Andrew Metrick, a fellow at the Center for New American Security, told Breaking Defense it’s about “cultural ethos,” as well as new questions about the future of the force.
“The fact it’s bothering parts of the Corps, I think is reflective of the larger ongoing debate that you see … around Force Design 2030. There is an ongoing debate within the Corps and within the retired community about Marine Corps identity,” he said. “So, when things like Turkey or things like the current [situation] in Sudan come up, and other aspects of the US Joint Force are responding, it’s uncomfortable because [the Marines] look at it as something that historically they have done.”
Metrick, the CNAS fellow, said the ARG/MEU possesses numerous capabilities in a single package, such as logistics, engineering, aviation, command and medical.
“This isn’t to say that other parts of the Joint Force can’t be put together to achieve a similar result, just nothing is as self-contained,” Metrick added. However, he argued that the one area where amphibious ships may not be optimal is when the military can secure an airport. In that case, he said, the Pentagon’s airlift options are preferable.
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