Future amphibious operations will meet new threats, however, in the form of advanced anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) weapons. The Corps will need to overcome these so as to operate in hostile environments. Colonels Todd Desgrosseilliers and William Bowers, along with Lieutenant Colonel Christian Wortman, explain how the Marine air-ground task force is being enhanced through increased networking, greater aviation capability, and improved at-sea sustainment to “break the tether to fixed logistics hubs.”
Meanwhile, thinking outside the box, Marine Major Scott Cuomo and former Marine captain Billy Birdzell propose a novel tactic for infantry to counter evolving A2/AD threats in “Submarine Stormtroops.” No, that’s not a misprint: Cuomo and Birdzell believe Marines in near-company strength could make amphibious forcible entries if launched from submerged submarines. Talk about something completely different!
But doctrine must keep pace with capability. Faced with 21st-century challenges born of technological advances, evolving geopolitical realities, and possible adversaries with hybrid capabilities, the Navy–Marine Corps team finds itself “poised for a potentially historic inflection point as new threats and new opportunities arise—if we are willing to change,” writes retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel J. Noel Williams. As he delineates the adaptations requisite for an amphibious doctrine still viable in tomorrow’s battlespace, Williams asserts that “we must think hard about future threats and recognize the tremendous opportunity emerging technologies offer for ‘amphibious maneuver warfare 2.0.’”
Regardless of how those infantry Marines get ashore, will they still be all-male formations or will females be there alongside them? Some believe that time has come. This is definitely a topic on which people have strong views, and in this issue the husband-wife team of Marine Corps Reserve Majors Chris and Jeanette Haynie weigh in with their take on the Combat Exclusion Policy. The performance of Marine women in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they contend, has in fact rendered the policy irrelevant.
We’re also very proud and pleased this month to announce the 2012 winners of the General Prize Award for Author of the Year. When making our selections, we consider a number of factors, including whether the article gained the attention of senior leadership and moved the needle to advance the professional discussion on a topic, challenged conventional thinking and offered alternatives that may not have been considered, or perhaps took on a tough issue that others shied away from, accepting the dare to read, think, speak, and write (and publish). This year’s winners have done that. Retired Navy Captain Gerard Roncolato took first prize for his May article “America Must Be Careful Where it Pivots.” Second prize goes to Lieutenant Commander Brian McGuirk for “Rekindling the Killer Instinct,” which appeared in June, and Lieutenant (junior grade) Matthew Hipple is our third prize winner for “Cloud Combat: Thinking Machines in Future Wars,” published in July. Bravo Zulu to all the winners!