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Thread: Listen Up Marines, We Belong at Sea

  1. #21
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Massing of bullets and men appears to substitute for tactical finesse in what's been published about SEALs, and this has also been the impression of some people who know more than what's been published.
    I don't have much experience dealing with SEALS other than playing one on T.V.

  2. #22
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I never understood the SEALs.
    There's little infantry competence in the navy (counting USMC as not-navy), so where do they recruit personnel with already basic infantry skill from?

    Furthermore; why do they seem to be a "1st mass, 2nd mass, 3rd mass" tactics outfit and still be considered "special"?
    I'm scratching my head about the "mass" comment as well. There are not enough SEALs to really mass anywhere. Have they experienced missteps and problems that exploded into a situation larger than the size of the original element that ran into trouble? Sure did, but their numbers employed on missions have always been relatively small.

    Furthermore, they really don't need infantry competence for most of the missions they are assigned these days, at least not in a classical use of the word infantry.

    Swimming, special recce, direct action, etc. can benefit from an infantry background, but it is by no means a prerequisite.

  3. #23
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    That's relative to the geography and OPFOR in question.

    About 30 men raiding a single house at the same time is an application of "mass".
    One could claim it's about "surprise" as well (as the quantity allows for reaching all rooms quickly), but it's still not exactly intricate tactics.

  4. #24
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    I never understood the SEALs.
    I guess my understanding is that the Navy had the UDTs which morphed into the SEALs during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam (a couple of Vietnam veterans have made an association between the SEALs and the Mekong Delta to me, I donít know if thatís historical memory or solid historiography). Perhaps nowadays it is more helpful to think of the SEALs as part of the Navyís contribution to USSOCOM than as part of the Navy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There's little infantry competence in the navy (counting USMC as not-navy), so where do they recruit personnel with already basic infantry skill from?
    I imagine there are a few sailors who joined the Navy looking to be SEALs, didnít make it through BUDS (no shame in that), and are now scraping paint somewhere in the Indian Ocean for the duration of their enlistment contracts.
    If you donít read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Ė Mark Twain (attributed)

  5. #25
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    That's relative to the geography and OPFOR in question.

    About 30 men raiding a single house at the same time is an application of "mass".
    One could claim it's about "surprise" as well (as the quantity allows for reaching all rooms quickly), but it's still not exactly intricate tactics.
    When you have the time and resources to employ against a single structure in a rolling hard hit, why wouldn't you use mass? It certainly allows you to dominate an objective, do what needs to be done (including TSE) quickly, and then get off the objective in good order.

    I agree that it's not intricate tactics. I've seen it done surreptitiously by a rifle squad in Iraq, and the tgt presented as much physical threat to the raiding force that many HVTs did, yet those special ops HVT tgts consumed a hundred-fold more resources to go after. TTPs are 't the point of this thread though.

    SEALs have a role to play. I think as with all special purpose forces, they should stick to that role or risk the deleterious effects of mission creep, but they are very good at certain things--frogmen being a prime example.

  6. #26
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    When you have the time and resources to employ against a single structure in a rolling hard hit, why wouldn't you use mass?
    Because there are better ways?
    Because the "mass" tactic depends on having an opponent who's not smart?

    Trust me, they'd get more than a bloody nose if they were up against me.
    The internet is no good place to discuss the "why", though.

  7. #27
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Okay Fuchs, roll on with your bad self.

  8. #28
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    I guess my understanding is that the Navy had the UDTs which morphed into the SEALs during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam (a couple of Vietnam veterans have made an association between the SEALs and the Mekong Delta to me, I donít know if thatís historical memory or solid historiography). Perhaps nowadays it is more helpful to think of the SEALs as part of the Navyís contribution to USSOCOM than as part of the Navy?
    The morphing began before Vietnam, actually, although the Navy kept UDTs around (and continues to do so). Kennedy's push for SF had something to do with that growth, so the link between SEALs and the Mekong Delta is pretty accurate as far as it goes when you consider the historical context of the association.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  9. #29
    Council Member gute's Avatar
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    Default Possible Strategic Assessment

    Below is an essay I found at the Institute of Land Warfare written July 2012:

    http://www.ausa.org/publications/ilw...W_12-3_web.pdf

    So with this as a guide what does the U.S. military look like in the coming years?

  10. #30
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gute View Post
    Below is an essay I found at the Institute of Land Warfare written July 2012:

    http://www.ausa.org/publications/ilw...W_12-3_web.pdf

    So with this as a guide what does the U.S. military look like in the coming years?
    Good article and those questions need to be asked and answered before a proper force structure can be developed and I would suggest the article goes hand in hand with this one from Parameters (spring this year). The lead author is a Marine Captain. We are not good at Grand Strategy and I don't think we ever will be, however in the past we have learned to set priorities and it worked out very well.

    http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/P...tzer_Gorka.pdf

    After we set priorities we will learn that Amphibious warfare is the only kind of Warfare there is for the USA....unless we want to wait and fight Mexico in California or Texas.....wait we are kinda doing that now

  11. #31
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    We are not good at Grand Strategy
    To have a Grand Strategy you need clear, consistent, long-term policy, and a 4-year election cycle is not terribly compatible with that. Is any democracy really "good at Grand Strategy"?
    ďThe whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginaryĒ

    H.L. Mencken

  12. #32
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Unless we have a persistent threat--and even then--I'd have to agree that the US certainly cannot do it in the polarized political environment that currently exists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    We don't need a Ranger battalion either, we should go back to the Ranger school system like before.
    We have a Ranger Battalions because they do a certain mission very very well and the USMC has not had great success with the same mission. Can you say "Mayaguez incident"? Ranger Batts have proven their usefulness time and time again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    We have a Ranger Battalions because they do a certain mission very very well and the USMC has not had great success with the same mission. Can you say "Mayaguez incident"? Ranger Batts have proven their usefulness time and time again.
    Reed
    Not a solid comparison, since the Ranger Battalions didn't exist at that time. Rangers clearly do some things quite well, but there are also occasions when they (like any unit) are committed to tasks they aren't suited for.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  15. #35
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    We have a Ranger Battalions because they do a certain mission very very well and the USMC has not had great success with the same mission. Can you say "Mayaguez incident"? Ranger Batts have proven their usefulness time and time again.
    Reed
    I have never seen anything a Ranger Battalion does that the 82nd didn't used to do before we had Ranger Battalions and still could do. It is the Ranger training that is important and should be spread through all Infantry units like it used to be.

    Are you saying the Ranagers could have handled the Mayaguez incident any better?

    The Marines would probably say......can you say "Black Hawk down!"

  16. #36
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    I have never seen anything a Ranger Battalion does that the 82nd didn't used to do before we had Ranger Battalions and still could do. It is the Ranger training that is important and should be spread through all Infantry units like it used to be.

    Are you saying the Ranagers could have handled the Mayaguez incident any better?

    The Marines would probably say......can you say "Black Hawk down!"
    No tab, badge or brand makes a man or unit the end all, be all for every situation. That is why we have a mix of types of units, each with its own unique advantages and disadvantages for a savvy commander to mix and match as necessary for best effect.

    The problem of the conflicts of recent years is that they came to call for a lot of a couple different types of activity, and units all started abandoning their respective bases of specialization and expertise to fall in on some degree of competence on those common themes.

    Pick your metaphor. From a sophisticated tool box into a bag of hammers; or from a symphony orchestra into a brass band. May meet the current requirement (as defined), but is not a good long-term solution.

    Time for everyone to get back to their core competencies. Then, it is time to balance the relative size of each of those capacities to challenges of the modern era. We have been a military in conflict, but we are a nation at peace. Time to re-size and re-focus for the real challenges that are out there, not for the noises we hear in the dark.

    For conventional ground forces this probably means we need a lot less, with most warfighting capacity relegated to the National Guard, and a smaller, more expeditionary capacity retained in the active component. Marines should pick up the lion-share of expeditionary missions as they invoke far less strategic risk for the nation when they are employed. SOF also provides an effective peacetime engagement tool, from building relationships and cultural understanding in critical locations, to taking out point targets on rare occasion. The Navy is the Navy. We are a maritime nation. Nuff said. The air force? Born of the Cold War we don't really have a model for what to do with these guys in the real world. We need to figure that out. They play a critical part of our deterrence mission, as well as our ability to move forces quickly and secure the airspace of critical locations for critical periods of time (not all air space all the time as the A2AD crowd seem to imply).

    But DoD needs to take this serious. It is not our job to be as big as possible and do our job, it is our job to be as small as possible and do our job.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 09-04-2012 at 09:10 PM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    That is a very good question, we don't need them. They should go back to being Frogmen...that was useful. We don't need a Ranger battalion either, we should go back to the Ranger school system like before. However that is really the wrong question to be asking. I posted the answer over at the Marine corps gazette blog a couple of weeks ago after reading a statement by Phill Ridderhof a retired Marine Officer.
    Ranger BNs are not often used in BN sized operations, their training in BN operations are not as extensive as a result. However, their pace of CO and PLT operations is very high nad they are very good at it. Apparently they also function as additional manpower in other special operations. Considering that they are markedly cheaper to produce than most special operations team members and are trained in certain techniques that conventional infantry units are not (and would have a hard time making time to do), I would think that the Ranger Regiment has a valid niche.

  18. #38
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Pick your metaphor. From a sophisticated tool box into a bag of hammers; or from a symphony orchestra into a brass band. May meet the current requirement (as defined), but is not a good long-term solution.
    In the end the value of a soldier is what he can "do to his enemy." So Bob..... what can a Ranger do to the enemy that a Regular Soldier or Marine can not do?

    The Marine Corps disbanded the Raiders because they had a General staff that asked that question and in the end they told the Raiders that their is nothing you can teach the raiders that you shouldn't be teaching to the rest of the Marine Corps. It's the same way with the Rangers, it is to costly and unnecessary duplication. The Ranger skills should be taught as widely as possible through the entire Infantry just like it used to be.

  19. #39
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Rangers, 82nd, Marines all work various aspects of the same mission set. You don't just have one screwdriver in your toolbox, nor does one just put trumpets in their brass section. Can you get by with just one flavor? Sure, but it will sometimes be the inappropriate tool for the job, and the job will take longer or be messier because of it.

    Our problem is not that we have Ranger Battalions, I think they provide a valuable option to senior leaders. A bigger problem is how we have morphed Ranger Battalions and tailored them to the job of hunting HVTs From highly effective raiders of battalion-sized targets we have turned them into a vast pool of squad/platoon-sized assassins and kidnappers. Not sure we need an entire regiment dedicated to that latter mission as we move forward.

    So, to my point, we need to re-balance and right-size the force, and we need to make it as small and efficient as possible. Our geostrategic place on the planet allows us a luxury of being able to assume risks that other nations cannot. We need to leverage that once again.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  20. #40
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    In the end the value of a soldier is what he can "do to his enemy." So Bob..... what can a Ranger do to the enemy that a Regular Soldier or Marine can not do?

    The Marine Corps disbanded the Raiders because they had a General staff that asked that question and in the end they told the Raiders that their is nothing you can teach the raiders that you shouldn't be teaching to the rest of the Marine Corps. It's the same way with the Rangers, it is to costly and unnecessary duplication. The Ranger skills should be taught as widely as possible through the entire Infantry just like it used to be.
    They say it, but the reality has shown this to be wrong. You simply can't be good at everything all the time. If the Raiders were such a bad idea, why has USMC currently embraced MARSOC? Look at some of Ken Whites arguments about what the military expects of officers and why it is unrealistic, for it is applicable to units as well. None of this is meant as a dig on Marines, they have an aggresive warfighting culture and some very good infantry tactics and better combined arms doctrine then the Army, but there decision to have no (few) "elite" Marines since all Marines are "elite", was a poor choice IMNSHO.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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