We can learn a lot by taking a look at a couple of the emergency training changes that the US Military in general are making, and one that the US Marine Corps specifically has made in preparation for the next conflict, which seems to be rushing closer every single day. The next conflict appears to be either a general world conflict with Russia-China-Iran, or a Pacific clash between China and the “Quad”, which is the US, India, Japan, and Australia.
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.
First, the US Army, Air Force, and Navy have begun a crash training course to learn to operate without GPS (the Marines already operate this way, for the most part). The US Armed Forces are so technologically tied that it’s difficult for them to maintain their advantage without GPS, which is exactly why any conflict with either China or Russia would involve a strike against our GPS system.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, if the US government is planning on having to operate without GPS, you should too. Learn to use a map and compass. Obtain high-quality topographical maps of your planned Area of Operations and the surrounding area. Get quality road maps.
A good middle of the road option is a “State Atlas” or “Gazetteer” publication. It’s a combination topographical and road map, generally in a 1:100,000 scale for your entire state. I have them for my state and surrounding states.
However, if you’ve got a quality GPS, it’s not useless even in a GPS denied environment. Mine still has topographical maps of 1/4 of the United States loaded on it, and it can still be used to plan routes and as a map. You can also use any stored off-line mapping on your tablet or phone that you may have set up.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
Heed the warning and prepare to operate in a GPS-denied environment.
More interesting, however, is the USMC’s newest training plan. According to the Commandant, officers have been trained and now enlisted will be trained in this method ASAP.
The plan is to train Marine units to operate at platoon-level as small units with absolutely no logistical support, except airdrops of ammunition and medical supplies. Marines will be learning to forage and feed themselves, living off the land.
Historically, this dates back to the institutional memory of the Battle of Guadalcanal, as I have mentioned before. Marines were still off-loading from Naval shipping when the Imperial Japanese Navy arrived and attacked the invasion fleet. The US Navy was driven off, leaving the First and Second Marine Divisions on the island with only the supplies they had on their backs. Marines had to forage for food or eat captured Japanese rations. Marines quickly learned to ally with the Solomon Islanders to find food and locate the enemy forces. This memory has been burned into the USMC and it’s why Marines have better field gear and carry more water and food on them personally than the Army does.
This new program focuses on partnering with locals and establishing hidden patrol bases to conduct small unit operations in a denied and austere environment against a numerically superior opponent. Some might say, it’s returning to their roots, and making every Marine a Raider, similar to the Army’s one-time campaign to try and get every infantry unit led by Ranger-tabbed personnel.
But it also points to a bigger issue that affects us in preparedness. It points to the fact the US Naval Establishment is openly admitting that we will be fighting guerilla actions in China’s rear area. That means they are admitting that we likely will NOT be pushing China back to her territorial waters and acknowledges that we’ve let them already take control of the Western Pacific.
What does that mean for us? It means then, that we will be restricted to defending the coasts, as Hawaii and a few South American island chains are the only things in the Near Pacific. It increases the risk of Chinese action actually on or just off our Pacific Coast if we are planning on not being able to support Marine units deep in the western and southern Pacific.
We, in the homeland, will face the risk of cruise missile strikes and bombing raids, despite how impenetrable you think our air defenses are. Hint: They really aren’t.
Any conflict in the Pacific, against either China or Russia, and especially both, will involve at least conventional missile strikes against coastal bases and infrastructure. Some of these strikes will impact civilians more than military units, and many will miss their intended targets. You have to at least consider this possibility.
You also have to consider how dire they think our situation will be that the Marines are planning to operate WITHOUT food and water being delivered to them. Now, the Commandant says that not tying up logistics assets with sustainment items will allow them to be able to focus on lethality, but that’s really just him saying that he plans on not being able to get that many flights through.
Again, if the US Marines are planning on us fighting a guerilla war mostly on the losing end, shouldn’t you? Forces that are WINNING a war don’t have to rely on guerilla warfare, the side on the defense does.
This philosophy has major implications for the supply chain, since most of the world’s shipping headed to the US transits what will be the war zone. You have to prepare for almost no supplies reaching the mainland US. The second and third effects of that are food and critical supply shortages and rioting that we won’t be able to control. Prepare to deal with that.
The other possibility, and I say this with no evidence whatsoever, other than my faith in my beloved Corps, is that the Corps is training to operate independently of the rest of the military in any coming potential internal conflict, but I don’t want to draw Feds to the site by discussing that possibility.
As we get closer to some critical dates and Russia-Ukraine heats up, please keep your head on a swivel and pay attention to world events. I’d also like to remind you all that last Christmas, whether the media wants to admit it or not, we had a rather significant terror attack in Nashville, which disrupted communications for days; have a comms plan.
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