CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A 10-day exercise in experimentation that wrapped up Friday was all about speed – namely, getting advanced technologies into the hands of warfighting Marines operating with the Navy from the sea – and as soon as fiscally possible. Read More
TRIANGLE, Va. – The Department of the Navy will host an amphibious warfare technology demonstration next month that, in the short term, will highlight some promising new technologies that could modernize how the Navy and Marine Corps conduct amphibious landings in contested or uncertain environments. In the longer term, though, the process surrounding this tech demo could change the way the Department of the Navy looks at prototyping and rapid acquisition.
Every defense document in recent years stresses the chaotic, unpredictable, and dynamic nature of present and future operating environments. Defense planners must be prepared to react to crises and problems that arise without warning. Everyone has heard the aphorism “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” But what if your only tool is a Swiss Army knife? In that case, our ability to meet unpredictable problems becomes less of an issue. The flexibility of Navy and Marine Corps amphibious forces make them the nation’s strategic Swiss Army knife. While they may not always be the best tool for every contingency, their forward-deployed nature frequently means they are the only tool available in times of emergency.
The latest paper by the Marine Corps’ Ellis Group describes just such a force. To be sure, this is nothing new. The Navy/Marine team has operated as the nation’s forward-deployed first responders for decades. Indeed, a chaotic and unpredictable operating environment should be familiar to sailors and Marines. Our crisis-response pedigree extends to the first American foreign war, against the Barbary pirates in 1801.