Fighting Our Way In: How the Marines Should Assist the Navy in Gaining Sea Control
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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In an era of Great Power Competition, the United States Navy no longer enjoys the ability to operate around the globe with unquestionable sea control. A future conflict with a near-peer adversary would likely involve the Navy fighting to gain and maintain sea control to project power. This paper states that the Navy will need assistance in the fight for sea control against future adversaries. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are ending, the Marine Corps is in a unique position to posture itself as a force multiplier in assisting the Navy in gaining sea control. This paper explains how new technology and platforms, such as the F-35B and the MQ-9 Reaper, allow the Marine Corps to help gain air superiority both as an extension of and independent from carrier aviation and actively aid in the fight for sea control. Additionally, HIMARS and the Naval Strike Missile provide the Marines the ship-based long-range precision fires to deny freedom of the seas to our adversaries while operating distributed from naval surface combatants. Lastly, a fight in the Western Pacific would involve occupying key maritime terrain in which the Marine Corps, similar to operations during WWII, could seize and use to deny an adversarys freedom of maneuver. The Marine Corps must transform from their recent history and take an active role in assisting the Navy in gaining sea control against future adversaries.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics