabilities, platforms and formations the Marine Corps envisions using during a potential island campaign in the Pacific against a country like China.

Roach described Castaway and Spartan Fury as “a joint Marine Corps exercise that experimented how you would command and control and operate and sustain a distributed force in a maritime environment” across two islands in Okinawa and three islands in Hawaii....

...“The one thing that we didn’t do in both these exercises in Hawaii and Okinawa is we didn’t have our allies and partners integrated. What I hope to see in the future is more of that. I think we need to really get all our ducks in a row and a better understanding of how we would do that,” Roach said. “And I think in the past two years I’ve been in command, we’ve done that. So now what we want to try to do is open the aperture to bring in our allies and partners because they’re very excited about these concepts and I think also appreciate the need to operate this way in this current environment.”

During Castaway and Spartan Fury, the Marine Corps simulated elements of the Marine Littoral Regiment, [MLR] a new formation the service plans to begin standing up next fiscal year.

The MLR – and the EABO concept – are part of the Marine Corps’ overall force design, an initiative aimed at shedding heavier equipment the service used during land wars in the Middle East and shifting to lighter and more mobile capabilities Marines can use to move around expeditionary bases on islands in the Pacific as they work in conjunction with the Navy’s fleet. Officials have emphasized a need for this shift as the Pentagon recalculates its strategy away from ground wars in the Middle East and toward a fight in a maritime theater like the Pacific.

The Marine Corps recently unveiled its tentative manual for EABO, a document the service says will be iterative as the fleet performs experimentation and provides feedback...." [MUCH MORE at the JUMP]

Source: https://news.usni.org/2021/04/20/marine ... do-pacific
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quicksilver

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Unread post21 Apr 2021, 16:32

“Woody Woodpecker Song...”

:lmao: :applause:
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Unread post23 Apr 2021, 02:48

Awaiting the update to Force Design 2030, Should be soon.
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Unread post27 Apr 2021, 09:49

Update to Force design 2030 is out. No surprises. No confirmation of any changes to USMC F-35 program as well (still being studied).

https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Docs/ ... 9455504887
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Unread post15 May 2021, 09:36

Berger Says Supporting a Widely Distributed Maritime Force Will Be a Challenge
14 May 2021 John M. Doyle

"ARLINGTON, Va. — The biggest problem facing U.S. Navy and Marine Corps plans to deter great power competitors is how to supply a widely distributed maritime force in a contested environment, the commandant of the Marine Corps says.

With his Force Design 2030 plan, Gen. David Berger, seeks to reshape the Corps so it can operate and survive inside the area of operations of a peer competitor equipped with advanced manned and unmanned aerial systems and cruise missiles.

“For the first time in a generation, we have a strategic competitor and that is China,” Berger said May 12 at the McAleese Associates FY2022 Defense Programs Conference webinars. “I think our force must be lighter, must be more mobile, has to be more expeditionary. We’ve got to be able to operate from a variety of platforms.”

Marines will be trained and equipped as a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, prepared to operate inside actively contested maritime spaces in support of fleet operations. Berger’s plan calls for both force structure and operational changes, including dispersing smaller and highly mobile Marine expeditionary units — carried by smaller, cheaper and more numerous surface vessels.

“Of all the things we’re working on in the naval force, and narrowly within the Marine Corps, this is the hardest problem going forward: logistical sustainment in a distributed environment, in a contested environment,” said Berger, noting, “nobody has contested our supply lines in 70 years.”

He added that this was an area where industry could help. The planned light amphibious warship (LAW), designed to complement and fill a gap in capability between the Navy’s large, multi-purpose amphibious warships and shorter range landing craft, is “going to give us the organic mobility that we so desperately need in the littorals anywhere in the world,” the commandant said.

He emphasized the driving force behind LAW’s concept is mobility, not creating an offensive weapons platform. “Perhaps at some point it would make sense to integrate some type of naval strike missile on a light amphibious warship, that’s not the driver,” Berger said. “My focus is on the mobility of it.”

He noted with its shallow draft, lower heat signature and organic mobility allowing it to remain forward deployed, the LAW gives commanders “the ability to move the force around in a littoral environment.”

Unmanned systems in the air, and both on and beneath the sea will also play a “central, more prominent role” in the Marines, Berger said. “We’re doubling the inventory of our unmanned aerial squadrons,” he said.

Berger speculated that future platforms could be designed specifically for undersea warfare, carrying weapons systems, sonobuoys or sensor packages, and conventional amphibious ships with well decks might deploy unmanned surface vessels, possibly for a subsurface fight. “I think within a decade, half of our aviation, half of our logistics will be unmanned,” he added."

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/berger-say ... challenge/
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steve2267

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Unread post15 May 2021, 20:30

spazsinbad wrote:

Marines will be trained and equipped as a naval expeditionary force-in-readiness, prepared to operate inside actively contested maritime spaces in support of fleet operations. Berger’s plan calls for both force structure and operational changes, including dispersing smaller and highly mobile Marine expeditionary units — carried by smaller, cheaper and more numerous surface vessels.

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/berger-say ... challenge/


Gen Berger's plans may be doomed to failure, as I believe they include an inherent contradiction:

Cost, performance, schedule: pick two

To operate within a contested zone, agility -- nimbleness -- is essential. This, IMO, dictates speed, for surface craft. But high speed -- high performance -- implies great cost (or loooong schedule, and I don't think the good General's schedule permits this). So, to survive inside contested space one is going to need a whole lotta MV-22's (are there enough?), but also high speed surface connectors. And that may break his piggy bank.

Am interested in Xander's thoughts.
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 post15 May 2021, 21:38

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboo ... hip-178074

Fifteen knot surface conveyance...’inside a contested zone.’

Whaddaya think?

:whistle:
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steve2267

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Unread post16 May 2021, 17:19

quicksilver wrote:Fifteen knot surface conveyance...’inside a contested zone.’

Whaddaya think?


Frankly, I think I see a lot of dead Marines.

If you're only going to putter around the western Pacific at 15knots, might as well keep your tanks or some form of armor heavier than a LAV.

If the Corps is going to hop around islands and operate within the sphere of Chinese influence, they either are going to need a LOT of ships (lots of targets -- a shell game of sorts (bad analogy)), or many nimble / agile (i.e. FAST) boats, OR they need to move by air (MV-22 -- OR LARGER), OR they need a transport submarine. IMHO.
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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