US Marine Sgt. Maj. Allen Goodyear, the squadron sergeant major for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, signals for an F-35B Lightning II to take off from the flight deck of the USS Essex (LHD-2) during Exercise Dawn Blitz. US Marine Corps Photo
The Navy’s director of amphibious warfare warned that pursuing a light aircraft carrier option in lieu of amphibious assault ships would limit the Marines’ options for responding to operational commanders’ needs, and instead urged faster shipbuilding and experimenting with new ship groupings to increase operational flexibility. Read More
MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft return after a long-range raid from Combined Arms Training Center, Camp Fuji, Japan to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa as part of Blue Chromite 2017, Nov. 4, 2016. The Marines honed their ability to project forces from afar by executing a long-range raid over 1,000 miles via MV-22B Osprey to include an aerial refueling by KC-130J Super Hercules. Blue Chromite is a U.S.-only exercise which strengthens the Navy-Marine Corps expeditionary, amphibious rapid-response capabilities based in Okinawa and the greater Indo-Asia-Pacific region. US Marine Corps photo.
The Marine Corps in recent years has grappled with how to remain a “fight-tonight” force without enough ships to take Marines where they need to go – but a Navy effort to redesign its future fleet and an incoming administration dedicated to growing the Navy may bode well for solving this long-standing problem.