It was a year of transition, as the Marine Corps’ role in Operation Enduring Freedom ended in 2014. Over the course of the year the Marines continued evolving in their approach to crisis response, published a new capstone concept, significantly changed their amphibious-vehicle program, and welcomed a new Commandant.
On the morning of 26 October 2014, Brigadier General Daniel Yoo, Commanding General of Marine Expeditionary Brigade–Afghanistan, formally passed responsibility for Regional Command–Southwest over to Afghan authorities. After the ceremony, the last 872 Marines serving in that country’s Helmand Province departed by C-130s for the trip to Kandahar Airport to catch the long flight home.1 While they left from the airfield that their sea-based predecessors in Task Force 58 had seized 13 years earlier, it was Helmand that had become synonymous with the Marines’ war in Afghanistan.
Helmand was once widely considered the most dangerous area in Afghanistan. In previous years the Marines had conducted several major operations, with Marjah and Sangin the most prominent among them, to successfully deny the Taliban their most important sanctuaries within it. Of the 458 Marines who lost their lives in Operation Enduring Freedom, 360 came as a result of the fighting in Helmand. All but five of those deaths came before 2014, however, as the Marines shifted their focus from leading the fight to mentoring Afghan government forces.2
The turnover of Helmand Province did not mark the complete end of all Marine activities in Afghanistan, however. The difficult task of retrograding equipment from the landlocked country, which began in 2011, continued through the end of 2014. Additionally, a new mission of supporting and advising the Afghans, dubbed Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, would require a residual Marine presence. (The NATO name for this operation is Resolute Support.)
Stung by the inability to provide a timely response to the events in Benghazi, Libya, on 11 September 2012, the Department of Defense sought the means to better respond to crises in Africa. The ongoing shortfall in amphibious shipping precluded the Marines’ preferred solution, which would be to reestablish a Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) embarked in an amphibious ready group (ARG) permanently postured in the Mediterranean. As an alternative, in 2013 the Marine Corps established the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force–Crisis Response–Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) ashore in Morón, Spain. Key to the employment of the 550-man force is its own organic mobility in the form of MV-22B Osprey and KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft.
The Marines of SPMAGTF-CR-AF began 2014 by evacuating Americans from Juba, South Sudan, in the face of increasing ethnic violence. In late 2013 a 150-Marine detachment flew from Morón to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and then moved a platoon on to Entebbe, Uganda—a 3,400-mile trip altogether—to get within quick reach of Juba. With the security situation deteriorating, U.S. Ambassador Susan D. Page made the call to evacuate approximately 20 personnel. In the early morning of 3 January they were escorted by a squad from the SPMAGTF-CR-AF to a KC-130J for a flight to Entebbe.3
In April the Marine Corps revealed that another, considerably larger, task force would be established within U.S. Central Command.4 Several months later the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, announced that SPMAGTF-CR-Central Command would become operational on 1 November 2014 with an initial force of 1,500 Marines that would eventually grow to 2,300.5
Meanwhile, in mid-May the original SPMAGTF-CR-AF moved 200 Marines and four MV-22Bs from Spain to Sicily to be better postured for response to growing unrest in Libya.6 The SPMAGTF-CR-AF already had 80 Marines from Company I, 3d Battalion, 8th Marines, under the command of Captain James D. Oliveto, in Libya. Designated “Task Force Tripoli,” it provided external security for the U.S. embassy.
While tensions were running high in Libya, events in the Middle East were getting especially ugly as Sunni Muslim extremists—often referred to as either the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) or the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS)—escalated their campaign to establish a “new caliphate.” As Iraqi government forces crumbled, the advancing zealots committed a steady stream of atrocities. In the face of this danger, on 15 June about 50 Marines from the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Support Team based in Bahrain, along with a similar number of Army troops, reinforced security at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.7 Additionally, on 16 June the USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19), part of the Bataan (LHD-5) ARG /22d MEU conducting disaggregated operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operations, joined the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) inside the Persian Gulf.8
Back in Libya, by 13 July the international airport in Tripoli had closed and the area around the embassy was contested by competing militias. After indirect fire landed in the embassy compound, on the evening of 23–24 July U.S. Ambassador Deborah Jones met with her staff and Captain James Oliveto to determine if it was time to evacuate. While the Marines favored conducting the evacuation by air, Ambassador Jones wanted to conduct a lower-profile overland departure using 40 armored sport utility vehicles that belonged to the State Department. Noncombatant evacuation operations are conducted under the auspices of the Department of State with support from the DOD, so the method of evacuation was the ambassador’s call. With Captain Oliveto serving as on-scene commander, on 26 July Task Force Tripoli escorted a convoy of 78 evacuees across the border into Tunisia. Colonel Kenneth M. DeTreux, the commander of SPMAGTF-CR-AF, exercised overall command of the mission from Morón, where he employed an “over-the-shoulder” airborne response force composed of two MV-22B Ospreys, a KC-130J, and two Air Force F-16s. Following the six-and-a-half hour overland journey, the evacuees were flown to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, completing the entire mission in 24 hours.9
The Libyan noncombatant evacuation, as well as the re-aggregation of the Bataan ARG/22d MEU within the Persian Gulf, received scant notice as the press was focused on the Sunni onslaught in Iraq and the torture and murder that followed in its wake. The plight of Yazidi refugees who fled the carnage by seeking sanctuary on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq generated public outcry. Aid workers estimated as many as 30,000 refugees on Sinjar, far too many for air drops of food and water to support. A U.N. official put the air temperature at 113 degrees Fahrenheit and noted the refugees were dispersed in numerous locations across the barren mountain, with many endangered by their proximity to the extremists.10
On 12 August the DOD announced that about 130 Marines and special-operations forces, using Marine MV-22Bs and Army helicopters, had been deployed to Irbil in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq to prepare for the evacuation of refugees from Mount Sinjar.11 If directed, a Marine-led task force planned to employ about two dozen Ospreys, to include a dozen flown in from Afghanistan, to “pick everyone off the mountain.”12 However, a team sent to assess the conditions on Mount Sinjar concluded that a noncombatant evacuation operation was unnecessary. Over the course of a week air strikes were able to keep the Sunni extremists at bay, giving the refugees—with some assistance from friendly Iraqi forces—the opportunity to escape overland.
A 31 August article by David Axe, “American Jump Jets Spying on Islamic State,” reported that AV-8B Harriers from the Bataan had been flying surveillance missions and that F/A-18F Super Hornets from the George H. W. Bush had “dropped the first American bombs on Islamic State fighters on 8 August after the militants surrounded tens of thousands of Yazidi refugees on Mount Sinjar.” Noting the sensitivities associated with basing Air Force planes in neighboring Muslim countries, Axe observed that “the Navy and Marines, blissfully sailing tight circles in the international waters of the Persian Gulf, are immune to diplomatic pressure.”13 Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert later reported to Congress that “Navy and Marine strike fighters flew 20 to 30 combat sorties per day over Iraq and Syria, and for 54 days they were the only coalition strike option to project power against ISIS.”14
With the Bataan ARG/22d MEU extended in the Gulf for 21 days, and the Makin Island ARG/11th MEU ordered to deploy early, in mid-September the 5th Fleet had three “big decks” to launch strikes not only against targets in Iraq, but into Syria as well. These strikes were conducted within what the media began to call “the war with no name.” At the end of October the DOD finally dubbed it “Operation Inherent Resolve.”
On 8 October, in one of the more unusual crisis-response missions assigned to Marines, a portion of SPMAGTF-CR-AF in Spain self-deployed 1,500 miles to West Africa to help fight Ebola. About 100 personnel in four MV-22Bs, using two KC-130Js for inflight refueling, were able to rapidly deploy and quickly go to work conducting site surveys and transporting U.S. and Liberian officials and health workers. The Marines’ role was essential but temporary, meant to fill a nearly two-month gap before an Army aviation unit could get there. As one media report noted, “Officials said the Ospreys, in particular, have been useful in allowing those involved with Ebola response access to rugged and undeveloped areas that are hard to reach.”15
Adaptation and Innovation
On 4 March General Amos signed Expeditionary Force 21 (EF-21), “an aspirational vision of how we will operate in order to guide experimentation, force development activities, and inform programmatic decisions” over a ten-year period. “Expeditionary Force 21 does not change what Marines do, but how they will do it” to support the geographic combatant commanders by “providing the right force in the right place at the right time.”16
Developed in tandem with the Navy-Marine Corps–Coast Guard update to A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower (CS-21), EF-21 champions the naval character of the Marine Corps—as if challenging the defense punditry to once again resurrect the threadbare complaint, as they do after every sustained land conflict, that the Marines are a second army. Surely, the decision to unveil EF-21 at the Navy League’s annual Sea-Air-Space exposition in April was done as a reminder that Marines are an element of sea power, not land power.
The document reflects the personal involvement of Lieutenant General Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, and lays out four major lines of effort: Refining Our Organization, Adjusting Our Forward Posture, Increasing Naval Integration, and Enhancing Littoral Maneuver Capability.
General Glueck is quick to note that there is a fifth, implied line of effort underpinning EF-21 implementation: the training and education system that produces Marines with the professional judgment and acumen to effectively adapt and innovate. By the end of the year he expressed satisfaction at how quickly EF-21 had been embraced, not just within his own organization, but throughout the Marine Corps.17 Freed from 13 years of rotating sizable forces in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, the operating forces appeared to relish challenges that involved salt water.
Viewed through the lens of EF-21, it is easier to connect the dots on the capability-development news from 2014. For example, the “Enhancing Littoral Maneuver Capability” section points out that precision weapons have generated the need for a more capable set of vertical-and-surface maneuver capabilities. It candidly admits that “Our recent attempts to field an affordable, high-speed, long-range amphibious vehicle capable of maneuver at sea and on land have not met the requirement.” It then proposes a “high-speed, long-range high-capacity system of connectors, amphibious vehicles, and boats.”18
By looking at surface maneuver as a “system,” the Marine Corps’ revised approach toward the amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) is more understandable. Rather than continuing the quest for a high water-speed tracked ACV in the near-term, in March 2014 the Marine Corps determined that a wheeled ACV—optimized for protected mobility ashore—was more feasible, affordable, and attainable by as early as 2020. Meanwhile, the Marine Corps will upgrade 392 of its current 1,058 amphibious-assault vehicles to bridge the gap to 2020, while also studying potential longer-term high-water-speed maneuver options.19 As the name implies, the ACV will be capable of swimming, although not at the speed or distances required in certain situations. In those cases they would be delivered by high-speed landing craft.
This approach was made possible because the Navy was moving forward with service-life extensions for 72 of its 81 aging landing craft, air cushioned (LCAC) while also getting ready to begin production of its replacement, the ship-to-shore connector (SSC). On 16 January 2014 Navy Captain Chris Mercer, amphibious warfare program manager, announced at the Surface Navy Association’s annual symposium that “A contract was awarded for the first nine LCAC replacements and we’re in design now and heading to a production readiness review this year.” The first SSC is expected to be delivered in 2017.20 Meanwhile, the Navy and Marine Corps continue to explore additional connector options.
Connectors, of course, require ships to carry them. Captain Mercer also announced that the third America-class amphibious assault ship (LHA-8) was being redesigned so that it would, unlike its predecessors that are optimized for flight operations, include a well deck.21 Of those first two ships, the USS America (LHA-6) was formally commissioned on 11 October, and the Tripoli (LHA-7) is under construction.
Another significant 2014 shipbuilding decision came when Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus signed a memorandum in October directing that the San Antonio–class hull form be used as the replacement for the aging Whidbey Island class. This decision is expected to both accelerate acquisition of the “LX(R)” and reduce production costs.22
The secretary’s decision was widely praised in Navy–Marine Corps circles, as there is a growing, shared concern that the amphibious-ship inventory is too low. For example, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, testified to Congress that he was “not the only combatant commander that desires amphibious shipping or the Marines that are on them . . . there is a global competition among us as the world situation kind of moves around and the global demand signal today is greater than what we can resource.”23 While EF-21 states that “an inventory of fewer than 33 ships causes unacceptable risk,” the current CNO has gone on record saying that the actual demand calls for as many as 54.24 This shortfall was addressed head-on by EF-21’s proposal for using alternative ships to complement amphibious warships:
Alternative platforms for potential exploration and experimentation include but are not limited to: surface combatants; the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) enhanced as an afloat staging base; Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) with a habitability module; Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) with sufficient sea state and C4 capacity; high-speed transports; Maritime Prepositioning Squadron ships in combinations of T-AKE Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships or a Large Medium-speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ship (LMSR) with an MLP.25
With the exception of surface combatants and the LCS, all of the alternatives mentioned in EF-21 are operated by the Military Sealift Command. In 9 April remarks at the Sea-Air-Space exposition, MSC commander Rear Admiral Thomas K. Shannon explained that they have “a host of platforms that can be used in new and creative ways in support of Expeditionary Force 21.” He related that MV-22Bs had already landed on a T-AKE’s flight deck and that the aircraft can be internally stowed once some modifications are made to the ships’ hangar doors. He also noted that the Navy and Marine Corps had experimented with a T-AKE as a command-and-control ship.26 Additionally, he said the USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) had been used to support Marines in a noncombatant evacuation exercise.27
Furthermore, in the fall Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General John Paxton indicated interest in adding a ramp to JHSVs so they could be used to “splash” amphibious vehicles directly into the water, rather than needing to offload pierside.28 That fall the U.S. 7th Fleet commander, Vice Admiral Robert L. Thomas, expressed his intention to explore employing Marines from a littoral combat ship: “As you look at my amphibious lineup in the Western Pacific, I’m always kind of capacity-limited with respect to big deck amphibs, so there are ways with respect to Fort Worth to get at the vertical-lift issues for the U.S. Marine Corps and be a little more innovative in how we go after putting Marines ashore for various operations.”29
The alternative ship initiative is the most prominent, but only one of many, EF-21 ideas that have been enthusiastically embraced by the naval service. Establishing “expeditionary advanced bases” as a means of contributing to the sea-control fight, the use of company landing teams capable of long-range, dispersed employment from the sea, the creation of rapidly deployable, integrated Navy–Marine Corps “fly-in command elements” to more effectively respond to crises, and experimentation with a cyberelectronic-warfare coordination cell, are but a few of the EF-21 initiatives that were quickly incorporated into exercises, wargames, and experiments in 2014. With the publication of the updated edition of CS-21 in March 2015, it appears a new era of naval adaptation and innovation is well under way.
Spirit of the Corps
In a White House ceremony on 19 June, retired Corporal William Kyle Carpenter became the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient. While serving as an automatic rifleman in Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on 21 November 2010, then–Lance Corporal Carpenter threw himself in front of a Taliban grenade to shield Lance Corporal Nick Eufrazio from most of the blast. Both Marines were wounded but survived—miraculously in Carpenter’s case. He lost his right eye, most of his teeth, and had his jaw and right arm shattered. After two and half years in the hospital and 40 surgeries, he was medically retired from the Marine Corps in 2013. The attention garnered by the medal revealed to the public what Corporal Carpenter’s buddies already knew: that he is a warm, engaging, and selfless individual. “In the years since he was wounded, Carpenter has emerged as an inspirational figure, a spokesman for wounded warriors and a role model for contemporary Marines.”30
During the 6 August change of command at Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC), General Amos announced that subordinate units within the command would be officially renamed in honor of the World War II Marine Raiders. For example, 1st Marine Special Operations Battalion would become 1st Marine Raider Battalion. At a photo session during a reunion of the original Marine Raiders a year earlier, one of the veterans managed to clandestinely place a Raider patch on the Commandant’s uniform. The prank reflected the Marine Raider Association’s desire to more formally preserve their legacy. That sentiment was shared within MARSOC, as Captain Barry Morris noted, “We feel we owe it to those Marine Raiders still alive and their families to make every attempt to do so.” Captain Morris also pointed out that “It helps tell our story that the Marine Corps is not necessarily new to the world of special operations.”31
On 17 October in a ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, General Amos relinquished the office of Commandant and retired after 44 years of military service. The first aviator to become Commandant, his long-term legacy will likely be his role in reinvigorating the relationship with the Navy after nearly 13 years of sustained operations ashore, while also protecting Marine Corps force structure from the major cuts that usually follow the cessation of such conflicts.
His successor, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., is universally acclaimed as the right man to become the 36th Commandant. It appears he was inspired by the spirit of the Corps at an early age, as he revealed during his brief remarks that “I’m a Marine because of my dad, and I attribute any discipline I might have to the drill instructor in our family, my mother.” The general’s father, Joseph F. Dunford Sr., served as a rifleman in Company B, First Battalion, 5th Marines, at Pusan, Inchon, Seoul, and the Chosin Reservoir before going on to a distinguished career in the Boston Police Department, retiring as deputy superintendent.
As a colonel, the younger Dunford commanded his father’s old regiment, the 5th Marines, during the march up to Baghdad in 2003. Subsequently, he went on to a series of impressive performances in billets of ever greater responsibility, the most recent being commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. General Dunford has been described as “the finest military officer in uniform today. . . . He is tough but compassionate and understands this generation of Marines like few do.”32
General Dunford provided perhaps the most succinct assessment of the Marine Corps in 2014: “The Corps is in great shape. We’re recruiting and retaining high-quality Marines; we’re providing relevant capabilities to the combatant commanders. Marines today find themselves in every clime and place doing what must be done and they’re delivering. . . . God bless you all, Semper Fidelis, and for those still in uniform, continue to march.”33
1. Hope Hodge Seck, “Marine commanders reflect on 13 years of war in Afghanistan,” Marine Corps Times, 5 November 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20141105/NEWS08/311050045/Marine-commanders-reflect-13-years-war-Afghanistan?sf33370275=1.
2. Eryn Lyall, “U.S. Marines end Afghan operations, prepare to come home,” CBS News, 26 October 2014, www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-marines-end-afghanistan-operations-prepare-to-come-home. Hope Hodge Seck, “Marines end mission in Afghanistan after 13 years.”
3. Dan Lamothe, “Marines’ Post-Benghazi Forces Rescue Embassy Personnel—and Show Up the Army,” Foreign Policy, 3 January 2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/01/03/marines-post-benghazi-forces-rescue-embassy-personnel-and-show-up-the-army.
4. Gina Harkins, “Marine Corps to stand up crisis response unit in CENTCOM in 2015,” Marine Corps Times, 10 April 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20140410/NEWS/304100058.
5. Tony Capaccio, “Marine Mideast Crisis Unit to Be Fully Capable by Nov. 1,” Bloomberg, 22 October 2014, www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-22/marine-mideast-crisis-unit-to-be-fully-capable-by-nov-1.html.
6. Joe Trevithick, “Marines Ready for New Libyan Crisis,” War is Boring, 15 May 2014, https://medium.com/war-is-boring/740a94ba3cd7.
7. Gina Harkins and Andrew Tilghman, “FAST Marines, U.S. soldiers arrive at the U.S. Embassy compound in Iraq,” Navy Times, 16 June 2014, www.navytimes.com/article/20140616/NEWS/306160027/FAST-Marines-U-S-soldiers-arrive-U-S-Embassy-compound-Iraq.
8. Sam LaGrone, “U.S. Moves Amphibious Warship Closer to Iraq, Four U.S. Ships in the Gulf,” USNI News, 16 June 2014, http://news.usni.org/2014/06/16/u-s-moves-amphibious-warship-closer-iraq-four-u-s-ships-gulf.
9. Author’s personal correspondence with COL Kenneth M. DeTreux, USMC, 20 March 2015.
10. Martin Chulov, Julian Borger, and Richard Norton-Taylor, “US marines and special forces to assess options for rescue of refugees stranded on mountain by militant group Isis,” The Guardian, 13 August 2014, www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/13/us-ground-troops-direct-role-evacuate-yazidis-iraq.
11. Tom Vanden Brook, “Pentagon Official: 130 Advisers Heading To Northern Iraq Marines and Special Operations Forces Sent To Irbil in Kurdish-Controlled Territory,” Defense News, 12 August 2015, www.defensenews.com/article/20140812/DEFREG04/308120028/Pentagon-Official-130-Advisers-Heading-Northern-Iraq.
12. Jim Michaels, “Marines had prepared for major rescue on Mount Sinjar,” Marine Corps Times, 8 October 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20141008/NEWS/310080037/Marines-had-prepared-major-rescue-Mount-Sinjar?sf32131632=1.
13. David Axe, “American Jump Jets Spying on Islamic State,” War is Boring, 31 August 2014, https://medium.com/war-is-boring/american-jump-jets-spying-on-islamic-state-a8696d06a032.
14. ADM Jonathan Greenert, USN, CNO, opening statement to the House Appropriations Committee—Defense on 26 February 2015.
15. Joshua Stewart, “Corps fills key role in Ebola mission,” Marine Corps Times, 9 November 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2014/11/09/corps-fills-key-role-in-ebola-mission/18759135/?sf33506708=1.
16. GEN James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Expeditionary Force 21, (Department of the Navy, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps; Washington, DC; 4 March 2014), 4.
17. Remarks delivered by LTGEN Kenneth J. Glueck Jr., USMC, to the Strategy Discussion Group, Crystal City, VA, 24 November 2014.
18. EF-21, 21.
19. Valerie Insinna, “High Water-Speed Still a Priority for Marine Corps’ Amphibious Assault Vehicle,” National Defense Magazine, 18 November 2014, www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1672.
20. Kris Osborn, “Navy Buys New Landing Craft Air Cushion for Amphibs,” DOD Buzz, 20 January 2014, www.dodbuzz.com/2014/01/20/navy-buys-new-landing-craft-air-cushion-for-amphibs.
21. Kris Osborn, “Navy Bringing Well Decks Back to Amphibs,” DOD Buzz, 18 January 2014, www.dodbuzz.com/2014/01/18/navy-bringing-well-decks-back-to-amphibs.
22. RADM Terry McKnight, USN (Ret.), “Opinion: Choosing San Antonio for Next Generation Amphib is the Right Decision at the Right Time,” USNI News, 7 November 2014, http://news.usni.org/2014/11/07/opinion-2. Sam LaGrone, “Memo: Hull Based on San Antonio Design is Navy’s Preferred Option for Next Generation Amphib,” USNI News, 20 October 2014), http://news.usni.org/2014/10/20/memo-hull-based-san-antonio-design-navys-preferred-option-next-generation-amphib.
24. EF-21, 18. Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., “LCS, JHSV ‘Marginal’ For Marine Ops: Gen. Paxton,” Breaking Defense, 12 October 2014), http://breakingdefense.com/2014/10/lcs-jhsv-marginal-for-marine-ops-gen-pexton/?utm_source=Breaking+Defense&utm_campaign=501b62e388-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4368933672-501b62e388-408367625.
25. EF-21, 19–20.
26. Dan Parsons, “Marine Corps Gets Creative in Solving Ship Shortage, Vehicle Needs,” National Defense, 9 April 2014, www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=1473.
27. Bryant Jordan, “Admiral: Sealift Can Complement Amphib Fleet,” DOD Buzz, 10 April 2014, www.dodbuzz.com/2014/04/10/admiral-sealift-can-complement-amphib-fleet.
28. Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., “LCS, JHSV ‘Marginal’ For Marine Ops: Gen. Paxton.”
29. Dzirhan Mahadzir, Kuala Lumpur and James Hardy, London, “USS Fort Worth to drill MCM, Marine Corps lift in As-Pac deployment,” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, 10 September 2014, www.janes.com/article/42997/uss-fort-worth-to-drill-mcm-marine-corps-lift-in-as-pac-deployment.
30. Hope Hodge Seck, “Kyle Carpenter’s closest friends react to Medal of Honor news,” Marine Corps Times, 10 March 2014, http://archive.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20140310/NEWS/303070030/Kyle-Carpenter-s-closest-friends-react-Medal-Honor-news.
31. Hope Hodge Seck, “MARSOC units renamed for the Marine Raiders,” Marine Corps Times, 6 August 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20140806/NEWS/308060054/MARSOC-units-renamed-Marine-Raiders.
32. Hope Hodge Seck, with Andrew deGrandpré and Geoffrey Ingersoll, “Quiet brawler: Everything you need to know about the next commandant,” Marine Corps Times, 9 June 2014, www.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20140609/NEWS/306090026.
33. Hope Hodge Seck, “Dunford takes command of the Corps, issues first order to Marines,” Marine Corps Times, 17 October 2014, http://archive.marinecorpstimes.com/article/20141017/NEWS/310170048/Dunford-takes-command-Corps-issues-first-order-Marines.