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andydtwnwa7
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Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:49 pm

Considering the current financial situation of the DoD and the US as a whole, is it necessary for the US Marine Corps to operate their own aviation component? With the large aviation components the USAF and USN operate already, could the missions of the USMC Aviation be folded into those two services?

I should preface by saying I am primarily looking at this from a financial stand point. While I understand leadership/cultures/missions between the branches can and should be considered in this debate, I want to avoid the typical "USAF beats USMC"/"USMC aviation is far superior" etc etc. I am not denying the capability, skill, and dedication of all involved in USMC Aviation; I am more so wondering if from a financial stand point, is it necessary or could the missions be folded into the other two services? (and would that even result in significant savings?)
 
GDB
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:19 pm

The more specialised parts yes, that is VSTOL off of LPH's and forward bases, the helicopter component too.
The seeming duplication with the USN for the F-18's seems more questionable.
I know there is a 'fast FAC' element in USMC Hornet operations but could that not be done with having some USMC crews in USN squadrons?

You could ask why the continuing upgrades to the UH-1 and AH-1's, rather than adapting UH-60 and AH-64's.
At the time, they would said that adapting would be costly and time consuming but given how the UH-1Y/AH-1Y have turned out in those terms?
 
BladeLWS
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:15 pm

Quoting andydtwnwa7 (Thread starter):

Considering the current financial situation of the DoD and the US as a whole, is it necessary for the US Marine Corps to operate their own aviation component? With the large aviation components the USAF and USN operate already, could the missions of the USMC Aviation be folded into those two services?

Inter-service cooperation is great and all but the Marines bread and butter is amphibious warfare, in which specialized aircraft, techniques, and knowledge on ground forces are needed. Hence why the Marines have VTOL aircraft, and a MEU can be directly supported by the attached Marine airwing. Same is an Army battalion being supported by it's air element.
 
L-188
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:08 am

The AH-64 is a bit too top heavy for shipboard operations, which is something we figured out during the development period. I know they have been used from ships but it isn't an optimum situation so I can understand why the marines chose to go with an improved cobra.

The UH-1Z on the other hand was a waste of money. It was originally envisioned as a rebuild program but I think they are just building new frames. The sad part is that most of the engineering for the Marines would have already been done for the CH-60. for those who dont know was the UH-60 modified for the COD role for the navy. It has the army fuselage with the SH wing tail and folding rotor set. It would have been a much more capable platform for the marines.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
neutronstar73
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:33 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 1):
You could ask why the continuing upgrades to the UH-1 and AH-1's, rather than adapting UH-60 and AH-64's.

AH-64 is too heavy for the Corps. It is a nice helicopter but too heavy and big. The Corps needs something a bit lighter.

But the UH-60 is another issue. While I do love anytime I got/get a ride in a UH-1Z, the '60 is a nice bird. I think we still use the Huey because of "some parts" commonality with the Cobra. But the other reason would likely be that Bell probably has a shipload of former Marines in their military and defense program department, and they have the Corps by the balls on that one.
 
Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 3:57 am

Are you implying the US Marines (a maritime army) doesnt need to be flying fighter jets (or stealth fighter jets)!!! Its not like the US has any other way to get those jets near some hot spot by water. And only a Marine can know what a marine on the ground needs when they call for support, not some lazy under trained lesser USAF or USN pilot for sure.

Remember back in the day when the guys on the ground were Army, they guys in the water was Navy, and the air stuff was Air Force? Now you get armies that have their own personal navy and air force. sweet!

A higher number on the debt clocks is how you win the game of world right?



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kc135topboom
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:09 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
Are you implying the US Marines (a maritime army) doesnt need to be flying fighter jets (or stealth fighter jets)!!! Its not like the US has any other way to get those jets near some hot spot by water. And only a Marine can know what a marine on the ground needs when they call for support, not some lazy under trained lesser USAF or USN pilot for sure.

Maybe you don't know the USAF has been supporting ground troops since WWII. In today's USAF, that is what the AC-130 and A-10 are all about, the CAS mission. The USAF can also call on F-15Es and F-16s if need be.

The USMC has, in the past demanded their air assets be withheld to only support Marines. That is a stupid waste of resources when engaged with enemy forces.

Yes, the Marines do need their helicopters, but are the really using the right ones? The CH-46E could be replaced with far fewer CH-47F/Gs. The CH-47F carries more than twice as many troops as the CH-46E (55 vs. 24), and more than 5X the cargo weight (28,000 lbs vs. 5,000 lbs). Fewer Chinooks than Sea Knights aboard ship. Even the USN retired the type in favor of the MH-60S.

Replacing the AH-1Z with a version of the AH-64D/E is the same. The Apache has twice the combat range the Viper has, and carries more than 50% more 30mm ammo than the Viper's 20mm. The Apache also carries more weapons than the Viper. So again fewer AH-64s are needed than AH-1s.

The Marines KC-130s are really not needed with the USAF having HC/MC-130s doing the air refueling job. and the KC-130J of the USMC is getting the Harvest Hawk (3 kits per squadron) to mimic the USAF AC-130H/J/U/W and MC-130W capability.

So, yes, the USAF and USN can pick up a large number of Marine aviation missions, and their aircraft absorbed into those services.

BTW, USAF and USN crews are far from "lazy under trained, and lesser quality". They both have far more combat experience than their Marine counterparts.

Yes, by all means, eliminate most of Marine aviation in these days of sequestration and budget cuts. It would save billions, and eliminate the need for the F-35B.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:33 pm

I have also thought the Marines to be a somewhat redundant branch. The other branches can already do most of what the Marines do...and if they can't do a particular thing they can be trained. However the USMC has so much traditions, pride, legacy and lobbying that I don't see it likely they will be going anywhere.
 
GDB
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Tue Sep 24, 2013 5:06 am

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 4):
AH-64 is too heavy for the Corps. It is a nice helicopter but too heavy and big. The Corps needs something a bit lighter.

The UK has used, operationally in the case of Libya, it's WAH-64D's off the LPH HMS Ocean.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:39 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The USMC has, in the past demanded their air assets be withheld to only support Marines. That is a stupid waste of resources when engaged with enemy forces.

The problem is that the Marines as an institution remembers how in the past, USN and USAF air assets were pulled away from them leaving them without air cover. There is no guarantee that this will never happen again in the future, and often, their air assets are located closer to the front meaning quicker response times.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Yes, the Marines do need their helicopters, but are the really using the right ones? The CH-46E could be replaced with far fewer CH-47F/Gs. The CH-47F carries more than twice as many troops as the CH-46E (55 vs. 24), and more than 5X the cargo weight (28,000 lbs vs. 5,000 lbs). Fewer Chinooks than Sea Knights aboard ship. Even the USN retired the type in favor of the MH-60S.

Chinooks are not very well suited to being based in a sea-based environment. Firstly, the CH-47 doesn't have a blade self-folding capability, but the blades can be de-linked at the lead/lag damper and swung into an "administratively stowed" position resting on specially constructed blade stands over the central fuselage so that the blades fit entirely within the foot print of the Chinook. This capability was developed by Boeing but is not a standard procedure and is not currently used by any CH-47 operators.

CH-47 engines and other driveline components on the upper fuselage were not specifically treated for fresh or salt-water exposure and so fresh water rinsing would be required. The Chinook has not, and never has been fully marinized, and this is not an inconsequential task. Even fully marinized helos such as the Sea King (which are built in the factory with special paints coating construction techniques which limit the damage a humid and salty environment will have on an aircraft) still require an awesome amount of attention at sea to prevent corrosion or avionics problems. With fresh water sometimes at a premium onboard ships, and the large size of the CH-47, this won't always be possible.

Also, CH-47's are extremely big, meaning, if you have Chinook's as part of your air wing, you are sacrificing something else. In addition, many LPD's and LHD's don't have the hangar space to handle a helicopter the size of the CH-47.

In addition, there are some considerations that a helicopter designed from the onset to be operated at sea that a land-based helicopter, such as the CH-47 won't take into consideration, such as INS systems not working right on a pitching deck.

Anecdotal evidence from the UK and US military has suggested to me that they were not all that happy with the results of operating Chinooks from ships, because they were not designed to be operated in that environment.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Replacing the AH-1Z with a version of the AH-64D/E is the same. The Apache has twice the combat range the Viper has, and carries more than 50% more 30mm ammo than the Viper's 20mm. The Apache also carries more weapons than the Viper. So again fewer AH-64s are needed than AH-1s.

AH-1Z's require less maintenance than the AH-64, and of course, they are fully marinized.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):

The Marines KC-130s are really not needed with the USAF having HC/MC-130s doing the air refueling job. and the KC-130J of the USMC is getting the Harvest Hawk (3 kits per squadron) to mimic the USAF AC-130H/J/U/W and MC-130W capability.

Ah, but the US Marine KC-130 fleet comprises 45% of DoD rotary wing aerial refuelers. Not only does it provide aerial refueling, it also provides ground refueling, assault air transport of air-landed or air-delivered personnel, supplies, and equipment; command-and-control augmentation; pathfinder and battlefield illumination; tactical aeromedical evacuation; and search and rescue support.
 
PhilBy
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:08 pm

Quoting andydtwnwa7 (Thread starter):
I am more so wondering if from a financial stand point, is it necessary or could the missions be folded into the other two services? (and would that even result in significant savings?)



Fiscally no, operationally yes.

Modern organisational theory would suggest use of a transverse organisational structure i.e all land force in the army and anything that flies (including naval aviation) in the USAF with deployment of land, naval assets, aviation assets and support staff within groups as necesary and operational control at a group level. This would mean that the USAF would then have branches for Naval aviation, transport, air superiority, close air support etc. The saving would be that, for example, aviation assets could be more easily redeployed within the structure as needed, or an F18 mechanic could be deployed to whichever service had need . However transitioning such a large organisation would be difficult without political interference.

Any half-way solution that left the USMC relying on other services for essential support, historically, significantly lowers the effectiveness of the service (assets unavailable, disputes over whose budget pays etc).

In reality the political interference would probably cost far in excess of any savings gained even if it allowed such a restructuring.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:19 pm

Quoting PhilBy (Reply 10):
Fiscally no, operationally yes.

Very true.

One critical component of the force structure and operations command is having experienced aviators as senior Marines in HQ, in planning for operations, etc.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
Are you implying the US Marines (a maritime army) doesnt need to be flying fighter jets (or stealth fighter jets)!!! Its not like the US has any other way to get those jets near some hot spot by water. And only a Marine can know what a marine on the ground needs when they call for support, not some lazy under trained lesser USAF or USN pilot for sure.

USMC fighter/bomber assets has ALWAYS been supplemental USN fighter/bomber assets. Yes, the USMC does focus their pilots on the close air support role, however, the USMC squadrons are designed to be added to Carrier Air Wings.

Removal of the USMC F-18 squadrons would result in no cost savings, and likely increased costs as the USN F-18 squadrons would need to be increased on a one for one basis as the USMC squadrons are decommissioned.

Removal of the USMC transport squadrons (C-130, C-9, C-12, C-20G, UC-35) would only result in having to increase USN or USAF transport squadrons on a one for one aircraft basis as replacements. No financial savings.

All the other USMC aircraft are specialized mission aircraft, and better suited to be operated by Marines.

(One proposal I liked back in the early 1990s when the USAF said it was getting rid of the A-10 squadrons - was to give them to the Marines.)

One last point - and I say this as a retireed 20 year US Navy Senior Chief - the US Marine Corps has been able to do more with less money than any other service. They fly their aircraft at a cheaper per flight hour cost than the USN or USAF, they do better financially with their support budgets, etc.

If the objective is to save money on the operation of US military aircraft assets - giving all the USAF and USN aircraft and US Army helos/ fixed wing aircraft to the US Marine Corps would be the best financial result.
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Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:43 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Maybe you don't know the USAF has been supporting ground troops since WWII. In today's USAF, that is what the AC-130 and A-10 are all about, the CAS mission. The USAF can also call on F-15Es and F-16s if need be.

I was being heavily sarcastic. Every time someone suggests that the USMC doesnt need its own navy and airforce... stuff hits the fan around here! Want some fun on a friday night, suggest that the USMC should be just a division of the Army attached to to the USN!


There are assets the USMC should have control of, like attack helicopters... which really are just flying tanks. The USN and USAF can take care of the ships and fighter jets. It really is stupid and counter productive to have your branches of military run separate and in cases in competition with each other.

The USMC is a 4th branch of military, which should only be a part of one of the others. Not only is it a 4th, but it is practically completely independant. Realistically, there is very little the USMC couldnt pull off on their own unsupported. They have infantry, armor, naval assets, and air force, transports... the USMC alone could deal with just about anything that has popped up in recent years.

The USMC is a very proud and accomplished force, but even suggesting it has exceeded its intended scope and perhaps needs to be scaled back evokes strong emotions. No one wants to be 'that guy' who stands up and starts ordering assets away from the USMC.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:00 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 12):
There are assets the USMC should have control of, like attack helicopters... which really are just flying tanks. The USN and USAF can take care of the ships and fighter jets.

The problem is the institutional memory of being abandoned by the USN during WWII during Guadalcanal and at Wake Island, and quite frankly, they haven't forgotten or forgiven. Even if they weren't actually abandoned, many in the Marines felt that they were abandoned by the branches that were supposed to be supporting and protecting them, and it wasn't until they brought their own assets in to protect them against enemy air and sea attacks. As a result, they want control over every asset that supports them.
 
PhilBy
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:21 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 12):
The USMC is a 4th branch of military, which should only be a part of one of the others. Not only is it a 4th, but it is practically completely independant. Realistically, there is very little the USMC couldnt pull off on their own unsupported. They have infantry, armor, naval assets, and air force, transports... the USMC alone could deal with just about anything that has popped up in recent years.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
As a result, they want control over every asset that supports them.

Perhaps the proposal should be to include the USN, USAF etc under the USMC and streamline the organisation.   
 
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par13del
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:29 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
Remember back in the day when the guys on the ground were Army, they guys in the water was Navy, and the air stuff was Air Force? Now you get armies that have their own personal navy and air force. sweet!

Oh for the days when there the Army Air Corp, what the heck was the Air Force  
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The USMC has, in the past demanded their air assets be withheld to only support Marines. That is a stupid waste of resources when engaged with enemy forces.

Probably because in their history the assets that the Army Air Corp and the Navy assigned to them when there were engaged in combat were removed?????

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 7):
I have also thought the Marines to be a somewhat redundant branch. The other branches can already do most of what the Marines do...and if they can't do a particular thing they can be trained.

Absolutely, the Army already have Rangers, Airborne, regular Army, no reason why they can have divisions especially centered on assault by sea.....Is the numbers of the Marine Corp not similar to a couple of Army divisions??

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 11):

Removal of the USMC F-18 squadrons would result in no cost savings, and likely increased costs as the USN F-18 squadrons would need to be increased on a one for one basis as the USMC squadrons are decommissioned.

Removal of the USMC transport squadrons (C-130, C-9, C-12, C-20G, UC-35) would only result in having to increase USN or USAF transport squadrons on a one for one aircraft basis as replacements. No financial savings.

You miss the point of the cost savings, if the squadrons are removed from the Marine Corp they will be removed totally, no need to be replaced, thus the cost savings. The Marines when engaged would be just like any other Army division, take a number and wait for the Air Force to determine the priorities then respond  
 
BladeLWS
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:01 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):
You miss the point of the cost savings, if the squadrons are removed from the Marine Corp they will be removed totally, no need to be replaced, thus the cost savings. The Marines when engaged would be just like any other Army division, take a number and wait for the Air Force to determine the priorities then respond

I'm sorry to say but you are incorrect. The squadrons are a part of the carrier airwings and USMC force structure. If you remove those the Navy will have to assume those duties with the same number of aircraft to replace them. There is no "cost savings" here.

First, The Marines are, from the beginning, designed as a rapid deployment expeditionary force that uses power projection from the sea. By that I mean they are a complete self contained fighting unit under the Department of the Navy. For that purpose they need to use specialized aircraft (such as the V-22 and F-35) and vehicles (AAVPs, LCACs, etc) to project power inland to support ground forces. You can't have a carrier near every hotzone at once, and you can't always overfly any country you want with the air force. When you want to use the assets available they need to be with you on your ship, and since 70% of the planet is covered the water you can get to most places quickly.

Second, there is no Army unit that can do power projection from the sea, there is no Army unit with it's own self contained rapid deployment forces on constant deployment. The Army has not done amphibious landings or training for it since WW2. The Army has no ability to move itself without having roads to drive on. Are the forces similar in that they both fight on the ground? Yes. Can the Army move with the speed of the Marines and have all it's available assets to bear within a few hours notice? No.

Third, you don't always need to send in an Army division, or a squadron of B-1B's to every conflict. For instance Operation Sharp Edge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sharp_Edge This was an US diplomatic evacuation from Liberia. To cut to the punch one MEU with went ashore by helo, dropped in, while supported by its own air assets evacuated all the civvies, and pulled out. In total around 2,500 civilians were evacuated. They Army couldn't get there and the Air Force couldn't do anything either.

The ability for the Marines commence operations themselves without waiting on others is a substantial feather in the presidents hat.

Oh, and the USMC? A little more than a couple of Army size divisions. Try about 200,000 active Marines, and they are not a separate branch of the military, even though many think it is. The Marines are under the Department of the Navy, hence why they have no civilian secretary and no Chief of Staff.

Some more background on MEUs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Expeditionary_Unit

On the issue with the Marines and CAS by the Air Force and such they love it, but if you're operating off the coast of southern Africa you won't get A-10's there very fast.  
 
rfields5421
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:52 am

Quoting par13del (Reply 15):
You miss the point of the cost savings, if the squadrons are removed from the Marine Corp they will be removed totally,

Those squadrons exist as part of a total force structure.

(These numbers may not be completely current - but are representative)

The USMC operates four EA-6B EW squadrons - approx 20 aircraft due to be replaced by F/A-18G aircraft.

The USMC operates nine F/A-18 Fighter Attack squadrons - approx 102 aircraft

The USMC operates four F/A-18D (two seater) All Weather Attack squadrons - approx 48 aircraft

The USMC operates two F/A-18 training squadrons - approx 24 aircraft

Those approx 249 aircraft are part of the US Navy Total Force structure.

Removing the 249 aircraft from the total force means removing at least two aircraft carriers from the fleet because they will have no aircraft.

As far as the USAF, the USMC transport aircraft are part of the Total Force airlift requirement. Though operated by the USMC, they can be tasked to carry cargos for other services if needed.

The USAF, USN and USMC together have a need for about 600 C-130 aircraft . If you remove the approx 75 C-130s flown by the USMC from the total inventory - you reduce the total force airlift capacity by that much. The USAF does NOT have the airlift capacity in other aircraft to replace that much cargo capability.

Your premise that the aircraft could be eliminated is an approx 12.5% decrease in C-130 capability for the US military, and an approx 20% decrease in US Navy Electronic Warfare capability, and an approx 19% decrease in US Navy attack aircraft capability.

The aircraft are necesssary for today's slimmed down US military with current mission requirements. The only thing removing them from USMC operation is that they would be repainted in USAF or USN colors.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:58 am

You also have to ask why the Marine's operate MBT's when the US Army also operate them. A lot of money wasted due to duplication in the Marines of other services abilities.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:38 am

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 18):
You also have to ask why the Marine's operate MBT's when the US Army also operate them. A lot of money wasted due to duplication in the Marines of other services abilities.

Because the Marines are a self-contained fighting unit designed to fight a conventional opponent on the first day of battle that can be rapidly deployed anywhere around the world where there's an ocean. They won't wait for the Army to show up with their tanks after the Marines have landed and captured a beachhead, they have the ability to continue the fight on their own.
 
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par13del
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:34 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 16):
I'm sorry to say but you are incorrect. The squadrons are a part of the carrier airwings and USMC force structure. If you remove those the Navy will have to assume those duties with the same number of aircraft to replace them. There is no "cost savings" here.
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 17):
Those squadrons exist as part of a total force structure.

We all know this, I still think you guys are missing the point where the bean counters are going, don't you think they also know all these things that you are talking about and everyone can go read about in numerous public and private documents, heck they have much more inside knowledge.
If they remove the air wing from the Marines it will ultimately be done away with, that is the ultimate cost savings they are shooting for.
When the Navy was having recruitment and retenton problems with their pilots they devised a new battle plan which called for more Marine squadrons to be deployed on the carriers for longer periods to make up the numbers, indeed today carriers quite likely do not deploy with a full complement of a/c because of cost and human resources, when the Air Force needed more money to be able to afford their F-22's they retired the F-117 early and looked at the A-10, now they need more money to fund the F-35 they will retire the KC-10, A-10 and whatever else they can get their hands on.
Bean counters are now running the show, the old guard of logic is not running the show.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:04 pm

The bean counters have been running the show since Robert McNamara was SecDef. The worst bean counter ever was Donald Rumsfeld.

Yes, the bean counters may decide on a total force reduction and then squadrons would be decommissioned.

But cutting squadrons has nothing to do with whether or not USMC aviation is cost inefficient due to "duplication".

In the simplest terms possible - USMC aviation is not duplication of USAF or USN capability.

And as I mentioned above, the USMC is able to get more flight hours with less money than either the Air Force or Navy. If the bean counters truly rule, all aircraft should go to the Corps.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
sovietjet
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:55 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 17):
Removing the 249 aircraft from the total force means removing at least two aircraft carriers from the fleet because they will have no aircraft.

That is not exactly true. Here's how the squadrons are assigned:

CVW-1: VMFA-251 - 12 F/A-18C
CVW-2: No USMC squadron assigned
CVW-3: VMFA-312 - 16 F/A-18C
CVW-5: No USMC squadron assigned
CVW-7: No USMC squadron assigned
CVW-8: No USMC squadron assigned
CVW-9: No USMC squadron assigned
CVW-11: VMFA-323 - 14 F/A-18C
CVW-14: No USMC squadron AND no carrier assigned
CVW-17: No USMC squadron assigned

So you see, you don't in fact need to shut down two carriers. Three carriers (two of which are not even deployed right now) will lose a total of 42 old Hornets. The other aircraft can easily pick up whatever the Marines were doing.

Even if every aircraft carrier did have a USMC squadron assigned, that's still 10 and not 19 squadrons like you said. Basically, every carrier would lose one squadron of USMC F/A-18s which IMHO is an acceptable loss.

Then again, 10 carriers is way more than what is needed anyway. But that is a whole different argument....

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
Because the Marines are a self-contained fighting unit designed to fight a conventional opponent on the first day of battle that can be rapidly deployed anywhere around the world where there's an ocean.

I understand their mission and capability but if the ocean is the key then how is it any different if a USMC or a USN ship goes there? Surely the Marines don't have ultra fast ships that can cross the ocean faster than their USN counterparts.

Another thing, if the F/A-18s are so necessary to support the USMC operations, how exactly will they use them if they need a carrier? The whole argument is that the USMC gets there first and does the job before anyone else. If the USN needs to be there as well to provide a carrier for the F/A-18s that argument is irrelevant. Now you have a whole air wing there.
 
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par13del
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:04 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 21):
In the simplest terms possible - USMC aviation is not duplication of USAF or USN capability.

Totally agree, preaching to the choir here  
Quoting sovietjet (Reply 22):
Another thing, if the F/A-18s are so necessary to support the USMC operations, how exactly will they use them if they need a carrier?

Now you understand why the Marines are so gung ho to get the VSTOL capability across their entire fleet of attack a/c, they will be retiring their F-18's as fast as they can, and since the Navy is now getting Growlers, the Marines can easily transition those A6 pilots into the rest of their fleet if they give up on the ECM capability.

Yes the Navy still has to provide the ships for the F-35's, but getting an America Class helicopter carrier deployed is much simplier than a CVN, or in other words, the CVN is much more important and if the Marines are not using them, they bear much less of the burden when the cost for deployment go north.
 
INFINITI329
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:24 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 5):
And only a Marine can know what a marine on the ground needs when they call for support, not some lazy under trained lesser USAF or USN pilot for sure.

To say a USAF/USN pilot is a lesser pilot than a Marine is prosperous For your information at one point or another that same Marine pilot either was trained either USAF or USN as those are the two services that run the military's program to tecah people how to fly. As a grunt on the ground I dont give a flying ***** on whose the one dropping that JDAM, as long it hits the traget and kills the enemy allowing me to charlie mike (continue mission)....
 
kingairta
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:56 pm

Getting rid of duplication in air assests only moves the operational money from one pot to another. There would be no real savings. The USN tried letting the USAF handle the air logistics needs. That experiment was an utter failure. That is why the USN and USMC are able to continue to operate C-130s and C-40s under their own scheduling. All other logistics aircraft are tasked by the USAF. So essentially those C-9s C-26s Etc etc are already air force assets.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:25 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 12):
There are assets the USMC should have control of, like attack helicopters... which really are just flying tanks.

Then how would you describe an A-10?   

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 16):
since 70% of the planet is covered the water you can get to most places quickly

What an abuse of statistics!

The percentage of the world's land mass within an Osprey's mission radius would be a better statistic.

Of course this is one reason why the USMC gave up their left testicle to get the Osprey...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
BladeLWS
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 9:51 pm

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 22):
I understand their mission and capability but if the ocean is the key then how is it any different if a USMC or a USN ship goes there? Surely the Marines don't have ultra fast ships that can cross the ocean faster than their USN counterparts.

For one all the ships are Navy, run by the Navy, owned by the Navy, paid for by the Navy. The Marines just get to ride them.

Along with the 11 Carrier Strike Groups, there are 12 Expeditionary Strike Groups.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expeditionary_strike_group

The expeditionary strike group is designed to operate on its own without support from other elements, the same as a carrier strike group.

The difference comes into play where as a carrier can project air power inland over great distances to support ground forces etc. A expeditionary strike group can operate on its own with it's attached Marine Air Ground Task Force. No need to have 90 aircraft from a super carrier when you only need a half a dozen F-35's and helos.

Now as to why the Marine's fly other jets, such as the F-18, and in past A-4's and F-4's off of carriers. The reason is two fold.
1) Harriers don't have the legs to fly in from the sea to Afghanistan every day, and each LHA only carries 6 of them, waste of assets there.
2) They specialize in air to ground CAS. Pilots in the Marines have been first and foremost, trained as ground combat infantryman. Can the Navy or Air Force pilots do the same job? Yes, but when you're talking on the radio to a pilot from the ground things look different from both angles, and having a pilot that knows what you're seeing and talking about on the ground can mean the difference when the SHTF, especially if you don't have a JTAC assigned.

Bare in mind as people have said before, if you take away USMC fixed wing aviation it will actually cost MORE money, as other squadrons will have the fill the gap, more training for specialized CAS, watching the Navy learn how to fly VTOL... etc

Quoting kingairta (Reply 25):

Getting rid of duplication in air assests only moves the operational money from one pot to another. There would be no real savings. The USN tried letting the USAF handle the air logistics needs. That experiment was an utter failure. That is why the USN and USMC are able to continue to operate C-130s and C-40s under their own scheduling. All other logistics aircraft are tasked by the USAF. So essentially those C-9s C-26s Etc etc are already air force assets.

This x infinity
 
sovietjet
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:06 pm

Quoting kingairta (Reply 25):
Getting rid of duplication in air assests only moves the operational money from one pot to another. There would be no real savings.

There would be if you just got rid of the Marines. And most of their aircraft. Not just transfer to the Navy but eliminate altogether. Give the Ospreys to the USAF and get rid of the rest. I know everyone will rise up against that and start saying how "crucial" and "absolutely needed" all of these things are but in the grand scheme of things all the many cuts in the past 25 years were fiercely argued as "absolutely necessary" before they were cut. From whole fleets (F-117, F-111, F-14, SR-71, etc...) to the tens of airbases closed. I'm sure if this forum existed during the BRACs of the 1990s there would be a storm of comments on here about how everything being cut would cripple the military. And yet, here we are in 2013 and it isn't. I strongly believe if the USMC disappears the other branches can handle the tasks with the equipment on hand and what little capability is lost is not at all crucial. Nice to have, maybe. Everyone wants to have everything. But not needed as much as people say.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:21 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):The USMC has, in the past demanded their air assets be withheld to only support Marines. That is a stupid waste of resources when engaged with enemy forces.
The problem is that the Marines as an institution remembers how in the past, USN and USAF air assets were pulled away from them leaving them without air cover. There is no guarantee that this will never happen again in the future, and often, their air assets are located closer to the front meaning quicker response times.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
Firstly, the CH-47 doesn't have a blade self-folding capability, but the blades can be de-linked at the lead/lag damper and swung into an "administratively stowed" position resting on specially constructed blade stands over the central fuselage so that the blades fit entirely within the foot print of the Chinook.

All of that can be designed into a new variant of the CH-47. Or better yet, the Marines are about to get the CH-53K, which will operate in the marine environment

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
AH-1Z's require less maintenance than the AH-64, and of course, they are fully marinized.

The Viper is a much newer airframe, and the Apache already operates from Naval Warships.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
The problem is that the Marines as an institution remembers how in the past, USN and USAF air assets were pulled away from them leaving them without air cover.
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
The problem is the institutional memory of being abandoned by the USN during WWII during Guadalcanal and at Wake Island, and quite frankly, they haven't forgotten or forgiven. Even if they weren't actually abandoned, many in the Marines felt that they were abandoned by the branches that were supposed to be supporting and protecting them, and it wasn't until they brought their own assets in to protect them against enemy air and sea attacks. As a result, they want control over every asset that supports them.

That is a myth. The Marines were never abandoned on Guadalcanal. More USN Sailors were killed defending the Marines in the waters around Guadlecanal and Savo Island then Marines killed on GC. Iron Bottom Sound is littered with wrecked USN and IJN warships. The "Cactus Air Force" was made of USMC, USAAC, and USN aircraft and crews. It was USAAC P-38s flying from Henderson Field that shot down and killed IJN Combined Fleet Commander Admiral Yammamoto.

Wake Island was by-passed by orders from the JCS, with USMC approval. The initial rescue mission by the USN was recalled in December 1941 by Admiral Kemmel, before he was replaced by Admiral Nimitz.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 9):
their air assets are located closer to the front meaning quicker response times.

No sir. Marine Aviation is either aboard ship, or at an Air Base with other air assets. They are no closer, nor further away than anyone else.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 12):
The USMC is a 4th branch of military, which should only be a part of one of the others. Not only is it a 4th, but it is practically completely independant.

Actually, it is not a separate branch of the US Military Forces. The Marines are, and always have been a branch within the USN. Their budget is put into the Navy budget for the Marines. The US Marines are some of the finest combat forces on the planet. But they are just one cog in the US Military wheel. They are not "independent", they rely on the Navy for most of their global transport, and rely on the Air Force for the rest. The Marines have no medical corp of their own. Marine platoons have Navy Medics assigned.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:13 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
The Marines have no medical corp of their own. Marine platoons have Navy Medics assigned.

Their doctors and dentists are also US Navy. Though their dentists get emergency medical training. Which came in very handy 30 years ago in Beirut when some of the injured we pulled out of the rubble of the BLT need urgent immediate medical care - and the only doctors ashore had been killed.

The USMC also does not have Chaplains - again provided by the Navy.

In Beirut - the military radio communications for 24MAU were provided by a team from NAVCOMSTA Rota - led by a RMC.

Though the USMC does have their own lawyers.
Not all who wander are lost.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:18 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
All of that can be designed into a new variant of the CH-47

Not a easy undertaking. It would entail a unique variant of the engines that needs development, a redesigned fuselage for the CH-47, and new rotor and rotor blade design. A significant developmental project.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
Or better yet, the Marines are about to get the CH-53K, which will operate in the marine environment

Not many are planned for; just around 200 CH-53K's. Also, they are a very big helicopter, and the amphibs don't operate many CH-53E's in the first place. They serve a niche role in the Marine Corps as a heavy lift helicopter.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
The Viper is a much newer airframe, and the Apache already operates from Naval Warships.

The Apache's can operate from a naval ship, but it is not optimized for operations off ships. The same issues that a CH-47 faces when operating from a ship applies; lack of mechanically powered rotor folding system, engines that need to be redesigned for fresh and salt water exposure, and specialized treatments and alloys to resist corrosion. As evidenced by the ongoing issues surrounding the navalization of the CH-148, this is a major undertaking.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 29):
That is a myth. The Marines were never abandoned on Guadalcanal. More USN Sailors were killed defending the Marines in the waters around Guadlecanal and Savo Island then Marines killed on GC. Iron Bottom Sound is littered with wrecked USN and IJN warships. The "Cactus Air Force" was made of USMC, USAAC, and USN aircraft and crews. It was USAAC P-38s flying from Henderson Field that shot down and killed IJN Combined Fleet Commander Admiral Yammamoto.

Wake Island was by-passed by orders from the JCS, with USMC approval. The initial rescue mission by the USN was recalled in December 1941 by Admiral Kemmel, before he was replaced by Admiral Nimitz.

I didn't say they were actually abandoned; I said that the Marines felt, rightly or wrongly, to be abandoned during Guadalcanal and Wake Island.

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 27):
They specialize in air to ground CAS. Pilots in the Marines have been first and foremost, trained as ground combat infantryman. Can the Navy or Air Force pilots do the same job? Yes, but when you're talking on the radio to a pilot from the ground things look different from both angles, and having a pilot that knows what you're seeing and talking about on the ground can mean the difference when the SHTF, especially if you don't have a JTAC assigned.

This is the most critical thing. The USMC air to ground integration is at a much lower command level than what the Army or Air Force operates at. When the US Army integrates with Air Force assets, it typically is at the theater or corps level, with a general commanding, while at the division level it will integrate with Army aviation, which can be organized as organic at the battalion level. The USMC integrates their air and ground assets together at the battalion level, with one commander, usually a colonel, controlling air, ground, helicopter, artillery, and logistics assets in one Marine Expeditionary Unit.

By closely integrating air and ground assets into a single force under the Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept, the USMC has all of the assets it needs to sustain itself for quick mission accomplishment or to pave the way for any follow-up forces, meaning that the USMC can initiate operations quicker without having to wait for other supporting forces to catch up or allocate resources to them. In short, the USMC can start and lead missions quicker than what the US Army and USAF can accomplish, and do so at a lower level of command.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:42 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 19):
They won't wait for the Army to show up with their tanks after the Marines have landed and captured a beachhead, they have the ability to continue the fight on their own.

Attach Army armour to the Marine landing force and there you go, it's not a problem that can't be solved. BTW it's been decades since the Marines faced an opposed landing and needed to capture a beachhead, the likelyhood that they will ever need to is probably zip as well.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:08 am

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 32):
Attach Army armour to the Marine landing force and there you go, it's not a problem that can't be solved.

So the Army units will now have to be trained in amphibious landings, co-located with USMC units and more units will have to be created, which eliminates any costs savings attempts in the first place. And besides, the USMC armour shares the same supply chain as the US Army in the first place. Where is your cost savings?

And it should be noted that on a per soldier basis, the cost per Marine is $20,000 less than the cost of a serviceman from the other services, and the Marines are capable of major combat operations, peacekeeping, and humanitarian aid at a moment's notice. Compared to the US Army, the Marines are a bargain and they do more with less.
 
checksixx
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:45 am

F-35B should never have happened...they should have killed it. It should have been the A and C and the Marines operated the C off Navy carriers. Anyone tell me one specific time the Marines used the vertical landing/takeoff in the field in recent times?? Of course this is my opinion and feel free to disagree.
 
Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:19 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 33):
Compared to the US Army, the Marines are a bargain and they do more with less.

Okay, convert the army to whatever the marines are doing right and call it the Army.

The Marines definitely have skills and abilities to offer, but they dont need to be an independent force. They can operate as a branch of the Army like the Rangers do.
 
neutronstar73
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:31 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 35):
Okay, convert the army to whatever the marines are doing right and call it the Army.

The Marines definitely have skills and abilities to offer, but they dont need to be an independent force. They can operate as a branch of the Army like the Rangers do.

This line of thought is based on the presumption that the ARMY wants to do that. Indications are that the Army is in no hurry to learn those tasks. Just ask them; they would rather leave that part to the Marines and Navy and for the Army to concentrate on its core tasks.

All this talk of "USMC is redundant" always rears its head during budget time. SSDD.

Or SSDY.
 
bigjku
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 6:41 pm

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 18):
You also have to ask why the Marine's operate MBT's when the US Army also operate them. A lot of money wasted due to duplication in the Marines of other services abilities.
Quoting kiwirob (Reply 32):
Attach Army armour to the Marine landing force and there you go, it's not a problem that can't be solved. BTW it's been decades since the Marines faced an opposed landing and needed to capture a beachhead, the likelyhood that they will ever need to is probably zip as well.

The fact of the matter is closing down the Marine Corps would likely not save the US DOD very much money at all in the end. The Marines are sufficiently large enough that they would be a military unto themselves in many nations. It is not like the Fleet Air Arm operating a handful of Harriers that are different from the Harriers the RAF uses. There are some marginal cost savings that could be recognized by doing this but there are not huge efficiency savings to be had just by getting rid of Marine armor.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 35):

The Marines definitely have skills and abilities to offer, but they dont need to be an independent force. They can operate as a branch of the Army like the Rangers do.

I guess I just don't see the objective here. You won't save that much money. If the Marines were the size of say a single division or a regiment then yes. But this is a very different discussion than it would be to get rid of say the Royal Marine in the UK or something.

If the Marines were using a lot of high end and expensive kit that had R&D cost of its own when the Army already had something similar that would be one thing. But for the most part they are not. There are the odds and ends like uniform differences or different body armor or carrying rifles instead of carbines. But those things are bought on such a scale it makes no real accounting difference in the end. The reason to keep the Marines distinct is to protect their core mission as you don't want the Army in a position where it could trade away a new amphibious assault vehicle for more tanks. Essentially the US government has decided that the core USMC missions are important enough to need protecting and that the best way to protect them is to keep them distinct from the Army.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:51 pm

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 36):
This line of thought is based on the presumption that the ARMY wants to do that. Indications are that the Army is in no hurry to learn those tasks. Just ask them; they would rather leave that part to the Marines and Navy and for the Army to concentrate on its core tasks.

Also consider that the USMC as a whole only takes up 6% of the entire US defence budget. If you are looking for big and significant savings from eliminating the Marines, this is not the easy low hanging fruit.

In addition, the USMC does a better job managing their budget as well; a GAO report in 2011 shows that of the 4 services, the USMC has the lowest number of Antideficiency Act violations over a period of 4 years, and the lowest cost of violations:
http://www.gao.gov/assets/590/585352.html

In fact, if you want significant savings, it is better off going after the US Army, not the Marines.
 
Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:37 am

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 36):
This line of thought is based on the presumption that the ARMY wants to do that.

That is assuming the Army gets a choice. Seems all this competition between the branches is getting costly. That is a big part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. There was ALOT of resistance from the individual branches, it even led to the firing of the head of the RCN and the forced retirement of a lot of senior command staff. Its silly that the USMC wants its own air and naval assets because it can't trust the USAF or USN for support... it should all be integrated and commanded from a common structure, not 4 separate command structures doing what they think is right.


5% of the US defense budget is around $30B a year... not really an insignificant number. If you take the best aspects of the USMC, apply it to the Army, then eliminate duplicate assets or asset/abilities that can be done with other systems, even if you save just 2.5%... that is $15B without losing significant abilities.

Quoting NeutronStar73 (Reply 36):
All this talk of "USMC is redundant" always rears its head during budget time.

Which is about the time people realize that there is less money available. Its like running out of money before your paycheck... you spend and spend after pay day, more than you can afford and then run out. Problem is in this case, you dont run out, you run debts. When your spending is counted in the hundreds of Billions and debt in the Trillions... something has to give, and it is probably not stuff you want to give up. You have to choose what you can live without. A fully independant USMC being absorbed by other services will not be the end of US military power.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:07 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 39):
There was ALOT of resistance from the individual branches, it even led to the firing of the head of the RCN and the forced retirement of a lot of senior command staff.

And with good reason. Unification was and always will be, a disaster.

Unification subscribed to the worst of the 1950's "efficiency" thinking, as well as swallowing whole some of the snake-oil McNamara and his "whizz kids" were peddling in the US.

What we badly needed was jointness: what we got was an aimless mess, with the same number of rats fighting over an even smaller block of cheese. The people who perpetrated Unification had very little understanding of the nature of a professional military force, or of the realities of operations (or, if they did, they were only too willing to ignore it and jump on the bandwagon).

What Hellyer did was in fact to integrate the Army, Navy, and Air Force and then called it Unification. The Canadian Forces were already starting to integrate many aspects of the Canadian military, such as the medical system, and the postal and dental services before unification took place. What was then created was a lowest common denominator driven organization which seemed quite incapable of rational decision making. By going to a single basic training system, based on a spurious argument of "efficiency" (so often the enemy of "effectiveness") we were hellbound for the lowest common denominator, which we got.

One of the most laughable (and ill-informed) arguments advanced by the defenders of Unification is that is was based on the USMC. Not quite. I would say it was based on a very superficial and heavily misguided impression of how the Marine system works. It utterly ignored the history of the evolution of the Marine Corps, or its overwhelming combat-driven ethos of "Every Marine a rifleman".

The USMC were not an artificial combination of three services smashed together in a hurry for financial and political expediency: they evolved over two centuries from companies of shipboard soldiers: they were always, always, an Infantry-centric force. The other branches of the Marines evolved naturally over time to meet the needs of the Corps: thus they sprang from the same ethos, heritage and sense of identity.

If you ask a Marine fighter pilot or helicopter pilot or tanker or logistician, they will all tell you that their job is the direct support of that Marine out at the sharp end. Unification tried to sell the idea that this was its end product: anybody who has served over the last three decades can attest that this was absolute horse manure.

Our system, because it was based in ignorance, misunderstanding and ulterior motives, actually produced the opposite: a military whose support personnel were trained and socialized as technicians first and soldiers, sailors or airmen second. The fact that so many support people adapted as well as they did to the demands of going from an airbase to an infantry battalion is a credit to them personally, not the flawed system.

What we have and still have is a system for training recruits, officer candidates and support personnel that did not answer to any of the primary force generators or any operational commander: a body without a head. The whole thing reflected a very 1950's "efficiency expert" utilitarianism that didn't really understand the human side of a military force. Basic training, for example, is only partly about teaching physical skills or technical knowledge. More importantly, it's about taking somebody who thinks " I am a civilian" and shaping them into somebody who believes "I am a soldier/sailor/airman". Thus the argument about going to a single basic training might make eminent sense from a utilitarian, rationalist, process-oriented point of view, while from the "stewardship of the profession" point of view it was a disaster.

And, despite the glitz and "tri-service" rhetoric, we created a military that was arguably far less capable of true joint operations that it had been during WWII. We're still trying to repair the damage done by this experiment to this day.

The damage done by Unification was pervasive and insidious, and IMHO has only really begun to recede in the last decade. The fact that no other significant military in the world followed our example should say something.

Therefore, Unification should be recognized for what it was: failed experiment that, in good Canadian form, was "made to work". Where there efficiencies that could be accomplished by some organizational and management changes? Yes.

The problem was that Unification did the complete opposite; they attacked and destroyed the very fibre of naval and military service without achieving any real efficiency, while making it appear that there is cost savings through the use of smoke and mirrors, and the heavy usage of the slash and burn tactics against the defence budget. Operations and operational requirements and the military operational ethos were forced into last place, behind a plethora of flavour of the month management techniques and organizational experiments.
 
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par13del
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:27 pm

Quoting infiniti329 (Reply 24):
As a grunt on the ground I dont give a flying ***** on whose the one dropping that JDAM, as long it hits the traget and kills the enemy allowing me to charlie mike (continue mission)....

Well in some quarters it is argued that the Marines are the best of the best of the best when it comes to supporting the grunts on the ground, does that mean that Navy and Air Force pilots cannot, no it does not, but Marine Corp aviation is firstly about support the grunt on the ground so the focus and priorities are different, no one seems to deny this Marine legend.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 37):
There are some marginal cost savings that could be recognized by doing this but there are not huge efficiency savings to be had just by getting rid of Marine armor.

Time flies and situations change, I honestly thought that the reasons why the Marines switched to using the more heavy M1 was because the Congress, Administration and the Navy thought that there would be cost savings if both the Army and the Marines used the same tank versus the Marines continuing with their M60's and ultimately looking for a new lighter tank than the M1 more suited to their shipboard deployment. Imagine the supply situation, parts for the M60 and M1, shells for a 120mm versus a 105mm, one rifiled the other smooth bore, drive trains, engines, tracks, etc. etc. etc.
I guess the money saved by consolidation has now been wiped out so more savings are required.
 
Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:07 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 40):
Therefore, Unification should be recognized for what it was: failed experiment that, in good Canadian form, was "made to work". Where there efficiencies that could be accomplished by some organizational and management changes? Yes.

Was it a good idea, sure. Was the execution done right... not even close. Perhaps it was ahead of its time... with modern communication systems and deep integration between assets, a well planned 'unification' would work (in my non expert opinion).

Again, something has to give at some point for the US... The USAF is talking about cutting whole fleets of aircraft, USN is talking about shrinking their carrier battle groups... big concessions have to be made, and will keep having to be made. There are redundancies that can be eliminated if there is larger co-operation between branches.
 
hercppmx
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:47 am

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Yes, the Marines do need their helicopters, but are the really using the right ones? The CH-46E could be replaced with far fewer CH-47F/Gs. The CH-47F carries more than twice as many troops as the CH-46E (55 vs. 24)

The CH-46E is the USMC's medium life helicopter. It is being replaced by the MV-22. The problem with the CH-47 for the USMC is 1. It's size is too large for shipboard ops. 2. Due to its size and lift capability, it would go head to head with the CH-53E/K which the USMC already use for their heavy lift requirements. The CH-53E/K is already configured for shipboard ops. The 53K will be replacing the 53E. So you can't really compare the 46 to the 47.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The Marines KC-130s are really not needed with the USAF having HC/MC-130s doing the air refueling job. and the KC-130J of the USMC is getting the Harvest Hawk (3 kits per squadron) to mimic the USAF AC-130H/J/U/W and MC-130W capability.

The KC-130's in the USMC are very much needed. They can refuel AV-8B, F/A-18, E/A-6B, F-35B, CH-53, MV-22 in the air. As well as all assets on the ground via RGR (Rapid Ground Refueling) which is done from the SPR panel. Harvest Hawk was developed to support Marine ground combat units because they were unable to get CAS from A/C-130's due to high requests for AC-130 support for all different units. The Marines decided to acquire it themselves as it is a valuable asset, and they were tired of having requests denied.

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 7):
The other branches can already do most of what the Marines do.

No, not exactly. It is a common misconception from the public though. The entire USMC is based of the Marine Air Ground Task Force as mentioned above. It has 4 elements. 1. Aviation Combat Element 2. Ground Combat Element 3. Command and Control Element 4. Logistics Element. if you were remove one of those items, if would render the concept worthless. Every Job field in the USMC exists for the sole purpose of supporting the infantry Marine. Marines train and deploy as a MAGTF. By training and deploying together it provides the clearest communication and expectations. Essentially it is the most efficient way for the right hand to know what the left hand is doing and vice versa.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 11):
One last point - and I say this as a retireed 20 year US Navy Senior Chief - the US Marine Corps has been able to do more with less money than any other service. They fly their aircraft at a cheaper per flight hour cost than the USN or USAF, they do better financially with their support budgets, etc.

Part of the lower operating cost is because a lot of the logistics, pubs, cal programs, and logs and records programs are shared with the USN. i.e. the USMC operates under the overwatch of NAVAIR.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
The percentage of the world's land mass within an Osprey's mission radius would be a better statistic.

The MV-22 has a refueling boom. So as long as there is a tanker with a drogue, the Osprey will do fine.

Quoting sovietjet (Reply 28):
I strongly believe if the USMC disappears the other branches can handle the tasks with the equipment on hand and what little capability is lost is not at all crucial.

The different branches of the Military have different primary mission focuses(specialization). The USMC is built around the need for a quick reacting force and maritime force. To just hand it over to another branch would take years to rebuild the capability and proficiency of the units conducting missions.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 31):
Not many are planned for; just around 200 CH-53K's. Also, they are a very big helicopter, and the amphibs don't operate many CH-53E's in the first place.

For the Size of the USMC 200 CH-53K's is actually quite a few. Most amphibs have 4-6 CH-53E's attached to a (REIN) helo squadron currently.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 31):
This is the most critical thing. The USMC air to ground integration is at a much lower command level than what the Army or Air Force operates at.

This is very true, the marines have a ratio of enlisted to officer ratio of 9:1. The USMC tries to pass all decision making down to the lowest level possible.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 39):
Which is about the time people realize that there is less money available. Its like running out of money before your paycheck... you spend and spend after pay day, more than you can afford and then run out.

When I left the USMC and I was completing my undergrad, I asked one of my ECON professors about efficiency in the military, his reply still sticks with me "it doesn't need to be." The military exists for defense, and will continue to be a money pit to fulfill that mission.

Politicians aren't going to gut military spending by any substantial amount as long as the ops tempo continues to be hight because 1. The American people don't like seeing dead service members on the evening news. (The cost of smart weapons systems, and better body armor, and more technology on the battlefield is cheaper than paying death benefits as well as cheaper than the political cost of losing votes.) 2. The defense industry is in every state. It provides jobs to people who vote, and if we are realistic politicians operate with their own rational self-interest in mind. (re-election)

Long story short, people always tend to want to throw the USMC on the chopping block. It's still here and will be tomorrow as well. It's still around because it serves its purpose and provides results with its given framework and time and combat proven policies and structures. Granted I am a little bias as someone who spent time in aviation in the USMC.
C-130; it's a love-hate relationship
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:33 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 1):
You could ask why the continuing upgrades to the UH-1 and AH-1's, rather than adapting UH-60 and AH-64's.

The Cobra is better for the marines than the apache. Gulf 1 and prior it was night and day better with the apache being a massively expensive hangerqueen. Since then the Apache has come a very long way in terms of reliablity. Still remains that the apache is designed for breaking up massed armored and mechanized assaults. The AH-1 was born and perfected in the jungles of vietnam, and continues to be better at engaging soft targets. That said its increasingly a black hole for money over time, and there is pretty much no way to stop it without spending even more on a cleansheet new design for them.
 
bilgerat
Posts: 250
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:52 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 42):
Again, something has to give at some point for the US...

Absolutely. Given fiscal realities the US at some point has to decide whether or not it wants or is indeed able to continue paying the huge bill to maintain its military hegemon.
 
GDB
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:11 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 34):
F-35B should never have happened...they should have killed it. It should have been the A and C and the Marines operated the C off Navy carriers. Anyone tell me one specific time the Marines used the vertical landing/takeoff in the field in recent times?? Of course this is my opinion and feel free to disagree.

Libya, of course there were other assets in theatre and not just by any means US ones, Gulf War 1, when forward deployed USMC AV-8B's had the fastest, by some measure, reaction time to a call for CAS.
Which I understand was important when Saddam's forces made that incursion, to the Coalition's surprise, into that Saudi town - where a bunch of US Marines were for a time effectively stranded.
Though in this case, they were based on land but at an austere forward strip.

The Harrier and now the F-35B, fits the one are where the USMC can best argue their need for fast jets.
Which is why they invoked the consternation of the other services and even more so, the US aviation industry, when they had the cheek to ask for the original first generation Harriers back in 1968.
A lot of other 'experts' deemed it little more than a toy, the USMC took one look at it and thought 'just what we are looking for'.
 
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par13del
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:26 pm

Quoting checksixx (Reply 34):
Anyone tell me one specific time the Marines used the vertical landing/takeoff in the field in recent times??

Yes, ever since they operated the Harrier, ask this question, has the Harrier ever operated from the full deck carriers?
The Marines use the VSTOL capability to operate from amphib carriers - an F-18 or F-35A or C cannot do that, they also deploy the divisions with engineers and "mat" gear to create improvisied air strips as they move further inland to take the a/c with them to provide continued support, good luck carrying enough equipment on ship as well as the lift capability to create an airstrip to operate the F-18 or F-35.

Last great battle of Marine aviation - WWII the majority of Marine a/c were deployed on land going from island to island with the ground troops not following them on carriers, when the carriers were use most of the time it was to transport them to their new land bases.
To be clear, I am not saying they have never and do not operate from carrieres, but the bulk of their flying has been done from land or in the case of the Harrier land and the smaller carriers.

On the financial side, the F-35 A / C models are supposed to be cheaper to build and operate than the Marine model, do you believe that Lockheed has delayed and increased the cost of the A and C models to cover the cost of the B?
 
Oroka
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:14 am

Quoting hercppmx (Reply 43):
When I left the USMC and I was completing my undergrad, I asked one of my ECON professors about efficiency in the military, his reply still sticks with me "it doesn't need to be." The military exists for defense, and will continue to be a money pit to fulfill that mission.

No doubt, any military will always be a red mark on any budget, question is, what percentage of your gdp do you spend on it. As the world's current largest economy, if everyone spent the same percentage on military expenditure, the US would be the largest by default, by nearly double the next country. W hile the US holds about 21% of the worlds GDP, it has 50% of the worlds military expenditure. Either the whole world is under funding, or someone is seriously over spending.

Quoting hercppmx (Reply 43):
Politicians aren't going to gut military spending by any substantial amount as long as the ops tempo continues to be hight because 1. The American people don't like seeing dead service members on the evening news. (The cost of smart weapons systems, and better body armor, and more technology on the battlefield is cheaper than paying death benefits as well as cheaper than the political cost of losing votes.) 2. The defense industry is in every state. It provides jobs to people who vote, and if we are realistic politicians operate with their own rational self-interest in mind. (re-election)

Ouch. So the size of the budget is really a reflection internal political posturing and a make work project? The US gets its fingers in other countries affairs, drawing the ire of various groups. The pokes and prods of these groups (in response to international 'holier than thou'), causes more military expenditure to allow for more international meddling.

Nothing is better for an economy than a war overseas. Especially when you can bill the loser for the cost of the war. It drives technology, stimulates the workforce and manufacturing sectors, if you are unemployed, it is because you want to be unemployed.

After the great depression WWII was just what the US needed. Since WWII there has been one big war or 'police action' after another... very little down time. Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, and the War on Terror... about 10 years between the end of one, the start of another.

That is fine and all, everyone wants to life the American dream, MADE IN AMERICA stamped on everything. Even if part of that rides on the back of a tank rolling across some country side.

The big sleeping dragon has been watching. China. Communist... but capitalist too. They watched their brothers in the Soviet Union, trying to compete with capitalism at its best. You can't outspend the US... not while they held all their money. So, China is changing those 'Made in USA' stamps to 'Made in China'. Capitalism serves only itself. In the face of higher wages due to unions, production moves elsewhere. Money now flows not to American from the World, but from America to the World, to China.

With money flowing away, that huge military either has to be severely shrunk in size, or a massive debt needs to be run.

/rant
 
hercppmx
Posts: 159
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RE: Usmc Aviation Fiscally Necessary?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:06 am

Quoting Oroka (Reply 48):
No doubt, any military will always be a red mark on any budget, question is, what percentage of your gdp do you spend on it. As the world's current largest economy, if everyone spent the same percentage on military expenditure, the US would be the largest by default, by nearly double the next country. W hile the US holds about 21% of the worlds GDP, it has 50% of the worlds military expenditure. Either the whole world is under funding, or someone is seriously over spending.

I understand the point you are making, I think the numbers are a little flawed. How many countries have funded wars over the last 10 years, much less 2. Besides the day to day costs of those operations there is also increased spending in R&D, procurement, upgrades and repairs. All to ensure your military members have the best chance of mission accomplishment and safety. Then also because of the wars there were increases in the number of military personnel. As the military shifts towards peace time, some of the spending will be reduced.

I do understand that the US was number one in military spending prior to the wars, so there is a valid point in your argument.

The US also utilizes the military for foreign aid and disaster relieve, amongst other things. Simply put it is a tool of US foreign policy, which could be positive or negative in its actions. If your looking to reduce military spending I'd look at NATO prior to removing the USMC's aviation units.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 48):
Ouch. So the size of the budget is really a reflection internal political posturing and a make work project?

I would look at the F-22, C-17, F-35 (second engine program, I do not know the current status of that.) Amongst other procurement programs.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 48):
The US gets its fingers in other countries affairs, drawing the ire of various groups. The pokes and prods of these groups (in response to international 'holier than thou'), causes more military expenditure to allow for more international meddling.

This is an opinion which you are entitled to, I understand the US isn't always the "good guys" as a country the US intervenes to order to protect it's interest and not everyone is happy about that. However your focus should be on the elected leadership who decides these matters. The military is only one of the available tools the elected leadership uses to implement their polices.
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