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US Navy checks inventory to help US Marine Corps implement Force Design 2030 plan

The US Navy (USN) is combing through its existing inventory of weapons, equipment and systems to help the US Marine Corps (USMC) implement the USMC’s new Force Design 2030 plan, according to James Geurts, the assistant navy secretary for research, development and acquisition.

In his Force Design 2030 plan released in March, USMC commandant General David Berger outlined gaps he saw in the service’s current makeup. He said, “We have shortfalls in expeditionary long-range precision fires; medium- to long-range air defense systems; short-range (point defense) air defense systems; high-endurance, long-range unmanned systems with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), electronic warfare (EW), and lethal strike capabilities; and disruptive and less-lethal capabilities appropriate for countering malign activity by actors pursuing maritime ‘grey zone’ strategies.”

The USN has existing programmes that can help the USMC address some of these shortfalls, Geurts said on 22 September after a keynote speech at annual Modern Day Marine virtual conference.

“One of the things he talks about is the need for medium- and long-range precision fires,” Geurts noted. “We are looking at activities we have underway, like the Navy Strike Missile, on navy platforms, to help provide some capability for the Marine Corps in a rapid way.”

He added, “We are adding our expertise on what is going on in the navy and the joint force and the industrial base to help those activities. ISR is another one (and) air defence.”

The USN is informing Gen Berger of “programmatic options”, Geurts explained. “They are the customer; we are the supplier. Through our knowledge of programmes, the industrial base and activities in our group, we are making sure they’ve got informed options.”

        The US Marine Corps wants to develop a fleet of smaller amphibious ships than exiting vessels such as the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS 
       (US Navy)

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