The Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) faces its biggest challenge since the concept was established in 1963: penetrating peer defensive networks like none the Marine Corps has ever faced to land in a contested environment. The Navy–Marine Corps team must develop deception methods and modernize its air and sea connector capabilities to thrive and succeed inside complex and challenging environments that will be more and better defended than those of the past. Otherwise, amphibious forces will fail, taking the expeditionary advanced base operations (EABO) concept with them. Three possible solutions will help generate and sustain combat power inside the enemy’s weapons-engagement zone.
First, the Navy and Marine Corps should develop a deception platform to confuse enemy defenses. Second, the services need to produce a more effective connector fleet. And third, the Marine Corps should modernize assault support for today’s joint force to prepare MAGTF pilots, commanders, and aircraft for the future fight. All three will be essential to generating and sustaining amphibious combat power forward.
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