The expeditionary advanced basing operations (EABO) concept centers around the Marine Corps and Navy providing an “inside” force to the naval and joint fight at littoral choke points. Marines would use various land bases and platforms across key maritime terrain to establish a persistent and agile posture to emplace and extend weapons, networks, sensors, and unmanned systems inside an antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) environment.1
EABO enables the force “outside” the A2/AD envelope, comprising the brunt of U.S. warfighting capability and capacity in a great power maritime conflict, to unleash its firepower at the right time and place.2 But for EABO to work well, a heightened level of Navy and Marine Corps command-and-control (C2) interoperability and integration is required. To realize this, the Marine Corps should embed its Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) in the Navy’s composite warfare construct (CWC), adding a littoral warfare commander (LWC) alongside the other naval warfare commanders.
1. Department of the Navy, “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment,” 13.
2. “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment,” 13.
3. Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Operational Maneuver from the Sea, Washington, D.C. January 1996.
4. “Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment,”11.
5. David M Cayce, “Composite Warfare Commander,” Marine Corps Gazette, 79, Issue 3 (March 1995).
6. Burton C Quist, “Naval Expeditionary Warfare Update,” Marine Corps Gazette 80, Issue 3 (March 1996).
7. Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Corps Operating Concept.
8. Brian P Cyr, Thomas C Gillespie, Steven M Lesher, and Patrick D Minor, “Composite Warfare and the Amphibians,” Marine Corps Gazette 76, Issue 11 (November 1992).
9. U.S. Department of Defense, Joint publication 3-32: Command and Control of Joint Maritime Operations, (Washington, D.C.: 8 June 2018), 11–15.
10. Cyr, et al., “Composite Warfare and the Amphibians;” Wallace C Gregson, “Keeping Up with Navy Doctrine,” Marine Corps Gazette 74, Issue 2 (December 1990); Kevin J. Stepp, “Naval Command and Control,” Marine Corps Gazette 76, Issue 11 (December 2016).