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Reorganizing The Fleet Marine Force: From Division-Wing Teams To Marine Expeditionary Brigades

Reorganizing The Fleet Marine Force: From Division-Wing Teams To Marine Expeditionary Brigades

 

CSC 1989

 

SUBJECT AREA - Manpower

 

Command and Staff College

Marine Corps Combat Development Center

Quantico, Virginia

 

 

 

 

Reorganizing the Fleet Marine Force:

From Division-Wing Teams to Marine Expeditionary Brigades

 

 

 

Major Joseph H. Schmid, U. S. Marine Corps

15 May 1989


 

ABSTRACT

 

NAME: MAJOR JOSEPH H. SCHMID, USMC

 

TITLE: REORGANIZING THE FLEET MARINE FORCES:

FROM DIVSION-WING TEAMS TO MARINE EXPEDITIONARY BRIGADES

 

DATE: 9 JUNE 1989

 

This paper proposes reorganizing the Fleet Marine Forces

 

around permanent Marine Expeditionary Brigades. After reviewing

 

the current organization of the Fleet Marine Forces down to the

 

battalion and squadron level, a discussion of the problems

 

arising out of the current organization is offered. The

 

reorganization plan has two goals--to resolve the problems with

 

the current organization and to reduce the number of headquarters.

 

A reduction in the number of headquarters would allow conversion

 

of the associated manpower structure to that for warfighting

 

elements. The proposed organization is analyzed from the

 

perspective of its impact on the the ground combat element, the

 

air combat element, the combat service support element, the

 

command element, manpower structure, and on Title 10, United

 

States Code.

 

The paper concludes that reorganization to permanent Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigades is possible without a reduction in mission

 

capabilities. The conclusion summarizes both the problems

 

resolved by the proposed plan and those left unresolved.

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Page

 

List of Figures iii

 

Preface iv

 

Chapter

 

I. Introduction 1

 

Current Organization of the Fleet Marine Forces 1

 

Statement of the Problem 7

 

Statement of the Proposal 15

 

II. Analysis 21

 

Impact on Ground Combat Element 21

 

Impact on Aviation Combat Element 28

 

Impact on Combat Service Support Element 42

 

Impact on Command Element 44

 

Impact on Manpower Structure 47

 

Impact on Public Law 52

 

III. Conclusions 56

 

Figures 58

 

Anotated Bibliography 78


LIST OF FIGURES

Page

 

1. Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic 58

 

2. 2d Marine Division 59

 

3. 2d Marine Aircraft Wing 60

 

4. 2d Force Service Support Group 61

 

5. Fleet Marine Force, Pacific 62

 

6. I Marine Expeditionary Force 63

 

7. 1st Marine Division 64

 

8. 3d Marine Aircraft Wing 65

 

9. 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade 66

 

10. III Marine Expeditionary Brigade 67

 

11. 3d Marine Division 68

 

12. 1st Marine Aircraft Wing 69

 

13. I and II Marine Expeditionary Force (proposed) 70

 

14. III Marine Expeditionary Force (proposed) 71

 

15. Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Amphibious) 72

(proposed)

 

16. Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Maritime 73

Prepositioning Force) (proposed)

 

17. Marine Expeditionary Brigade (Reserve 74

Mobilization) (proposed)

 

18. Aviation Organization (proposed) 75

 

19. Brigade Service Support Group (proposed) 76

 

20. Distribution of Enlisted Marines 77

 

21. Distribution of Marine Officers 77

 

 

PREFACE

 

 

This paper proposes reorganizing the Fleet Marine Forces

 

into Marine Expeditionary Brigades. In analyzing the effect of

 

this proposal, the focus was on the manpower structure depicted

 

in Tables of Organization for Fleet Marine Force units. The

 

analysis of this proposal was admittedly limited in several ways.

 

First, the Tables of Equipment were not examined; thus, the

 

effect of this proposal on unit equipment was not addressed.

 

The political consequences of billet reductions within the Fleet

 

Marine Forces were also not considered. The effect on manpower

 

structure by programmed-weapons systems was not included in this

 

analysis.

 

Sources for this paper ranged from published articles and

 

books to official Marine Corps documents, memoranda and personal

 

letters. Documents and memoranda were obtained from staff

 

copies. Personal letters from representatives of the Commanders-

 

in-Chief of the Unified Commands were in response to requests

 

from the author. Citations for sources are keyed to the

 

bibliography entry number and source page number. A citation

 

such as (40-31) refers to entry 40 in the bibliography, page 31.


 

CHAPTER I

 

INTRODUCTION

Current Organization of the Fleet Marine Forces

 

 

The organizations of the Fleet Marine Forces vary between

 

the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets. However, there are some

 

command relationships that are similar to each. Regardless of

 

the fleet, the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, is a

 

type commander responsible for the administration and training

 

of all of his subordinate units. The subordinate units of the

 

Fleet Marine Forces come under the operational control of the

 

Commanders- in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic or Pacific Fleets, when

 

deployed.

 

Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic is organized as shown in

 

Figure 1. Reporting directly to the Commanding General, Fleet

 

Marine Force, Atlantic (FMFLant) are the Commanding General,

 

II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and the Commanding

 

Officers of three Marine Expeditionary Units (22d, 24th, 26th

 

MEU's). The Commanding General, II MEF, exercises operational

 

control over the 2d Marine Division, the 2d Marine Aircraft

 

Wing, the 2d Force Service Support Group, the 4th Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade, and the 6th Marine Expeditionary

 

Brigade (MEB). Each of these commands have standing

 

headquarters, or "command elements" as they are known in

 

Marine jargon.


 

However, the 2d Marine Division, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing,

 

and 2d Force Service Support Group are the only major

 

subordinate commands that have permanently assigned forces.

 

The Marine Expeditionary Brigades and the Marine Expeditionary

 

Units have designated forces. Designated forces are

 

squadrons, battalions, and companies that are earmarked for

 

deployment with Marine Expeditionary Brigades and Units.

 

These designated forces remain under the command and control

 

of their parent command until deployment, at which time

 

command and control is shifted. This double counting is not

 

limited to just the operating forces. The Commanding

 

General, FMFLant, is "double-hatted" as Commanding General,

 

II MEF. The Commanding General, 2d Marine Division, is also

 

"double-hatted" as Deputy Commander, II MEF.

 

The major subordinate commands of II MEF have fairly

 

traditional organizations. The Second Marine Division is

 

organized as shown in Figure 2. This is the standard

 

divisional organization of a headquarters battalion, three

 

infantry regiments, an artillery regiment, and five

 

independent battalions - assault amphibian, combat engineer,

 

light armored infantry, reconnaissance, and tank. Recent

 

decisions of the Commandant of the Marine Corps have changed

 

the internal organization of many of the battalions within the

 

Marine Division in order to enhance the combat readiness of

 


those units (1). Among these changes were the placing in

 

cadre the 2d Battalion, 6th Marines, adding scout infantrymen

 

to and redesignating the Light Armored Vehicle Battalion as

 

the Light Armored Infantry Battalion, adding a fourth rifle

 

company to each of the battalions in 8th Marines, and

 

reassigning the 2d Battalion, 4th Marines from the 3d Marine

 

Division to the 2d Marine Division.

 

The Second Marine Aircraft Wing does not have a table of

 

organization since, by doctrine, it is task organized to

 

perform the six functions of Marine aviation - assault

 

support, offensive air support, aerial reconnaissance,

 

electronic warfare, anti-air warfare, and control of aircraft

 

and missiles. However, like all Marine Aircraft Wings, it has

 

a Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron, a Marine Wing Support

 

Group, a Marine Air Control Group, and aircraft groups

 

composed of helicopter, attack, and fighter aircraft, as shown

 

in Figure 3. The Second Force Service Support Group (FSSG) is

 

organized, as all FSSG's are, into eight battalions, each

 

fulfilling one of the eight functions of combat service

 

support. This organization is clearly shown in Figure 4.

 

Fleet Marine Force, Pacific (FMFPac), has units spread

 

across the Pacific Ocean and, thus, does not have as neat

 

organizational charts as its counterpart in the Atlantic.

 

Reporting directly to the Commanding General, FMFPac, are the

 


Commanding Generals, I Marine Expeditionary Force and 1st

 

Marine Expeditionary Brigade. The Commanding General, III

 

Marine Expeditionary Force, is forward deployed to Okinawa,

 

Japan, and is under the operational control of the Commander,

 

U.S. 7th Fleet, and under the administrative control of the

 

Commanding General, FMFPac. These command relationships are

 

shown in Figure 5.

 

Major subordinate commands of I MEF are the 1st Marine

 

Division, 1st Force Service Support Group, 3rd Marine Aircraft

 

Wing, 5th and 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigades, and the 11th,

 

13th, and 15th Marine Expeditionary Units. The organization

 

of the 1st Marine Division is shown in Figure 7. The Division

 

has a structure similar to that of 2d Marine Division. The

 

notable exception is that 1st Marine Division has four rifle

 

companies in each infantry battalion. Like the 2d Marine

 

Division, the 1st Marine Division also had to place an

 

infantry battalion in cadre to provide the fourth rifle

 

company to the battalions in the 1st Marine Regiment.

 

However, the fourth battalion in each regiment was obtained by

 

permanently reassigning four battalions from the 3d Marine

 

Division to the 1st Marine Division.

 

Third Marine Aircraft Wing is task organized as shown in

 

Figure 8. Performing the same functions as the 2d Marine

 

Aircraft Wing, the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing also has control,

 


support and aircraft groups. However, the number of fighter,

 

attack, and helicopter groups and squadrons differs between

 

the two wings.

 

As with II MEF, only the 1st Marine Division, 1st Force

 

Service Support Group, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing have

 

forces permanently assigned. The Expeditionary Brigades and

 

Units, similar to those in II MEF, have forces only designated

 

for their use. As with II MEF, the Commanding Generals are

 

also "double hatted" in I MEF. The Commanding General, I MEF

 

is also the Commanding General, 1st Marine Division. The

 

Commanding General, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade is the

 

Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division. The

 

Commanding General, 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade is

 

also the base commander at the Marine Corps Air-Ground

 

Training Center, 29 Palms, California. The Commanding

 

Officer, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade is also serves as

 

Commanding General, Landing Force Training Command,

 

Pacific.

 

The First Marine Expeditionary Brigade, located at

 

Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, is the only expeditionary brigade with

 

forces permanently assigned. It is composed of a regimental

 

landing team, a Marine Aircraft Group, and a Brigade Service

 

Support Group, as shown is Figure 9. The regimental landing

 

team has three infantry battalions and an artillery battalion.

 


The Marine Aircraft Group has four medium helicopter

 

squadrons, one heavy helicopter squadron, one light/attack

 

helicopter detachment, four fighter squadrons, and a Marine

 

Air Control Squadron. Although designated as a Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade, the 1st MEB, with its assigned forces,

 

does not have the combat capability of any of the other

 

expeditionary brigades with their designated forces. The

 

assigned forces do not reflect the table of organization for

 

the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade's mission.

 

III Marine Expeditionary Force, the forward deployed MEF

 

in the Western Pacific, has the most inferior combat power of

 

any of the expeditionary forces. As shown in Figure 10, III

 

MEF is composed of 3d Marine Division, 1st Marine Aircraft

 

Wing, 3d Force Service Support Group, and 9th Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade. III MEF is the only expeditionary

 

force that does not man forward deployed expeditionary units.

 

However, the MEU's from I MEF, when forward deployed, come

 

under the operational control of the Commanding General, III

 

MEF. Like the expeditionary brigades in the other MEF's, 9th

 

Marine Expeditionary Brigade is merely a headquarters with

 

forces designated to it. Of the other major subordinate

 

commands, only 3d Force Service Support Group is of

 

comparable size and organization to its companion groups in

 

the other MEF's.


 

The organizations of the 3d Marine Division and the 1st

 

Marine Aircraft Wing are depicted in Figures 11 and 12,

 

respectively. 3d Marine Division has only two infantry

 

regiments with two battalions each. Each of these infantry

 

battalions is permanently assigned to either the 1st or the 2d

 

Marine Division and is serving with the 3d Marine Division on

 

a six-month deployment in accordance with the Unit Deployment

 

Program. The Division's artillery regiment has only two

 

direct support battalions and has a general support battalion

 

equipped with towed 155mm howitzers vice a general support

 

battalion equipped with self-propelled 155mm howitzers and

 

self-propelled 8-inch guns. Among the independent battalions,

 

1st Armored Assault Battalion is composed of two tank

 

companies and two amphibious assault companies. The other

 

divisions have tank and amphibious assault battalions, each

 

with four companies.

 

First Marine Aircraft Wing is similarly understrength

 

compared to the other aircraft wings. 3d Marine Aircraft Wing

 

has fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft groups, a support group,

 

and a control group. However, among these groups the Wing has

 

only two fighter, one attack, one all-weather attack, one

 

medium helicopter, one heavy helicopter, and one light/attack

 

helicopter squadron.


 

Statement of the Problem

 

 

The 1985-1989 Five Year Defense Plan Guidance, in an

 

effort to ensure a credible amphibious warfare capability,

 

established a requirement to simultaneously lift the assault

 

echelons of a MEF and of a MEB (17-i). To lift the assault

 

echelon of a MEF today would require all of the amphibious

 

assets in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Fleets. However,

 

each Fleet does have sufficient assets to lift the assault

 

echelon of a MEB. Thus, the largest combat force with which

 

the Marine Corps could conduct a timely amphibious assault in

 

either the Atlantic or the Pacific Fleet is a Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade. As a result of this amphibious lift

 

constraint, the Marine Corps has debated the dilemma of

 

deploying as a MEB and employing as a MEF, or as it has been

 

called, the composite MEF.

 

Compounding this dilemma are other factors affecting the

 

way the Marine Corps is organized and trained for combat. One

 

of the most significant is the anticipated reduction in the

 

Marine Corps budget for the next several years. Less money

 

necessitates decreased manpower and decreased training

 

expenses. At the same time, the theater commanders-in-chief

 

have levied requirements on the Marine Corps for increased

 

joint service planning and increased responsiveness to the

 

call for deployment. Lastly, the Marine Corps has adopted a

 


new warfighting philosophy to enable it to win outnumbered on

 

any battlefield in the future.

 

The current organization of the Fleet Marine Forces is

 

incompatible with the resolution to these problems. This

 

leads to four problems:

 

1. Efficiency in responding to the call of the theater

commanders-in-chief.

2. Synchronization with our view of the foreseeable future

3. Implementation of our maneuver warfare philosophy.

4. Wasteful use of scarce manpower assets.

 

In order to improve the responsiveness of a MAGTF to the

 

call of a theater commander-in-chief, the Commandant of the

 

Marine Corps approved in 1983 the permanent MAGTF headquarters

 

concept. Two specific concerns that formed the basis for this

 

were increased emphasis on rapid deployment of MAGTF's and

 

increased joint service planning commitments requiring

 

operational data from MAGTF's. This emphasis on rapid

 

deployment can not be overstated. The theater commanders-in-

 

chief require a Marine Expeditionary Brigade to be ready for

 

embarkation within four days of notification and a MEF within

 

ten days of notification (23,24,25,26). Although the object

 

of the permanent MAGTF headquarters concept was to eliminate

 

`ad-hocery' in time of crisis," it does not do so for the

 

combat elements of the MAGTF. Except for the case of the MEF,

 

the ground combat element must be task organized by

 

reinforcing an infantry unit with combat arms units

 


(artillery, combat engineer, light armored infantry,

 

reconnaissance, and tank) from the division. The aviation

 

combat element must be task organized to perform all six

 

functions of Marine aviation. This will require the task

 

organization of units from at least six different Groups. The

 

combat service support element must also task organize units

 

from eight different battalions. The permanent MAGTF

 

headquarters concept only eliminates "ad-hocery" within the

 

MAGTF command element which represents approximately 5% of the

 

personnel strength of the MAGTF.

 

This "ad-hocery" not only exists to form the MAGTF, but

 

also to employ it in combat. Under the composite MAGTF

 

concept, Marine Corps forces will deploy to a conflict as a

 

MEB and employ in combat as a MEF. Employment as a MEF will

 

necessitate bringing the MEF, division, wing, and FSSG

 

headquarters into the theater as soon as possible, or

 

designating some smaller unit as a "forward" headquarters.

 

Shortly after these "forward" headquarters are established,

 

the appropriate elements of the MAGTF will shift from the

 

command of the MEB to the command of the "forward"

 

headquarters. n the case of the MAGTF command elements,

 

one MEB headquarters is designated as the "forward leaning"

 

MEB, the first to deploy. The other MEB command element is

 

embedded in the MEF headquarters to ensure that the MEF and

 


MEB staffs are equally proficient in joint coordination with

 

the theater commanders-in-chief. However, the first MEB

 

command element to deploy is the one that has not had the

 

experience working with the commander-in-chief. To

 

rectify that problem, a portion of the MEF command element

 

will fly into the theater of conflict as soon as possible

 

and merge with the "forward leaning" MEB command element.

 

As a result, the MEF command element is composed of parts

 

of two different staffs who have not worked together.

 

division, wing, and FSSG headquarters The MAGTF Master

 

Plan was developed in 1989 to establish the "operational

 

foundation for the organization, manning, equipping,

 

training, and development of doctrine and operational

 

techniques for MAGTF's through the year 2000" (4-1.1). In

 

fulfilling this charter, the MAGTF Master Plan predicts the

 

types of operations that MAGTFs will execute in the

 

foreseeable future (4-5.1). The most common employments

 

for a MAGTF are stability operations and limited objective

 

operations. The probability of employment of a MAGTF in

 

conventional operations short of general war can be

 

described as only "may" occur during the next twenty years.

 

"General war is the armed conflict between major powers, in

 

which the total resources of the belligerents are employed

 

and the national survival of a major belligerent is in

 


jeopardy" (4-5.7). The United States has been involved in

 

two, and perhaps three, general wars in over 200 years--the

 

Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. Thus,

 

the least likely employment for a MAGTF is in a general

 

war.

 

The Haynes Board attempted to "develop alternative force

 

structures, concepts of employment, and disposition and

 

deployment of Marine Corps forces through 1985" (12). This

 

study concluded that our current organization of division-wing

 

teams is best suited for general war, but that an organization

 

based on Marine Expeditionary Brigades is best suited for

 

stability and limited objective operations. The study also

 

advocated that retaining the division-wing organization would

 

prevent infatuation with low intensity conflict mission and

 

avoid a commando mentality complex. However, the MAGTF Master

 

Plan states that MAGTF's must be prepared to perform commando

 

type mission such as "port and airfield seizures", "recovery

 

of downed aircraft, equipment, and personnel through

 

clandestine insertion of forces", "in-extremis hostage rescue

 

operations", and "counterterrorist operations" (5-5.3). Thus,

 

the current organization inhibits preparation for and

 

execution of the very missions for which a MAGTF is most

 

likely to be employed.

 

The Marine Corps has adopted a maneuver warfare


 

philosophy as its basic warfighting doctrine. This philosophy

 

holds that decentralized command is necessary to cope with the

 

uncertainty, disorder, and fluidity of combat and to develop

 

the tempo of operations that we desire. Decentralized command

 

means that subordinates may make their own decisions based on

 

their understanding of their superior's intent. The ability

 

for seniors and subordinates to communicate through mutual

 

understanding and anticipating each other's thoughts is

 

essential for success under this doctrine. This implicit

 

communication is based on a shared philosophy and experience

 

which can only be developed through the familiarity and trust

 

that arises from established, long-term working relationships.

 

The current organization detracts from the establishment

 

of these habitual relationships. The "ad-hocery" necessary to

 

task organize the ground combat, the aviation combat, and the

 

combat service support elements prevents long-term, working

 

relationships between the commanders and their staffs. Yet,

 

it is in these very units that this decentralized command must

 

be exercised. A concern for the impact of constant turmoil on

 

the professional competence of the MAGTF headquarters staff

 

led to the decision to approve the permanent MAGTF

 

headquarters concept (22). Constant turmoil should have the

 

same effect on the professional competence of the staff of

 

each subordinate element of the MAGTF as it does on the

 


professional competence of the headquarters staff.

 

Not only does our current "ad-hocery" prevent long-term,

 

working relationships between the MAGTF commander and his

 

staff, but also between the MAGTF commander and his

 

subordinate commanders. Currently, forces are only designated

 

for employment with a particular MAGTF. Forces are assigned

 

to the parent division, wing, or FSSG and are subject to that

 

parent's commands. Thus, it is possible that a designated

 

unit may be assigned a mission by its parent commander

 

rendering it unavailable for employment with the MAGTF. For

 

example, units participating in a Combined Arms Exercise at 29

 

Palms, California, as directed by their parent division or

 

wing, would not be able to meet the embarkation response time

 

required by the theater commanders-in-chief. Thus, a

 

substitute unit would be deployed into combat without

 

the habitual relationships between commanders that

 

our warfighting doctrine deems necessary for success.

 

This unity of command issue has even greater significance

 

when considering the current practice of "dual hatting"

 

Commanding Generals. The Commanding General, Fleet Marine

 

Force, Atlantic, is also the Commanding General, II MEF. The

 

Commanding Generals of the 1st and the 3rd Marine Divisions

 

are also the Commanding Generals of I and III MEF,

 

respectively. Compounding the problem in III MEF is the fact

 


that the Assistant Division Commander is dual hatted as the

 

Commanding General of 9th MEB. Under our current concept of

 

deployment as a MEB and employment as a MEF, the MEF command

 

element falls in on the MEB command element. During that

 

period when the MEB is being composited to a MEF, the question

 

of who is commanding the Marine Division is not merely an

 

academic issue.

 

The Haynes Board, long before our warfighting doctrine

 

was published, espoused some of its basic tenets. According

 

to the Board, although a division-wing organization provided

 

flexibility, an organization built around brigades supported

 

the air-ground concept and enhanced training as an integrated

 

combined arms team. In summation, the Board stated that only

 

a combined arms team will win on the future battlefield (12).

 

The current organization of the Fleet Marine Forces is

 

characterized by redundant headquarters. There are MEB

 

command elements which will probably be called upon to command

 

the brigade during its initial, rapid deployment into the

 

theater of conflict. There are the MEF command elements that

 

exercise command over all the major subordinate commands.

 

Lastly, there are the major subordinate commands (division,

 

wing, FSSG) that are, according to the Haynes Board, ideally

 

suited for combat in the least likely level of conflict.

 

Both the Haynes Board and the Hogaboom Board (3)


 

recognized the concern for personnel and fiscal constraint.

 

The Hogaboom Board reported that "although the current

 

manpower availability was not the guiding or overriding

 

consideration" in their efforts to determine the organization

 

and composition of the Fleet Marine Forces beginning in 1958,

 

the Board did keep in mind "the practical background fact

 

that, in an era of rising military costs and limited personnel

 

availability, great weight must be given to the goal of

 

accomplishing more with less" (3). The Haynes Board also

 

addressed the personnel constraint issue. The Board concluded

 

that a brigade organization is effective when forced to reduce

 

personnel structure due to fiscal constraint. The Board went

 

on to say that 196,000 Marines are insufficient to support

 

three divisions and three aircraft wings. (On 30 September

 

1988, the personnel strength of the Marine Corps was 197,195

 

Marines.) The Haynes Board did, however, identify the

 

strongest argument for retention of the division-wing

 

organization. Section 5013, Title 10, United States Code

 

states that the Marine Corps "shall be so organized as to

 

include not less that three combat divisions and three air

 

wings..." (2-606).

 

Statement of the Proposal

 

 

To resolve the problems arising out of the existing


 

organization and to prepare for the 21st century, the Marine

 

Corps should reorganize the Fleet Marine Forces. This

 

reorganization should include three elements:

 

l. Permanently establish Marine Expeditionary Brigades

 

as the only major subordinate command of Marine Expeditionary

 

Forces.

 

2. Integrate a reserve, mobilization Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade into two of the active Marine

 

Expeditionary Forces.

 

3. Transfer the manpower structure of superfluous

 

command elements to that of necessary combat elements.

 

Under this proposal, I and II MEF would have two active

 

duty MEB's, one mobilization MEB, and three MEU's. II MEF

 

would just two active duty MEB's. In each of the MEF's, one

 

MEB would fulfill the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF)

 

mission while the other MEB would fulfill the amphibious

 

assault mission. The mobilization MEB would be manned by

 

Selected Marine Corps Reserve units. All MEB's and MEU's

 

would have permanently assigned forces. Each MEF would also

 

have a Force Troops unit. Within the context of this

 

proposal, Force Troops is not a major subordinate command as

 

in days of old, but merely a collective title for units not

 

assigned to a MEB. Each MEF would retain its geographical

 

orientation: II MEF - Europe, III MEF - Asia, and I MEF -

 


global reserve. Figures 13 and 14 depict the proposed

 

organizational charts for I and II Marine Expeditionary Forces

 

and III Marine Expeditionary Force, respectively.

 

Forces would be assigned, as opposed to designated, to

 

the amphibious MEB and to the MPF MEB. All assigned forces

 

would come under the command and control of the Brigade

 

Commanding General. The existing tables of organization for

 

maritime prepositioning force (T/O 1001) and amphibious (T/O

 

1002) brigades form the basis for manning these standing

 

brigades. Figures 15 and 16 depict the subordinate units of

 

the ground combat element, aviation combat element, combat

 

service support element, and command element of the amphibious

 

and maritime prepositioning force brigades, respectively.

 

The ground combat element in both brigades is a

 

regimental landing team. The regimental landing team is task

 

organized to include an infantry regiment, a direct support

 

artillery battalion, and two general support (self propelled)

 

artillery batteries, two assault amphibian companies, one

 

combat engineer company, one light armored infantry company,

 

one reconnaissance company, two tank companies, and an anti-

 

tank platoon. The headquarters and service company of the

 

infantry regiment has also been task organized to include a

 

military police platoon, a communications platoon, a service

 

platoon, a radar beacon team, and a SCAMP (Sensor Control and

 


Management Platoon) sensor employment squad. These

 

small units formerly were assigned to the headquarters

 

battalion of the Marine division.

 

The aviation combat element is a Marine Aircraft Group

 

(MAG) that is task organized to perform the six functions of

 

Marine aviation. To accomplish this, the MAG has four

 

helicopter squadrons, and four fixed wing squadrons

 

permanently assigned. Whenever the brigade is deployed or

 

employed, a detachment from each of the Force Troops squadrons

 

would be assigned to the brigade, as necessary. In addition

 

to the flying squadrons, the MAG has two Marine Wing Support

 

Squadrons which permit flight operations at two expeditionary

 

airfields. To ensure control of aircraft and missiles, the

 

MAG also has a Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) and a

 

battery each from the Low Altitude Air Defense (LAAD)

 

Battalion and from the Light Anti-Aircraft Missile (LAAM)

 

Battalion. The Marine Air Control Squadron is reorganized

 

with assets from other Control Group squadrons. From the

 

Marine Air Traffic Control Squadron, MACS assumed the assets

 

and responsibility to provide air traffic control

 

simultaneously to two independent and geographically separated

 

expeditionary airfields and three remote area landing sites.

 

Marine Air Support Squadron transferred the assets and

 

responsibility to operate a direct air support center and an

 


air support radar team. From Marine Wing Communications

 

Squadron, MACS received a comm squadron detachment. The

 

Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron of the Marine Air

 

Control Group provided the assets for MACS to operate a

 

Tactical Air Command Center.

 

The Brigade Service Support Group (BSSG) is a task

 

organized to provide autonomous support. The BSSG is

 

organized into eight companies that mirror the battalion

 

structure of the Force Service Support Group. Figure 19

 

depicts the proposed structure of a BSSG. The Headquarters

 

and Service Company would provide the BSSG command element, a

 

communications platoon, a military police platoon, and a

 

service platoon. The Supply company would consist of a supply

 

platoon, a ration platoon, a medical logistics platoon, and an

 

ammunition platoon. The Maintenance Company has ordnance,

 

motor transport, engineer, electronic, and general support

 

maintenance platoons. The BSSG would also have one Motor

 

Transport Company and one Landing Support company augmented by

 

a Beach and Port platoon. Medical services would be provided

 

by a Dental Company and a new Medical company consisting of an

 

existing Casualty and Clearing Company and a Surgical Support

 

platoon. Engineer support would be provided by a Bulk Fuel

 

Company and by an Engineer Company augmented by an Engineer

 

Support platoon and a Bridge platoon.


 

In I MEF and II MEF, three standing Marine Expeditionary

 

Units (MEU) would be structured according to their existing

 

standardized troop lists (29). Each MEU is composed of a

 

battalion landing team, a composite helicopter squadron

 

(CH-46, CH-53, AH-1, UH-1, and AV-8), a MEU Service

 

Support Group, and a MEU command element. The three

 

composite squadrons are supported by the assets from

 

three medium helicopter squadrons (HMM), one light/attack

 

helicopter squadron (HMLA), one heavy helicopter squadron

 

(HMH), and one attack squadron (VMA).

 

The reserve mobilization MEB has significantly greater

 

ground combat power than either the amphibious or the MPF

 

MEB's. Figure 17 depicts the subordinate units of the ground

 

combat element, the aviation combat element, the combat

 

service support element, and the command element of the

 

reserve mobilization brigade. This MEB has a direct support

 

artillery battalion (M1l4 &nd M198 howitzers), a general

 

support artillery battalion (M198 howitzers), a general

 

support (self propelled) artillery battalion (M109 and Mll0

 

howitzers), and an additional general support (self

 

propelled) artillery battery instead of just a direct

 

support artillery battalion, and two general support (self

 

propelled) artillery batteries (M109 and Mll0 howitzers). the

 

mobilization MEB has significantly more artillery support

 


since the general support artillery battalions were removed

 

from the active duty forces and placed in the reserve forces

 

as part of the Commandant's combat readiness enhancements. It

 

also has an additional combat engineer company and, even more

 

significantly, a tank battalion vice just two tank companies.

 

The aviation combat element (ACE), unlike the ACE of other

 

MEB's, has a VMGR squadron (KC-130). The reserve BSSG has the

 

same capabilities as the BSSG for the MPF MEB. However, the

 

command element of the reserve mobilization brigade does not

 

have a Radio Company but does have a full Air Naval Gunfire

 

Liaison Company (ANGLICO), a full Force Reconnaissance

 

Company, and a full Civil Affairs Group.

 

Force Troops consists of the MEF Command Element, a

 

Support Regiment, a Marine Aircraft Group, and a Service

 

Regiment. Each of these regiments and the Group consist of

 

one- of-a-kind units that have not been assigned to a brigade.

 

The third element of this proposal is to transfer the

 

manpower structure of superfluous command elements to that of

 

necessary combat units. This excess structure would be

 

created by the elimination of 29 units within each MEF. The

 

command elements of the following units would be abolished:

 

DIVISION WING FSSG

 

Division HQ Wing HQ H&S Co, H&S Bn

HQ Co, HQ Bn MWHS H&S Co, MT Bn

Svc Co, H&S Bn MAG HQ H&S Co, Engr Spt Bn

HQ Co, Inf Regt MALS H&S Co, Maint Bn

HQ Bty, Art Regt H&HS, MACG H&S Co, Med Bn

H&S Co, AA Bn H&HS, MWSG H&S Co, Den Bn

H&S Co, CE Bn MATCS H&S Co, Ldg Spt Bn

H&S Co, LAI Bn MWCS H&S Co, Sup Bn

H&S Co, Recon Bn MASS

H&S Co,Tk LAAD Bn

LAAM Bn

 

 

It bears repeating that only the command element of these units

 

will be eliminated.


 

CHAPTER II

 

ANALYSIS

 

Impact on the Ground Combat Element

 

 

Adoption of this proposal will have five fundamental

 

impacts on the ground combat element:

 

1. Reduction in the number of infantry battalions

assigned to the MEU (SOC) mission.

2. Elimination of numerous commands.

3. Military occupational specialty (MOS) progression.

4. Employment of the Reserves.

5. Combat power of the ground combat element.

 

The impacts are neither inherently good nor inherently bad,

 

but are simply consequences that may or may not be maximized

 

for the future good of the Marine Corps.

 

One of the most obvious impacts of this proposal on the

 

ground combat element is the reduction in the number of

 

infantry battalions assigned to the MEU (SOC) mission.

 

Currently, there are four battalions each, in I and II MEF,

 

that serve in sequence with three MEU command elements. The

 

pairing of four battalions with three MEU command elements

 

guarantees that any specific battalion will serve with the

 

same MEU command element only once in five-and-a-half years.

 

However, FMFM 1, the Marine Corps warfighting doctrine, states

 

that habitual relationships facilitate implicit communication,

 

which is essential for success when employing the maneuver

 

warfare philosophy (16-63). To improve these habitual

 


relationships, this proposal permanently assigns three

 

battalion landing teams within I and II MEF to three MEU

 

command elements. The fourth battalion landing team is

 

assigned to a regimental landing team that comprises the

 

ground combat element of one of the MEB's.

 

Without a doubt, the most controversial issue raised by

 

this proposal is the elimination of numerous commands. Within

 

each MEF the Marine division, the artillery regiment, the

 

amphibious assault battalion, the combat engineer battalion,

 

the light armored infantry battalion, the reconnaissance

 

battalion, the tank battalion, and the division headquarters

 

battalion would all be disbanded. This action is primarily

 

aimed at the headquarters elements of these units. This

 

proposal assigns all of the subordinate elements of these

 

units to the Commanding General of each Marine Expeditionary

 

Brigade. Thus, there are no subordinate units for the

 

division, artillery regiment, or independent battalion

 

headquarters to command and control. Since there are no

 

subordinate units for them to command and control, it follows

 

that there is no need for those headquarters.

 

In addition to disbanding the division, the artillery

 

regiment, and the six independent battalion headquarters,

 

three infantry regimental headquarters would also be

 

disbanded, one from each MEF. In I and II MEF, three infantry

 


battalions are permanently assigned to the three MEU command

 

elements. Since the MEU command element provides permanent

 

command and control, there is no reason for the existence of

 

the parent infantry regiment. In matters of concern between

 

the battalions of adjacent MEU's, the MEB command element

 

would provide the coordinating instructions. Thus, even in

 

that minor role, there is no need for the regimental

 

headquarters. In III MEF, one of the two regiments on Okinawa

 

would be disbanded. This proposal assigns one regimental

 

landing team to the amphibious MEB and the MPF MEB in each

 

MEF. Thus, the requirement for regimental headquarters is two

 

per MEF. However, in III MEF there are three regimental

 

headquarters--two in Okinawa and one in Hawaii. The MEB in

 

Hawaii is assigned the MPF mission while the MEB in Okinawa is

 

assigned the amphibious mission. Since there is but one MEB

 

in Okinawa, there is need for but one regimental headquarters

 

there. To eliminate superfluous units, one regiment in

 

Okinawa should be disbanded. Two consequences of the

 

elimination of the artillery regiment, and the independent

 

battalion headquarters are the lack of command opportunities

 

and the lack of MOS progression for officers. Traditionally,

 

the artillery regiment is commanded by a colonel with a

 

secondary MOS of 0802. The assault amphibian, the combat

 

engineer, and the tank battalions are traditionally commanded

 


by lieutenant colonels with primary MOS's of 1803, 1302, and

 

1802, respectively. However, under this proposal, the ground

 

combat element is comprised of one regimental landing team

 

with three infantry battalions, one direct support artillery

 

battalion, two general support artillery batteries, and one

 

company each of amphibious assault vehicles, combat engineers,

 

light armored infantry, reconnaissance, and tanks. Thus, in

 

each regimental landing team there is just one battalion

 

command and four battery command opportunities for officers

 

with a primary MOS of 0802, and just one company command

 

opportunity for officers with primary MOS's of 1302, 1802, or

 

1803.

 

Under the current system, officers with primary MOS's of

 

0802, 1302, 1802, and 1803 progress in MOS development by

 

service in companies or batteries as company grade officers,

 

service on battalion staffs as majors, and service as

 

battalion commanding officers as lieutenant colonels. Field

 

grade artillery officers have the additional opportunity for

 

MOS development with service on the artillery regimental

 

staff. However, with the elimination of the artillery

 

regiment and the independent battalion headquarters, field

 

grade officers will not have these opportunities for MOS

 

development. Additionally, without the independent battalions

 

there will not be a readily available pool of mentors to

 


instruct company grade officers and advise the ground combat

 

element commander on the most advantageous method of

 

employment of the organic combat support assets--artillery,

 

amphibious assault vehicles, combat engineers, light armored

 

infantry, reconnaissance teams, and tanks.

 

The first problem can be addressed in a candid manner.

 

Although it is unfortunate that the number of commands is

 

reduced, it is not the mission of the Marine Corps to provide

 

command opportunities for all of its officers. The Marine

 

Corps exists to conduct land warfare as a part of naval

 

campaigns in support of our national objectives. Officer

 

assignments are made to meet the needs of the Corps.

 

For the second problem, the issue really becomes one of

 

ensuring that experts are available to advise the ground

 

combat commander on the integration of the infantry and the

 

combat support units. These experts would be available to the

 

commander under this proposal. Advisors to the commander

 

would be found on the commander's staff and not

 

necessarily in the combat support unit. Military

 

occupational specialty developmental progress for combat

 

support officers would be by service in companies and

 

batteries where tactical employment would be taught by

 

the company commander. As the combat support officers

 

progressed in rank, they would serve on various MAGTF

 


command element staffs where they would learn combat

 

support integration. The next command billet they might

 

attain would be the ground combat element commander.

 

There is no compelling reason why an officer with a

 

combat support background should not aspire to command of

 

a battalion landing team or a regimental landing team.

 

These landing teams are much more than an infantry

 

battalion or regiment with some supporting arms. They

 

are combined arms teams of artillery, amphibious assault

 

vehicles, infantry and light armored infantry,

 

reconnaissance teams, tanks, and combat engineers. Tbe

 

background of the commander should reflect the same.

 

Under this proposal, I and II MEF each have one

 

mobilization MEB which is composed entirely of units from the

 

Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SMCR). The Marine Corps

 

Reserve is "charged with providing the means for rapid

 

expansion of our Corps during a national emergency" (16-5.7).

 

This rapid expansion is achieved by augmenting the active duty

 

units with personnel replacements from the Individual Ready

 

Reserve and by reinforcing active duty units with additional

 

units from the Selected Marine Corps Reserve. Prior to this

 

proposal, the reinforcing units from the SMCR were envisioned

 

to be no larger than a battalion or a squadron. The SMCR has

 

sufficient units to field the ground combat element of two

 


MEB's (10-8.6).

 

Assignment of a mobilization MEB to I and II MEF resolves

 

a critical problem during employment of those MEF's. Of

 

twelve infantry battalions assigned to I MEF, two are always

 

deployed to III MEF on the unit deployment program, one is

 

always forward deployed with a MEU (SOC), and one is in

 

training to replace the forward deployed MEU (SOC) battalion.

 

Thus, at any time, three, and most likely four, infantry

 

battalions are unavailable, leaving just eight battalions to

 

be employed with the MEF. In II MEF, the situation is even

 

more critical. Of the nine battalions assigned, one is always

 

forward deployed as part of the Landing Force Sixth Fleet, one

 

is in training to replace the forward deployed battalion, and

 

one is always deployed to III MEF on the unit deployment

 

program. Thus at any time, three battalions are unavailable,

 

leaving just six battalions to be employed with the MEF. III

 

MEF is similarly strapped with only six infantry battalions--

 

two in Hawaii and four on Okinawa. Assigning a reserve,

 

mobilization MEB to I and II MEF guarantees each MEF of the

 

conceptual minimum employment of nine infantry battalions.

 

This guarantee is not without cost. In order to employ the

 

reserve MEB, the Congress must order a national

 

mobilization or the President must execute his authority to

 

mobilize up to 200,000 reservists without a national

 


mobilization. Although both of these actions are fraught with

 

political liability for the President, it does ensure that a

 

Marine Expeditionary Force is not committed to combat without

 

the support of the nation.

 

The final major issue concerning the ground combat

 

element is the credibility of its combat power. The degree to

 

which a military unit represents a credible force is

 

determined by the capabilities of its opposition. A Marine

 

Expeditionary Brigade, with its regimental landing team,

 

Marine aircraft group, and brigade service support group, is a

 

credible force immediately on arrival in a low-intensity or mid-

 

intensity conflict. Clearly, for sustained, land operations

 

in a high-intensity conflict, a Marine Expeditionary Force,

 

with its much greater ground combat power, air power, and

 

sustainability, is required. One aspect of the ground combat

 

power of the MEF that is addressed by this proposal but not

 

our existing organization is the availability of the

 

battalions assigned to the activated Marine Expeditionary

 

Units. The forward deployed MEU's are under the operational

 

control of the theater Commanders-in-Chief. As such, MEF

 

planners can not assume that the subordinate units of the MEU

 

will be available if the MEF is deployed for some contingency.

 

This proposal guarantees greater combat power for the MEF by

 

assigning to it a reserve, mobilization MEB.


 

Impact on the Aviation Combat Element

 

 

Adoption of this proposal will have five fundamental

 

impacts on the aviation combat element:

 

1. Realignment of squadrons within each Marine Aircraft

Group.

2. Availability of squadron assets.

3. Revised concept of employment for the Marine Aviation

Logistics Squadron.

4. Elimination of numerous commands.

5. Revised concept of employment for the Marine Air

Command and Control System.

 

The most obvious impact of this proposal is the

 

realignment of squadrons within the Marine Aircraft Group

 

(MAG). This proposal would realign the composition of each

 

NAG from one along functional lines to one that ensures the

 

capability to provide all six functions of Marine aviation.

 

This realignment will require some units to relocate, but only

 

to the extent required to obtain the proper distribution of

 

squadrons within a theater. Lastly, the realignment will

 

provide the MAG headquarters staff with the necessary training

 

for the MAG to fulfill its mission as the aviation combat

 

element of a Marine Expeditionary Brigade.

 

Currently MAG's are organized along functional lines--

 

control groups, support groups, helicopter groups, fighter

 

groups, and attack groups. This proposal would "mirror image"

 

all the MAG's that are assigned as the aviation combat element

 

of a MEB. Each of these Groups would have two (one for MPF

 


MAG's) medium helicopter squadrons (HMM) flying the V-22, one

 

heavy helicopter squadron (HMH) flying the CH-53E, one

 

light/attack helicopter squadron (HMLA) flying the UH-1 and

 

the AH-1, two fighter/attack squadrons (VMFA) flying the F/A-

 

18, one attack squadron (VMA) flying the AV-8, and one all-

 

weather attack squadron (VMA(AW)) flying the A-6. In addition

 

to the flying squadrons, each MAG would have one aviation

 

logistics squadron (MALS), two support squadrons (MWSS), one

 

substantially reinforced air control squadron (MACS), a low

 

altitude air defense (LAAD) battery, and a light anti-aircraft

 

missile (LAAM) battery.

 

In addition to the realignment of the MAG's assigned to

 

the amphibious and the maritime prepositioning force brigades,

 

six other squadrons in I and II MEF would be permanently

 

aligned with a Marine Expeditionary Unit. Three medium

 

helicopter squadrons, one heavy helicopter squadron, one

 

light/attack helicopter squadron, one attack squadron, and one

 

low altitude air defense platoon are required to fulfill the

 

standardized troop lists of three MEU's (28). One medium

 

helicopter squadron and one-third of the assets, including

 

intermediate support, of each of the other squadrons would be

 

assigned to each of the MEU's.

 

Each Force Troops of each MEF would also have a MAG.

 

This Group would have an aerial refueler transport squadron

 


(VMGR) flying the KC-130, and an observation squadron (VMO)

 

flying the OV-10. The Force Troops MAG in II MEF would have a

 

tactical electronic warfare squadron (VMAQ) flying the EA-6,

 

while the Force Troops in I MEF would have a tactical

 

reconnaissance squadron (VMFP) flying the F/A-18. Each of

 

these squadrons is capable of employing detachments to support

 

either of the two brigades or any of the MEU's.

 

With the realignment of squadrons within each MAG there

 

will also be some relocation of squadrons. This proposal does

 

not require that all units of a particular Group are

 

garrisoned at the same air station. The only requirement is

 

that all units assigned to any particular Group must be

 

located within the same theater. Within I and II MEF,

 

squadrons would remain garrisoned at their current air

 

stations. Within III MEF some squadrons must be relocated

 

from Hawaii to Okinawa. Table 1 illustrates the current, on-

 

hand distribution (O/H), proposed distribution of flying squadrons

 

among the three MEF's (REQR) and the total number of squadrons

 

specified by the Aviation Master Plan (PLAN).

 

Only eleven flying squadrons would have to be relocated--

 

eight squadrons between the MEF's and three within III MEF.

 

Any plan that proposes to relocate additional squadrons to a

 

foreign country must consider the impact on the established

 

balance of forces. This plan would increase the number of

 


 

TABLE 1

 

FLYING SQUADRON DISTRIBUTION

 

I MEF II MEF III MEF TOTAL

SQDN O/H REQR O/H REQR O/H REQR O/H PLAN REQR

HMM 5 6 6 6 4 3 15 18 15

HMH 5 3 3 3 1 2 9 6 8

HMLA 4 3 2 3 0 2 6 8 8

VMFA 3 4 6 4 3 4 12 12 12

VMA 4 3 4 3 0 2 8 8 8

VMA (AW) 2 2 3 2 0 2 5 5 6

 

flying squadrons on Okinawa by one medium helicopter squadron

 

relocated from Hawaii. This increase would be offset by a

 

decrease of two support squadrons relocated from Okinawa to

 

Hawaii.

 

Once the squadrons are properly distributed throughout

 

the MEF's, the Groups will face a serious span of control

 

problem. A MAG headquarters in I or II MEF will have its

 

subordinate squadrons spread across three air stations located

 

hundreds of miles apart. The MAG in Okinawa will have its

 

squadrons spread between Futenma and Iwakuni. Although this

 

is not the ideal basing plan, it is no different from that

 

which is intended whenever a MAGTF is employed. Rotary

 

wing and fixed wing aircraft will not be based at the same

 

airfield. The range and response time of rotary wing aircraft

 


are such that it requires them to be forward based. Fixed

 

wing aircraft have much quicker response time and can,

 

therefore, operate effectively from an air base safely

 

ensconced in the rear area. It is during peacetime that we

 

are enjoined to prepare for war (14-41). Thus it is logical,

 

hence appropriate, that a MAG headquarters must, in peacetime,

 

contend with the same span of control problem it will face in

 

combat.

 

After implementing this realignment, the MAG will avoid

 

the "ad hocery in crisis" that the Commandant decried (18).

 

When a MEB is deployed for combat, the MAG that forms its

 

aviation combat element will be far more ready than our Groups

 

today. The realigned MAG is, following the advice of the

 

Commandant (22), task organized for the "most likely

 

contingency." Clearly, the MEF commander can still refine the

 

task organization with units from Force Troops or from the

 

sister brigade. The vast majority of the subordinate squadron

 

commanders will have established the long-term working

 

relationships with their group commander necessary to develop

 

familiarity and trust, which are essential to our doctrine of

 

maneuver warfare (14-63). Not only have the squadron

 

commanders developed these habitual relationships, the MAG

 

headquarters staff has also developed long-term working

 

relationships. The Group staff is well prepared to execute

 


all six functions of Marine aviation since it does so in

 

peacetime with its permanently assigned assets.

 

A critical factor in the viability of this plan is

 

whether sufficient assets exist to allow them to be allocated

 

to each brigade. When insufficient assets exist to meet all

 

requirements simultaneously, it is prudent to hold all assets

 

as general purpose forces. Such is the case in this proposal

 

with the squadrons that have been assigned to Force Troops.

 

Excesses and shortages in the number of squadrons required to

 

execute this plan must be referenced to the number of

 

squadrons envisioned in 2001 by the Aviation Master Plan.

 

The Aviation Master Plan envisions a change in the number

 

of each type of helicopter squadron and an increase in the

 

number of observation and of tactical reconnaissance

 

squadrons. The number of medium helicopter squadrons will

 

increase from 15 to 18 with the conversion from the H-46 to

 

the V-22. This will be accomplished by changing three heavy

 

helicopter squadrons to medium squadrons with their conversion

 

from the H-53D to the V-22. Three more heavy helicopter

 

squadrons will exchange their H-53D aircraft for the H-53E.

 

This change will bring the total number of heavy helicopter

 

squadrons, flying the CH-53E, to six. The number of

 

light/attack helicopter squadrons will increase from six to

 

eight with the introduction of the AH-1W. The number of

 


observation squadrons will increase from two to three. The

 

number of tactical reconnaissance squadrons will increase from

 

one to three with the conversion from the RF-4 to the F/A-18.

 

On the SMCR side of the aviation plan, almost every

 

aircraft community will change either number of squadrons or

 

type of aircraft. Both medium helicopter squadrons and the

 

only heavy helicopter squadron will convert from the H-46 and

 

the H-53D to the V-22. In the process of the conversion, four

 

squadrons will emerge from the three. All three light

 

helicopter squadrons (HML) and the only attack helicopter

 

squadron (HMA) will merge to form two light/attack helicopter

 

squadrons (HMLA). All three fighter/attack and all five

 

attack squadrons will convert from the F-4 and the A-4 to the

 

F/A-18 and the AV-8. They will emerge from the conversion as

 

four VMFA and two VMA squadrons. One additional VMGR squadron

 

has joined the SMCR. Finally, the VMFP squadron will exchange

 

its RF-4 for the F/A-18D.

 

Table 2 illustrates the flying squadron requirements,

 

active duty and reserve, for the Aviation Master Plan and for

 

this plan. The only inconsistencies between this proposal and

 

the Master Plan are with the HMH and VMA(AW) squadrons, active

 

and reserve, the active HMM squadrons, and the reserve VMO,

 

VMAQ, and VMFP squadrons. An examination of these communities

 

will reveal the rationale for these differences.


 

This proposal established a requirement for 15 medium

 

helicopter squadrons based on the current inventory of medium

 

helicopter squadrons. The V-22 has a greater range and

 

quicker response time than the H-46. Hence, it is illogical

 

that with the introduction of a more capable aircraft the

 

Marine Corps would need more medium lift squadrons flying that

 

aircraft.

 

The heavy lift requirement has shifted from the H-53D to

 

the H-53E. The Aviation Master Plan envisions six heavy lift

 

helicopter squadrons, sufficient assets for one per MEB.

 

However, that plan ignores the requirement for the assets of

 

one squadron to support the three MEU's on each coast. The

 

current acquisition strategy for the H-53E is for a

 

procurement of 105 aircraft through the end of 1991 to support

 

six operational squadrons and one training squadron. However,

 

a total procurement of 191 aircraft is required to meet the

 

Marine Corps heavy lift requirements into the next century

 

(16-3.23). This additional procurement will be sufficient,

 

baring an increase in aircraft attrition, to rectify the

 

shortages in the number of HMH squadrons in both the active

 

duty and the reserve forces.

 

This proposal requires an all-weather attack capability

 

in each MEB--amphibious, MPF, and reserve mobilization. This

 

capability is performed by A-6 squadrons. However, the

 


 

Click here to view image

 


current inventory and the planned inventory of these squadrons

 

is not sufficient to provide one squadron per MEB. As shown

 

in Table 2, the Marine Corps has only five A-6 squadrons.

 

Throughout the aviation community there is an unspoken

 

reluctance to increase the number of A-6 squadrons, regardless

 

of need, due to its relatively slow speed, wing design

 

problems, and near equivalent capabilities of more modern

 

aircraft. Although the A-6 is eminently capable of fulfilling

 

its all-weather role with a substantial weapons load, the

 

economic realities of reopening a production line for an aircraft

 

that has some significant shortcomings dominate the decision not

 

to increase the number of A-6 squadrons. However, at the start

 

of the next century, the Marine Corps needs an all-weather attack

 

capability for each of its expeditionary brigades. This

 

capability may be met by acquisition of a new aircraft (highly

 

unlikely given the coming austere budgets and historical

 

acquisition time), or by modification of an existing aircraft.

 

The Aviation Master Plan envisions a SMCR with one VMO,

 

one VMAQ, and one VMFP squadron. This proposal lists those

 

squadrons as excess. The concept of employment of the VMO,

 

and the VMGR squadrons are as MEF assets. However, there is

 

no plan to employ the 4th Marine Division, the 4th Marine

 

Aircraft Wing and the 4th Force Service Support Group as a

 

MEF. The VMAQ squadron, in addition to being a MEF asset,

 


is generally considered to be a national asset. A reserve

 

mobilization MEB has no need for these squadrons. This

 

MEB can not be employed without a Presidential "200,000

 

call-up" or a national mobilization. In either case, the

 

conflict has escalated from low-intensity or mid-intensity

 

conflict to high-intensity conflict. Thus, the full

 

capabilities of the MEF to perform these missions are

 

presumably already in the theater of conflict. The needs

 

of the Marine Corps would be better served by transferring

 

the physical assets of these squadrons to the active

 

forces.

 

The concept of employment of the Marine Aviation

 

Logistics Squadron (MALS) must be revised for the effective

 

implementation of this proposal. Recently, the Marine Corps

 

adopted the MALS concept. Under this, the Group headquarters

 

portion of the old Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron

 

(HAMS) was removed and designated simply as the MAG

 

headquarters. The "and Maintenance" portion of the HAMS was

 

redesignated as the MALS. This redesignation is only somewhat

 

more appropriate since the "and Maintenance" portion not only

 

included the intermediate maintenance functions, but also the

 

aviation supply function. With the exception of aviation

 

intermediate maintenance and aviation supply, the functions of

 

Marine aviation logistics are really performed by the Marine

 


Wing Support Squadron. Each aircraft group was, nevertheless,

 

assigned a MALS. The concept of employment of the MALS is

 

evident from the amphibious and the maritime prepositioning

 

force brigade tables of organization (11). A fixed wing and a

 

rotary wing MALS is to be assigned to each brigade.

 

Since each MALS has only the personnel and equipment to

 

provide intermediate maintenance for the aircraft assigned to

 

the parent aircraft group, the concept of contingency support

 

packages evolved. A contingency support package (CSP)

 

consists of the people, parts, equipment, and mobile

 

maintenance facilities necessary to support the aircraft

 

assigned for the mission. The contingency support package is

 

developed by adding a deployment CSP (DCSP) and a fly-in

 

support package (FISP) to a core or common CSP. The common

 

CSP is one that is universally applicable to all Marine

 

fixed wing or to all rotary wing aircraft. The deployment CSP

 

is composed of the support items unique to any particular

 

aircraft. The people required for the deployment CSP are

 

listed on each squadron's table of organization as "MALS

 

augment." The equipment for the deployment CSP comes from a

 

pro rata share of the old HAMS equipment. The fly-in support

 

package is a ten day supply of organizational level parts that

 

the flying squadron normally takes on the flight ferry. Under

 

this concept, each MALS would support the aircraft that were

 


collocated with it.

 

This proposal assigns but one MALS to each MAG and none

 

for the squadrons assigned to a MEU. For the latter

 

squadrons, the ship's Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance

 

Department (AIMD) provides the common CSP, while each squadron

 

must provide its own deployment CSP. When deployed, the MALS

 

provides the common CSP and each squadron provides its

 

deployed CSP. Under the current concept of employment, the

 

flying squadrons and their parent MALS are all collocated with

 

the MAG headquarters. Under this proposal, they are not, for

 

it is quite conceivable that a MAG headquarters and its

 

associated MALS will have assigned squadrons spread among

 

three air stations. At least one of those three air stations

 

will not have a MALS garrisoned there. The issue then becomes

 

one of now having organized the MALS for warfighting, how is

 

it adapted for peacetime?

 

A solution to the problem can be obtained from the Navy.

 

Each air station that garrisons a significant number of flying

 

squadrons would establish an aircraft intermediate maintenance

 

department. The common CSP from the former HAMS and the

 

deployment CSP's from the squadron would be assigned to the

 

AIMD as category I augmentees under the Fleet Assistance

 

Program. Essentially, all the production capability of the

 

MALS would be "fapped" to the AIMD. The aircraft maintenance

 


management functions would remain as the only permanent

 

functions within the MALS. The drawback to this plan, as with

 

the current one, is that the commander who must employ the

 

MALS in combat has little control over the training of the

 

Marines who will man it.

 

As with the ground combat element, one of the most

 

partisan issues raised by this proposal is elimination of

 

numerous commands within each MEF: the wing headquarters,

 

the wing headquarters squadron, the support group, the control

 

group, the air traffic control squadron, the air support

 

squadron, the communications squadron, the headquarters and

 

headquarters squadrons of both the control group and the

 

support group, and the LAAD and LAAM battalions. In addition

 

to these units, one MAG headquarters and its associated MALS

 

from I MEF and two MAG headquarters and MALS from II MEF would

 

be eliminated. Additionally, if only 15 V-22 squadrons

 

are maintained instead of 18, then one HMH and three HMM flags

 

would be folded. The final four flags to be folded would be

 

from the SMCR--the observation squadron, the tactical

 

electronic squadron, the tactical reconnaissance squadron, and

 

one of the two air support squadrons (MASS).

 

Elimination of these units really represents elimination

 

of redundant levels of command. The warfighting capability of

 

the squadrons, battalions, groups and wings has been

 


reorganized under another existing command. However, in the

 

few cases where actual warfighting capability was eliminated--

 

three HMM, one HMH, and three SMCR squadrons, the squadrons

 

were eliminated because they were superfluous to our concept

 

of employment in a low- or mid-intensity conflict.

 

Another major problem, though perhaps not as parochial

 

as the previous one, is the concept of employment for the

 

Marine Air Command and Control System (MACCS). The revised

 

concept of employment must address integration of the MACCS

 

into the host nation or joint task force (JTF) air command and

 

control system for the initial brigade that is deployed into

 

the theater of conflict. It must also account for the

 

integration of subsequent brigades into the theater air

 

command and control system. Finally, it must provide a means

 

for the joint task force commander to task the MAGTF commander

 

with air missions.

 

Once a Marine brigade, whether it was amphibious or

 

maritime prepositioning force in origin, has assumed control

 

of air operations ashore, it must be able to exercise that

 

control to the same degree of capability of that formerly of

 

an aircraft wing. Each brigade has been task organized with

 

the assets of the former air control group to be able to

 

provide just that degree of control. The air control element

 

of the aviation combat element will become integrated in the

 


theater air command and control system. In a low-intensity

 

or mid-intensity conflict, a brigade may be the only Marine

 

force in the theater. Thus, the air command and control

 

problem is resolved. The MACCS is completely integrated into

 

the theater system and the joint task force commander can

 

directly task the MAGTF commander for air missions. As the

 

conflict escalated and the size of the Marine presence

 

increased from a MEB to a MEF, the MAGTF commander could

 

request a greater portion of the air command and control

 

system. The air control elements of each follow-on brigade

 

would link with the first air control element. Thus, the

 

first element into the theater becomes the central node for

 

the MAGTF air command and control system. Although the MACCS

 

has expanded to a decentralized command and control system,

 

the joint task force air component commander still maintains a

 

single point of contact with the MAGTF. The joint task force

 

commander as always has a direct line to the MAGTF commander

 

for assigning any missions, air or ground.

 

Impact on the Combat Service Support Element

 

 

The impact of this proposal on the Brigade Service

 

Support Group should be evaluated with the following,

 

subjective criteria: (1) command and control, (2) training and

 

supervision, (3) limited equipment, (4) peacetime

 

requirements, and (5) transition from peace to war. The

 


Center for Naval Analysis used the same criteria for

 

evaluating a BSSG structure concept (33-8.1).

 

In evaluating the impact of this proposal on the BSSG

 

with respect to command and control functions, one major point

 

to consider is that many functions of combat service support

 

are interdependent. Coordination of these functions will

 

require the involvement of the combat service support element

 

commander. This coordination also suggests abandonment of the

 

functional area management concept. A commander accustomed to

 

coordinating interdependent functions will, presumably, be

 

more prepared to do so in combat than another commander who

 

had until just prior to deployment been assigned to a

 

functional battalion.

 

Evaluating the impact of this proposal with respect to

 

supervision and training yields two opposite conclusions. The

 

train as you are going to fight philosophy is firmly embraced

 

by this proposal. Although the commander may be better

 

trained, it is impossible to predict whether the smaller

 

functional units of the BSSG, companies, foster more effective

 

military occupational specialty training than the larger units

 

of the FSSG. Organizing in BSSG's increases the requirement

 

for qualified supervisors. Additionally, since the units are

 

smaller, the supervisory billets will be of a lower grade than

 

in the FSSG. The problem becomes one of not only obtaining

 


supervisors but of obtaining young, qualified supervisors.

 

One of the key issues raised by this proposal is the lack

 

of equipment to support two brigades. Clearly, this proposal

 

is hampered by the proliferation of oversized, expensive,

 

seldom used or one-of-a-kind items within the combat service

 

support element. The 1987 study by the Center for Naval

 

Analysis discovered only seven one-of-a-kind items in the 1990

 

BSSG equipment list (33-8.8).

 

Another argument against this proposal is that the BSSG

 

lacks the depth of assets to be able to support conflicting

 

peacetime requirements. Elimination of the conflicting

 

peacetime requirements is precisely the objective of this

 

proposal. Presumably the unity of the brigade command will

 

prevent brigade units from being assigned missions that do not

 

have any bearing on the brigade's overall mission.

 

All Marine Corps commands are enjoined to focus all

 

peacetime activities on achieving combat readiness (14-41).

 

However, in spite of our combat readiness and our task

 

organization for the most likely contingency, there will be

 

some last moment "ad hocery" or refinements to the task

 

organization. The staff of a functional battalion may be more

 

qualified than the staff of a BSSG to allocate assets during a

 

task organization refinement.


 

Impact on the Command Element

 

 

The adoption of this proposal will have five significant

 

effects on the command element:

 

1. Reinforcement of the principle of unity of command.

2. Support for implementation of the maneuver warfare

doctrine.

3. Complication of span of control problems.

4. Increased professional competence of the MAGTF staff.

5. Elimination of the composite MAGTF problem.

 

Most importantly, the MEB commander will finally have direct

 

influence on the training of the Marines he will have to lead

 

in combat. The MEB commander will now be able to maintain

 

habitual relationships with his staff and subordinate

 

commanders. However, the MEF commander will have multiple

 

ground combat elements.

 

With the elimination of redundant and parallel commands,

 

there will be no need to "dual hat" a general officer as the

 

commander of two distinctly different commands. Additionally,

 

with the elimination of the division, wing and FSSG command

 

billets, there will be an excess number of general officers.

 

Thus the Marine Corps will change from a situation of a lack

 

of general officers requiring "dual hatted" commanders to a

 

situation of a lack of general officer billets. The Marine

 

Corps can meet this change by fulfilling its needs for general

 

officers elsewhere or by reducing the number of general

 

officers. More significantly, the MAGTF commander may now

 


devote more time to fighting his MAGTF.

 

A second advantage of this proposal is that with the

 

assignment of units to the command vice the designation of

 

units, the commanding general finally has control over the

 

tactical proficiency of the units he will lead in combat. By

 

the existing organization, the subordinate units of the MEB

 

remained under the command and control of the parent command

 

until the MAGTF was activated. At that time, the subordinate

 

unit would shift to the operational command and control of the

 

MEB commander. The MEB commander would have a chance to

 

observe the tactical proficiency of the subordinate units only

 

during an exercise or during an actual contingency. However,

 

under this proposal, the MEB commander has the responsibility

 

of not only leading his units in combat, but also of

 

preparing them for war.

 

The adoption of his proposal facilitates acceptance of

 

the maneuver warfare doctrine. The MEB commander and his

 

staff have a greater opportunity improve their tactical

 

proficiency while daily commanding and controlling assigned

 

forces. The MAGTF forces are directed toward a geographical

 

area. Therefore, the commander and his staff will have a

 

greater opportunity to identify possible antagonists and to

 

perform area studies than will a commander of general purpose

 

forces, such as divisions and wings. The information obtained

 


from the study of potential antagonists and of mission areas

 

will better prepare the MEB commander to strike at the enemy's

 

critical vulnerabilities and to destroy his will to fight.

 

One difficult issue raised by this proposal is that of

 

span of control. Under the existing MAGTF organization, each

 

MAGTF has normally one ground combat element. A MEU has a

 

battalion landing team; a MEB, a regimental landing team; and

 

a MEF, a Marine division. The MAGTF commander could assign a

 

mission to the ground combat element commander and allow him

 

to coordinate the fires and maneuver of his regiments. It is

 

possible that a MEF commander might have two ground combat

 

elements, each consisting of a Marine division. Due to the

 

size of each of these ground combat elements, it is highly

 

unlikely that they would be assigned the same objective. For

 

the purposes of maneuver and fire support coordination, the

 

two ground combat elements could be considered to be

 

conducting independent operations. Under the proposed

 

reorganization, a MEF would have two or more MEB's, each with

 

a regimental landing team. In this case, MEF commander would

 

now have to direct and coordinate the fires and maneuver of

 

each regimental landing team since it is most likely that all

 

of the ground combat elements would be assigned missions on

 

the same objective.

 

Permanent MAGTF headquarters were created, in part, out


 

of a concern for the professional competence of the MAGTF

 

staff. With the existing MAGTF headquarters, the staff may

 

develop develop the necessary relationships to operate

 

efficiently. However, one of the major functions of the

 

staff is to assist the MAGTF commander in integrating the

 

combat power of his subordinate elements. Now with forces

 

assigned, the staff will be able to practice in peacetime

 

the tasks they must accomplish in combat.

 

This proposal may eliminate the composite MAGTF problem.

 

Under this reorganization, there will be no headlong drive to

 

get the MEF, division, wing and FSSG headquarters into the

 

theater of conflict. Each MEB is fully capable of commanding

 

and controlling all the functions of the aviation, ground

 

combat and combat service support elements and fighting as an

 

integrated MAGTF. The MEF commander exercises control over

 

the combat units through his subordinate MEB commander. The

 

MEF commander and his staff are, therefore, required in the

 

theater of conflict only when more than one MEB is present.

 

Impact on Manpower Structure

 

 

Although this proposal may produce beneficial effects on

 

each element of the MAGTF, it must produce significant

 

manpower savings to warrant the turmoil of reorganization.

 

There are three major manpower concerns that must be addressed:

 

1. Number of saved or excess billets.


 

2. Officer and enlisted grade distribution.

 

3. MOS progression.

 

Manpower structure is dependent on the personnel budget

 

and rank distribution. For a given budget, the number of

 

billets that can be created is dependent on the annual pay,

 

hence the rank, of the billet holder. It is, therefore, not

 

particularly useful to simply count the number of excess

 

billets created by the proposal. Those billets must be

 

related to their impact on the personnel budget.

 

Since annual pay is one of the largest direct operating

 

costs included in the personnel budget, any analysis should

 

use annual pay as the sole cost of a billet. The difficulty

 

in expressing excess billets strictly in terms of dollars is

 

that the figures lose significance. Therefore, the cost of

 

each billet shall be normalized by the average annual pay of a

 

Private/Private First Class. Table 3 lists the average annual

 

pay for Marines of each rank. Table 4 summarizes the ratio

 

between the average annual pay of a Pvt/PFC and all the other

 

ranks. A cursory view of these tables shows that a Sergeant

 

Major has an average annual pay of $37,827, which is roughly

 

3.5 times greater than that of a Pvt/PFC. Therefore, on a

 

dollar basis, a Sergeant Major's billet is equivalent to 3.5

 

Pvt/PFC billets. Likewise, a colonel's billet is equivalent

 

to 6.0 Pvt/PFC billets. Table 5 lists the excess manpower

 


 

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structure created within each MEF by abolishing the command

 

elements of those 29 units. The excess billets of each unit

 

are listed by the number of enlisted billets, the number of

 

officer billets, and the number of Pvt/PFC equivalents. A

 

brief look at Table 5 shows that although 95 officers and 274

 

enlisted Marines are assigned to the Wing Headquarters, their

 

average annual pay is equivalent to that of 921 privates. By

 

way of comparison, a rifle company has an equivalent pay of

 

244.6 privates and a medium helicopter squadron, 364.5 privates.

 

With the elimination of 29 command elements in each MEF,

 

the Marine Corps realizes a total excess of 12,792 enlisted

 

billets and 1830 officer billets. Table 6 lists the total

 

number of excess billets by rank. These numbers represent

 

 

TABLE 6

 

EXCESS BILLETS

Pvt/PFC LCpl Cpl Sgt SSgt GySgt 1stSgt SgtMaj

2085 3372 2988 2031 1225 870 489 318

 

Lts Capt Maj LtCol Col Gen

330 555 414 234 87 15

 

 

7.2% of the enlisted strength and 9.0% of the officer

 

strength. The total annual pay of these billets is over $305

 

million, which is approximately 8.6% of the estimated $3,549

 

million the Marine Corps spends for pay. By comparison, the

 

annual payroll of 114 rifle companies or 75 medium helicopter

 

squadrons is less than that of these excess billets.


 

Although this proposal represents a 7.2% reduction in

 

enlisted strength and a 9.0% reduction in officer strength,

 

there is no significant change in the remaining grade

 

distribution. Figures 20 and 21 compare the existing grade

 

distribution with that as a consequence of this proposal for

 

both enlisted Marines and Marine officers, respectively. The

 

greatest change in the enlisted distribution is just 3/10th of

 

one percent. The officer ranks show a slight skewing toward

 

the lower grades with the ratio of lieutenants increasing 2.4%.

 

Even though the grade distribution remains the same, the

 

proposal does create a problem with MOS progression for

 

officers. The same problem of diminished command opportunity

 

that artillery officers, tracked vehicle officers, and

 

engineer officers face in the ground combat element will

 

confront combat service support officers, air defense

 

officers, air support officers and air traffic control

 

officers. In the enlisted ranks, MOS progression is not

 

exacerbated by the proposal since the preponderance of the

 

excess senior enlisted billets were taken from the division,

 

wing, and FSSG staffs. Again, the candid response to this

 

problem is not all Marines will be afforded the opportunity

 

for a major command; nor will they all be afforded the

 

opportunity to serve for twenty years.

 

Clearly, this proposal can produce significant manpower


 

savings. It will, of course, take some time to abolish these

 

billets and to relocate the billet holders before the savings

 

can be realized. If the personnel budget is drastically

 

reduced requiring vertical cuts in the manpower structure,

 

then this proposal offers an excellent opportunity to absorb

 

those cuts without sacrificing combat efficiency.

 

Impact on Public Law

 

 

Section 5013, Title 10, United States Code, currently

 

states, "The Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy,

 

shall be so organized as to include not less than three combat

 

divisions and three air wings and such other land combat,

 

aviation, and other services as may be organic therein" (2-

 

606). Prior to implementation of this proposal, this section

 

of Title 10 must be amended. A simple but sufficient

 

amendment is to replace the words "three combat divisions and

 

three air wings" with "three Marine Expeditionary Forces."

 

The effect of this change must be measured against the

 

legislative intent of the original version and how well that

 

purpose has been achieved.

 

Following the post-World War II military unification

 

hearings, Congress, in addition to establishing the charter of

 

the modern Marine Corps, established its composition. Section

 

206(c) of the National Security Act of 1947 stated, "The

 

United States Marine Corps, within the Department of the Navy,

 


shall include land combat and service forces and such aviation

 

as may be organic therein" (40-31). This broad description of

 

the Marine Corps composition did not establish its minimum

 

size. President Harry Truman and the top leadership of the

 

new Department of Defense, including Secretary of Defense

 

Louis Johnson, Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews,

 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Omar Bradley,

 

and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Forrest Sherman, were

 

openly hostile toward the continued existence of the Marine

 

Corps as a co-equal service. Since these men held budgetary

 

authority over the Marine Corps, the strength of the Corps

 

fell from over 92,000 in 1947 to under 75,000 in 1950 (40-38).

 

The outbreak of hostilities in Korea stopped the almost

 

certain elimination of the Marine Corps or at least, its

 

reversion to its traditional role with greatly reduced size

 

and influence. Despite the performance of the 1st Marine

 

Division in Korea, the civilian leadership in the Pentagon

 

remained hostile to the Marine Corps. However, Congress

 

passed the Douglas-Mansfield Act (Public Law 82-416) on 20

 

June 1952, giving the Commandant of the Marine Corps co-equal

 

status with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on all issues of direct

 

interest to the Marine Corps. The Act also established the

 

current language of Title 10, Section 5013. Thus, the

 

legislative intent of the Act was to protect the existence of

 


the Marine Corps by establishing a minimum strength.

 

The terms "combat division" and "air wing" are

 

sufficiently vague that one may argue for any sized Marine

 

Corps based on his definition of the terms. Since 1952, the

 

size of a Marine infantry division has varied widely. The

 

size of an Army division has also varied in size during that

 

period. Even today the strength of any Army division

 

(infantry, light infantry, mechanized, air assault, airborne,

 

or armor) is different from that of any Marine division. In

 

fact, the strength of each Marine division differs from each

 

other. A Marine aircraft wing is significantly larger, by an

 

order of magnitude, than a comparably named Navy or Air Force

 

unit. To the Air Force and the Navy, an air wing is the next

 

level unit above a squadron. The embodiment of the Navy's

 

definition is the carrier air wing or functional wing. Marine

 

aircraft wings, which number approximately 400 aircraft, dwarf

 

the Navy carrier air or type commander wings and the Air Force

 

wings, each of which number less than 100 aircraft.

 

Although the Douglas-Mansfield Act ensured the continued

 

existence of the Marine Corps in the early 1950's, has the

 

wording of the Act, ". . . not less than three combat

 

divisions and three air wings . . .", protected the manpower

 

strength of the Marine Corps from falling below that level? A

 

quick review of the strength of the Marine Corps today answers

 


that question with a resounding NO! The Third Marine Division

 

currently has but four infantry battalions, two tank

 

companies, and two amphibious assault battalions. The First

 

Marine Aircraft Wing is similarly understrength with but two

 

fighter/attack squadrons, two attack squadrons, one refueler

 

squadron and one each, medium, heavy, and light/attack

 

helicopter squadron. Clearly, the Third Marine Division and

 

the First Marine Aircraft Wing are not a full "combat division

 

and air wing" within the intent of the law.

 

The change in wording from "three combat divisions and

 

three air wings" to "three Marine Expeditionary Forces" does

 

not change the basic meaning, intent, or protection afforded

 

by the original law. Although the change replaces the

 

original nebulous terms with equally nebulous terms, the new

 

terms reflect the current Marine Corps employment philosophy.

 

It is clear from the legislative history of the Douglas-

 

Mansfield Act that the people of the United States want a

 

Marine Corps. This change does not affect that basic desire

 

of the people.


 

CHAPTER III

 

CONCLUSIONS

 

 

This plan is a viable alternative to the current organization

 

of the Fleet Marine Forces. The plan provides the opportunity to

 

realign manpower structure from redundant units to combat arms

 

units. The proposal also provides a rational basis for aviation

 

programming decisions. Lastly, it provides an organization

 

that is conducive to the implementation of the Marine Corps

 

warf ighting doctrine.

 

The plan eliminates 29 redundant headquarters within each

 

MEF. The manpower structure of these excess units equates to

 

114 rifle companies. This structure can be redirected into

 

combat arms units to fulfill critical needs, such as a fourth

 

rifle company in each infantry battalion or an additional

 

light/attack helicopter squadron or, the excess structure can

 

be eliminated outright, thus creating a substantial savings in

 

the Marine Corps military personnel account.

 

The proposal can be implemented immediately except for

 

several aviation considerations. The current distribution of

 

squadrons and capabilities is insufficient to meet the

 

requirements of the Marine Corps under this organizational

 

plan. However, the identified deficiencies in light/attack

 

helicopter, heavy lift helicopter, and all-weather attack

 

capabilities provides a rational basis for aviation

 


programming decisions.

 

This proposal vastly complicates the span of control

 

problems for the MEF commander in combat. The MEF will be

 

composed of three subordinate MEB's. Since none of the MEB's

 

will possess sufficient combat power to achieve a MEF

 

objective single handedly, the MEF commander must coordinate

 

the elements of two or more MEB's on a single objective. This

 

issue could be resolved prior to acceptance of the proposal or

 

simply tabled in the expectation that a MEF would not be

 

employed as a complete unit in the foreseeable future.

 

The warfighting doctrine of the Marine Corps requires

 

harmonious sychronization of the independent initiative of

 

subordinate commanders. This can only be achieved by the close

 

and continuous relationship for the senior commander and his

 

subordinates. This proposal contains an organizational scheme

 

that supports the establishment of those relationships.

 

The current organization of the Fleet Marine Forces is

 

NOT "broken." Division-wing teams have served the needs of

 

the Marine Corps for many years. As we view the next century,

 

we see the Marine Corps racked by budgetary constraints and

 

often employed on short notice in stability operations and

 

limited objective operations. We should adopt an

 

organizational structure that is maximized for those

 

operations and one that can survive financial austerity.

 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

 

1. Commandant of the Marine Corps message. "Execution for POM

90-94 MAGTF Structure and Manning Requirements." Washington:

HQMC, 222030z June 1988. Provided implementing instructions for

the recommendations of the Force Structure Study Group, 1988.

 

2. United States Government. United States Code, Title 10.

Washington: Government Printing Office, 1983. Provided specific

wording of the law that establishes the mission and size of the

Marine Corps.

 

3. United States Marine Corps. Organization and Composition of

the Fleet Marine Force (Hogaboom Board). Washington: HQMC,

1956. Primarily concerned with the organizaton and composition

of the Division, Wing, and Force Troops. Concerned about the

impact of reduced military budgets and manpower.

 

4. United States Marine Corps. MAGTF Master Plan (Final

Draft). Quantico: Marine Corps Combat Development Center, 1989.

Provided direction for the Marine Corps during the next decade.

Defined levels of conflict. Provided guidance on force structure.

 

5. United States Marine Corps. Report of the Force Structure

Study Group. Washington: HQMC, 1988. Recommended structure

changes that would provide a Total Force capability of fighting

and winning the most likely conflicts of the 1990's.

 

6. United States Marine Corps. Guidelines for Forming a

Composite MAGTF. Washington: Advanced Amphibious Study Group,

1985. Provided an initial concept for compositing a MEB to a MEF.

 

7. United States Marine Corps. "Final Report: 1-85 Compositing

Evaluation." Camp Pendleton: I Marine Amphibious Force, 1985.

Evaluated several techniques for compositing a MEB to a MEF.

 

8. United States Marine Corps. "C4I Study: Report of First

Study Iteration." Camp Pendleton: I MAF, 1985. Initial report

of an evaluation of several techniques for compositing a MEB to a

MEF.

 

9. United States Marine Corps. Headquarters Redundancy

Analysis (Board of Colonels). Washington: HQMC, 1987.

Evaluated missions of FMFLant/Pac, MEF, MEB, Division, Wing, and

FSSG headquarters. Also evaluated missions of bases and stations.


 

10. United States Marine Corps. Fleet Marine Force (IP 1-4).

Quantico: MCCDC, 1987. Provided a somewhat dated description of

the organization of the Fleet Marine Forces.

 

11. United States Marine Corps. "Tables of Organization."

Washington: HQMC, 1988. Invaluable resource for evaluating

manpower and organizational requirements of the Fleet Marine

Forces. Obtained tables of organization on computer diskettes

from the Central Design and Programming Activity, Quantico. That

form proved much easier to use than paper or microfiche forms.

 

12. United States Marine Corps. Mission and Force Structure

Study (Haynes Board). Washington: Headquarters Marine Corps,

1976. Described major considerations for both keeping the Division,

Wing, and FSSG organization, and for adopting a permanent brigade

organization.

 

13. United States Marine Corps. Marine Air-Ground Task Force

Doctrine (FMFM 0-1). Washington: HQMC, 1979. Provided a

cursory explanation of the roles of the various MAGTF's and how

they function.

 

14. United States Marine Corps. Warfighting (FMFM 1).

Washington: HQMC, 1989. Provided the Marine Corps philosophy on

command and control in combat.

 

15. United States Marine Corps. The Permanent MAGTF

Headquarters Concept and How It Applies in the Formation of a

Composite MAGTF. Washington: Advanced Amphibious Study Group,

1985. Provided a revised concept of compositing a MEB to a MEF.

 

16. United States Marine Corps. Concepts and Issues.

Washington: HQMC, February l989. Provided an explanation for

Congress for the need for various Marine Corps programs for the

next decade.

 

17. United States Navy. Department of the Navy Long Term

Amphibious Lift Requirement and Optimum Ship Mix Study.

Washington: Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1983.

Presented programs to provide the assets required to conduct

amphibious assaults with a MEF and a MEB by 1994.

 

LETTERS AND MEMORANDA

 

18. Commandant of the Marine Corps memorandum for the Chief of

Staff, HQMC. 8 March 1985. Provided the Commandant's views on

the permanent MAGTF headquarters concept.


 

19. Chief of Staff, HQMC memorandum to Deputy Chief of Staff

(Plans, Policies and Operations). 15 January 1985. Provided the

Chief of Staff's views on the revised, permanent MAGTF

headquarters concept.

 

20. Deputy Chief of Staff (Plans, Policies, and Operations),

HQMC memorandum for the Assistant Commandant. "Marine Air Ground

Task Force Headquarters Decision Brief." 8 June 1983. Provided

the background information leading to the decision to approve the

permanent MAGTF headquarters concept.

 

 

21. Director, Operations Division memorandum to Deputy Chief of

Staff (Plans, Policies, and Operations), HQMC. "Permanent MAGTF

HQ Concept." l March 1985. Provided a summary of the revised,

permanent MAGTF headquarters concept.

 

22. Special Assistant for Amphibious and Prepositioning Matters

(PP&O) memorandum for the Commandant, HQMC. "Permanent MAGTF

Headquarters Concept." 13 January 1985. Provided, as a marginal

note, the Commandant's views on the revised, permanent MAGTF

headquarters concept.

 

23. Brigadier General Marc A. Cisneros, USA, United States

Southern Command. Letter to author. 7 February 1989. Provided

the response time the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Southern Command,

requires of a MEB or MEF.

 

24. Major General J. P. Hoar, USMC, United States Central

Command. Letter to author. 30 January 1989. Excellent response

to author's letter. Provided the response time the Commander-in-

Chief, U.S. Central Command, requires of a MEB or MEF.

 

25. Major General Royal N. Moore, Jr, USMC, United States

Pacific Command. Letter to author. 27 January 1989. Provided

the response time the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command,

requires of a MEB or MEF.

 

26. Major General H. C. Stackpole, III, USMC, United States

Atlantic Command. Letter to author. 15 February 1989. Provided

the response time the Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command,

requires of a MEB or MEF.

 

27. Lieutenant General E. J. Godfrey, USMC. Address to the ACMC

Committee. Washington: HQMC, 30 January 1989. Provided the

views of the Commanding General, FMF Pacific, on force structure

reductions.


 

28. Colonel Michael Wyly, USMC. "Modernizing the MAGTF."

Unpublished essay. Provided a discussion of the need to

reorganize from divisions and wings to brigades.

 

29. Lieutenant General E. T. Cook, USMC. Commanding General,

Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic, letter, "Standardization of MEU

(SOC) Troop and Equipment Lists. 28 June 1988. Provided the

organizational strengths of each element of the MEU.

 

BOOKS AND JOURNALS

 

30. Martin Binkin and Jeffrey Record. Where Does the Marine

Corps Go From Here? Washington: Brookings Institute, 1976.

Discussed post-Vietnam War missions for the Marine Corps as a

whole. Not a significant value for this project.

 

31. Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth J. Clifford. Progress and

Purpose: A Developmental History of the United States Marine

Corps, 1900-1970. Washington: History and Museums Division,

HQMC, 1973. Emphasized the innovations of the Marine Corps.

Briefly discussed the environment and recommendations of the

Hogaboom Board.

 

32. Lieutenant Colonel John S. Grinalds, USMC. Structures for

the Marine Corps for the 1980's and 1990's. Washington:

National Defense University, 1978. Discusses structure of Marine

Corps in terms of global mission. Not of significant value for

this project.

33. Mark T. Lewellyn, Dana Burwell, Harold Furchtgott-Roth,

Dwight Lyons, and Margaret Tierney. Analysis of the Marine Corps

Combat Service Support Structure. Alexandria: Center for Naval

Analysis, April 1987. Provided indepth analysis of several

organizational structures of the combat service support elements,

including a permanent BSSG. Recommended for further study.

 

34. Allan R. Millett. Semper Fidelis, The History of the United

States Marine Corps. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company,

Inc, 1980. Provided scholarly overview of the history of the

Marine Corps. Greatest value was the extensive bibliography.

 

35. Lieutenant Colonel Ronald R. Borowitz, USMC. "Improving Marine

Air," Marine Corps Gazette. February 1984. Recommended forming

one composite MAG within each MEF for service as a MEB ACE.

 

36. Major Robert J. Bozelli, USMC. "Rethinking MACCS," Marine

Corps Gazette. October 1988. Identifies mobility,

survivability, communication, and training as deficiencies with

the MACCS.


 

37. Lieutenant Colonel J. J. Flynn, USMC and Major D. A.

Quinlan, USMC. "The Brigade is Beautiful," Marine Corps

Gazette. September 1972. Proposed reorganizing into seven

MEB's. Each FMF would also have a Force Logistics Command, a

Force Aviation Command, a Fleet Marine Training Command, and a

Combat Support Command. The Combat Service Command would fall

under the command of the base commanders.

 

38. Lieutenant Colonel H. T. Hayden, USMC. "CSS for the MAGTF,"

Marine Corps Gazette. May 1985. Identifies the duplicity of

effort between the FSSG and the MWSS. Recommends transferring

more functions from the FSSG to the MWSS to develop a MAG service

support group.

 

39. Colonel R. D. Heinl, Jr, USMC. "The Cat with More than Nine

Lives," Proceedings. June 1954. Presents the historical account

of the events leading up to the passage of Public Law 82-416.

 

40. Colonel R. D. Heinl, Jr, USMC. "The Right to Fight," Proceedin

September 1962. Presents the historical account of the events

leading up to the passage of the National Security Act of 1947

and of Public Law 82-416.

 

41. Captain Timothy E. Junette, USMC. "Reorganizing Marine Corps

Aviation," Marine Corps Gazette. October 1988. Describes the

problems of compositing the Aviation Combat Element of a MEB.

 

42. Lieutenant Colonel Willis J. King, Jr, USMC. "Tailoring Marine

Aviation For the Task at Hand," Marine Corps Gazette. October

1988. Discusses the problem of task organizing aviation assets

for a MAGTF is a period of austere budgets.

 

43. Major T. C. Linn, USMC. "The Composite MAGTF Concept,"

Marine Corps Gazette. August 1984. Describes several techniques

for compositing various MAGTF's.

 

44. Captain Jeffery L Kreinbring, USMC. "Let's Organize for the

Mission," Marine Corps Gazette. October 1987. Proposes

reorganizing into eight MEB's--three MPF, three amphib, and 2 to

support 3 MEU's on each coast__with abolition of the Division,

Wing, and FSSG.

 

45. Major T. C. Morgan, USMC. "Deploying and Employing,"

Marine Corps Gazette. May 1984. Proposed Marine Corps-wide

standardization of unit SOP's, thus facilitating employment of a

force task organized from two or more divisions or wings.


 

46. Colonel E. F. Riley, USMC. "Command Relationships in the

MAGTF," Marine Corps Gazette. July 1985. Describes

deficiencies in the MAGTF command structure that impede its

operation as a combined arms team.

 

47. Jack Shulinson and Major Edward F. Wells, USMC. "First In,

First Out," Marine Corps Gazette. January 1984. Described the

events leading to the introduction of the 9th MEB into combat in

Vietnam.

 



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