U.S.M.C. Quantico Replies to Naval News
Major Joshua C. Benson, United States Marine Corps (U.S.M.C.), Director of Communication Strategy & Operations Deputy Commandant, Combat Development and Integration at Quantico, Virginia, replied to Naval News regarding these three questions:
- Is the U.S.M.C. interested in lighter tanks such as the 105mm Mobile Protected Firepower light tank and the RCV-Medium and RCV-Heavy to replace the divested U.S.M.C. M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks?
- Is the U.S.M.C. interested in acquiring any of the new U.S. Army’s SHORADS [Short Range Air Defense] units?
- Will the towed 155mm M777s divested in Force Design 2030 be replaced with a wheeled howitzer?
U.S.M.C. Major Benson answered via email:
“Some of the SME’s [Subject Matter Experts] responsible for your questions are at ANTX [Advanced Naval Technology Exercises] and there is a delay in getting responses. As the Commandant [Marine Corp (CMC) General David Berger] has stated, the Marine Corps is interested in getting lighter, faster, more mobile and agile. We are not seeking replacements for the armor we divested of. More information will be coming out shortly about our air defenses and the direction the Marine Corps is going with that. Some information has been included in MLR [Marine Littoral Regiment] communication. The Marine Corps is not pursuing an alternate to the M777. As the CMC’s Force Design report stated, we are seeking options for long range precision fires and transitioning many of the artillery units to HIMARS. In the coming days, the updated Force Design report will be released.”
Naval News Comments
Marine Corps’ Major Benson alluded to the 2021 NICE ANTX that some of the Marine SMEs were attending. According to the Secretary of the Navy’s official website, ANTX is, “The 2021 NICE ANTX [Naval Integrated in Contested Environment Advanced Naval Technology Exercises, focused on Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations in support of Distributed Maritime Operations will be a dynamic demonstration and technology assessment event exploring new technologies to support the warfighter.”
The U.S. Navy says, “Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL), Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC), Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic and Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane have partnered to execute the NICE ANTX.”
- Scheduled to be conducted 5-16 April 2021 on both physical and virtual ranges in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
- The following capability areas are targeted for experimentation at the NICE ANTX:
- Command and Control
- Operations in the Information Environment
- Domain Maneuver
- Fires & Effects
- Fleet Support
Naval News will wait for the release of updated Force Design 2030 report in the coming days before providing any speculative comments and analysis.
The USMC released the “Force Design 2030 Annual Update April 2021” document as expected.