NEWS FROM EWC: Marine Corps Defining New Operating Concept

By Connie Lee
Marines come ashore in an assault amphibious vehicle during an amphibious landing demonstration.

Photo: Defense Dept.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Marine Corps is experimenting with teams through December to determine how it will structure its new expeditionary advanced base operations, or EABO, concept, a service official said Oct. 22.

Thirteen integrated process teams are examining potential structures for the new operating concept, said Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, commanding general of Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the deputy commandant for combat development and integration.

“Is it 31 guys? Is it 52 Marines? Does it have four corpsman, two corpsmen, six communicators, five communicators?” he told reporters at the National Defense Industrial Association's annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Annapolis, Maryland. “What is it not?”

Initial recommendations are to be submitted to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger by the end of this month, he noted. The service will then continue to experiment with the EABO concept through outlets such as wargames.

“This is the first of a hundred decisions that the commandant will make,” he said.

Brig Gen. Stephen Liszewski, director of operations for the Marine Corps, said in May that the service also held an exercise with the I Marine Expeditionary Force and the 3rd Fleet to test the EABO concept.

The idea was outlined in Berger’s Planning Guidance document that was released over the summer, which put forth a vision of expeditionary bases that are able to be moved quickly and perform a variety of tasks.

"EABO is not a 'thing' — it is a category of operations," Berger said in the document. "Saying we will do EABO is akin to saying we will do amphibious operations, and as with amphibious operations, EABO can take many forms. ... EABO are designed to restore force resiliency and enable the persistent naval forward presence that has long been the hallmark of naval forces. Most significantly, EABO reverse the cost imposition that determined adversaries seek to impose on the joint force."

EABO bases could be made up of 40 Marines, or perhaps many more, Smith added. "It's all going to be threat dependent,” he said. However, it must be “very temporary."

These bases will be versatile enough to be used for multiple tasks, he noted. For instance, they could be employed for reconnaissance or forward-arming and refueling.

Meanwhile, the Navy and Marine Corps are on track to complete a naval integrated force structure assessment by the end of the year, Vice Adm. James Kilby, deputy chief of naval operations for warfighting requirements and capabilities, said during the panel discussion. The assessment is slated to examine which ships and future capabilities will be needed to prepare for future fights.

However, the Navy plans on keeping many of its current platforms, such as landing platform docks, as it transitions to the future force, Kilby noted.

“The things that have existed in the past will exist in the future,” he said. For instance, the Navy will “need big deck amphibs that carry the joint strike fighter because of the exquisite nature of that sensor.”


Topics: Marine Corps News

Comments (1)

Re: Expeditionary Warfare Conference News: Marine Corps Works to Define New Operating Concept

The number of U.S. Marines ostensibly depends on the mission the EABO is meant to achieve. Is it to fly F-35Bs? Is it to fly V-22s? Is it to land and launch HiMARS? Is it to setup Hypersonic or Anti-Ship Missile Erector Launchers?

I really like some of the AUSA 2019 prototypes, such as the FARA, FVL, and RCVs. I hope that some get produced and that the USMC could buy some, if they are saltwater proof.

Krashnovians at 11:41 AM
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