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Changing Budgets and Changing Times Leave America’s Military Looking for Amphibious Landing Alternatives | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Changing Budgets and Changing Times Leave America’s Military Looking for Amphibious Landing Alternatives

The Marines without a doubt are one of the most highly disciplined and in tune fighting forces that can be found on the planet. Their exploits shine throughout military history and they remain one of the most feared fighting forces that can be found today, but even they are subject to work under different conditions than they are used to in today’s changing military environment. Such was the case in a recent training test with an all civilian run Navy countermine and special operations ship.

In modern times, how our military operates and performs often comes down to budget considerations. With skyrocketing design and production costs for military equipment, military leaders are often forced to look for alternative solutions to conventional ways to carry out the huge responsibilities that are thrown upon our nation’s military branches. One of those solutions has been to fill in the gaps with more civilian run positions supplementing the roles that soldiers, sailors and airmen typically carry out. It is one of the reasons why the Navy’s nearly all civilian supply fleet was created many years ago.

Beach LandingThe Marines have long depended on large, heavily armored amphibious landing ships to move men, aircraft and other equipment to any hot spot around the globe. And why not, these ships have proved themselves a force to be reckoned with all over the world. Many can deliver large numbers of Marines and support equipment in a hurry wherever they are needed. They are also designed to withstand large amounts of enemy fire to help protect the men and equipment that they carry. The plain truth though is that there are simply not enough of these vessels to go around to meet the global requirements of today’s modern military. With that in mind, the Navy and Marines have needed to change their strategy in some instances to adapt to this reality. Most units have sufficient ground personnel, artillery and aircraft attached to them, but sometimes lack the necessary ship resources to move them.

For a few Marine Osprey pilots, this point was brought home loud and clear during a recent training exercise in the Persian Gulf. With the changes in force structure, the Navy and Marines have been training to use alternative means for transport in scenarios where amphibious ships might not be available to do the job. It was thought that some of the larger supply ships or ships tasked with other functions might be useful in a pinch to stage the movement of troops, equipment and aircraft.

In this training exercise the USS Ponce (which was once scheduled for decommission in 2012 until it took on the role of becoming a landing platform for minesweeping helicopters) was used to see if it would be suitable to land and refuel Osprey aircraft to help speed them on their way to their intended destination. The mission proved a success and showed that in tough economic times existing assets could be utilized efficiently for things other than their initially intended purpose. That sort of creative thinking will become more and more necessary as our military adapts to changing times and changing budgets.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Craig Smith

Craig has been writing for several years but just recently made freelance writing a full time profession after leaving behind 26 years working in the swimming pool construction industry. He served four years in the US Air Force as an Imagery Interpreter Specialist in Okinawa, Japan and at SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. As a staunch supporter of law enforcement personnel, emergency medical technicians, firemen, search and rescue personnel and those who serve in the military, Craig is proud to contribute to the US Patriot blog on their behalf.
Craig Smith
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3 thoughts on “Changing Budgets and Changing Times Leave America’s Military Looking for Amphibious Landing Alternatives

  1. I love it when USAF guys get all giddy and gush over the USMC yet when its the reverse, marines frequently denigrate the Air Force using words like “Chair Force,” undisciplined and weak.

  2. The EFV/3AV is long over due for the food stamp branch [USMC]. As a former 0311 I never felt safe in the aluminum can we call AMTRAX, but as long as the Marine Corps has to spend their funds wisely while the Army waists it on stuff like Lunar Camo [ 5Billion ACU Program] they will have to continue to choose between bullets and a hot meal-I got used to cold food real quick.

  3. Hello CRAIG , I served in the NAVY AMPIBIOUS FORCE CONPHIBRON 3. I served aboard the U.S.S. CAVALIER APA 37 the most decorated AMPIBIOUS ship in the NAVY. IDID MY TRAINING AT NORTH ISLAND CORDENADO CALIF. TRAINED ON LCM -3 LCM-6 LCVP, LCPR ,LCPL. MADE SEVERAL APIB LANDINGS IN SVN CHULAI ,WANER BEACH , CAM ROHN BAY ,NA TRANG SAILOR OF THE YEAR 1968. Nice to read about the old days of of amphibious operations OUR team on the CAVALIER WAS THE BEST IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN .WE TRAINED THE KOREAN ROK MARINES IN REAL COMBAT SITUATIONS VERY INTENSE. GOD BLESS STAY SAFE. GERARD HUTCHEON. ( Hutch) 66′ 68′

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