Use RIMPAC for Future Naval Force Developmentucted an experiment in July that merits the attention of both “blue” and “green” members of the naval service. The event was embedded in the Commander Third Fleet’s biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) multinational exercise. Although not a stated objective, the Enhanced Company Operations (ECO) experiment represents an approach to answering those who categorize amphibious operations as an unnecessarily expensive and outdated endeavor. It also addresses more recent and specific concerns that, though primarily those of Marines, fall well within the bursting radius of the entire Department of the Navy. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates explained the amphibious situation in the 13 August 2010 Los Angeles Times:
The Marines’ unique ability to project combat capability from the sea under uncertain conditions . . . is a capability that America has needed in the past decade and will require in the future. . . .