New Technology Offers Greatly Enhanced Capabilities for Conducting Amphibious Assaults
Major David L. Coggins USMC
The Falklands Campaign in 1982 illustrates how the employment and threat of anti-ship missiles has forced modern amphibious assaults over-the-horizon (OTH). The United States Navy and Marine Corps took notice of lessons learned from the Falklands and went to work creating new doctrine and identifying requirements for landings conducted from OTH to counter anti-access and sea denial strategies of potential threats. In the early nineties, the White Papers "…From the Sea" and "Forward…From the Sea", the Navy and Marine Corps presented a common vision for a future in which skillfully handled naval forces would enable the United States to exert its influence in the littoral regions of the world. The White Papers forced doctrinal changes, which created operational requirements for conducting amphibious operations from OTH requiring the transformation of equipment, capabilities, and focus for America's maritime services. Follow-on to the White Papers, "Operational Maneuver From the Sea" (OMFTS), released in 1995, is a marriage between maneuver warfare and naval warfare. It proposed that doctrine be combined with technological advances in speed, mobility, fire support, communications, and navigation to identify and exploit enemy weaknesses across the entire spectrum of conflict.
There are a number of new technologies, such as the advanced assault amphibian vehicle (AAAV), the MV-22 tilt-rotor helicopter, LPD 17, and the already in service landing craft, air cushion (LCAC) which will greatly enhance the capabilities of an amphibious force in the future. Will these new systems offset and overcome potential anti-access and sea denial strategies of future adversaries? The AAAV, the focus of this paper, is a quantum leap from the current Assault Amphibian Vehicle (AAV). With multi-spectrum signature reduction, increased land and water speed, digital communications, and increased firepower the AAAV will provide the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with an ideal platform for conducting OMFTS. Marine expeditionary forces conducting amphibious operations with AAAVs pose a triple threat to adversaries' anti-access and sea denial strategies by combining doctrine and technological advances which offer new options for conducting amphibious assaults, including: greater standoff distance, more flexibility in selecting landing beaches, and deeper insertions.
AAAV Means Greater Standoff Distance:
To begin with, employment of the AAAV launched from over-the-horizon (OTH) means a greater standoff distance for the sea based force. The sinking of .......
AAAV Means More Flexibility in Selecting Landing Beaches:
Secondly, the AAAV means more flexibility in selecting landing beaches. The increased speed and range of the AAAV, which provides greater standoff distance also allows for ......
AAAV Means Deeper Insertion of Maneuver Forces:
Thirdly, the AAAV allows for deeper insertion of maneuver forces due to sea basing, precision logistics, and advanced communications ......
Employment of the AAAV in amphibious assaults OTH is not without challenges. There are ......
AAAVs Mean a Triple Threat to the Enemy:
In conclusion, the AAAV allows amphibious forces greater standoff distances, greater flexibility for selecting multiple beaches, and allows for deeper insertion of maneuver forces to ......