Insurance Policy or Force Provider: Operational Considerations for Employing the Expeditionary Strike Group and Marine Expeditionary Unit
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Expeditionary Strike Group ESG with embarked Marine Expeditionary Unit MEU is an adaptable, flexible force that provides the Combatant Commander CCDR with a unique crisis action planning and response capability. Since 2003, the CCDR, U.S. Central Command has routinely employed the MEU in Iraq and detached from its parent ESG and amphibious shipping. While this employment option may provide the operational commander increased combat power in Iraq, it also diminishes his ability to rapidly respond to crisis situations and advance U.S. strategic interests abroad. In addition, when the MEU is committed in Iraq and unable to respond to a crisis, the already overburdened joint force is required to establish ad hoc organizations to meet the objective. This paper proposes that when employing the ESGMEU, the CCDR should consider options that afford maximum flexibility, security, and unity of command to mitigate risk to the joint force, advance U.S. interests, and facilitate rapid response to potential crises in the geographic area of responsibility. Ultimately, this operational employment parameter could generate significant positive strategic consequences for the CCDR and the nation.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics