Marine Corps Commandant General David H. Berger’s planning guidance calls for the Corps to reemphasize its naval character and more directly support naval operations.1 The main concept to support this shift is expeditionary advanced base operations (EABO), where Marines will seize key littoral terrain and enable the maneuver of Navy ships in contested environments through fires, logistics, and communications support from advanced bases. This will require Marine forces afloat to operate within enemy weapons engagement zones and potentially to conduct contested amphibious operations. The Marine expeditionary unit (MEU) and, eventually, the Marine littoral regiment (MLR) likely will be the units tasked to conduct these seizure and fire missions, and the Navy ship formation currently designed to take them to shore is the amphibious ready group (ARG).
1. Gen David H. Berger, USMC, Commandant’s Planning Guidance: 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps (Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, July 2019), 2.
2. Lockheed Martin, “F-35B: The World’s Most Advanced Fighter” (2019), 2.
3. “Ship Self-Defense for LHA-6,” FY17 Navy Programs, U.S. Navy.
4. Christian Brose, The Kill Chain (New York: Hachette Books, 2020), 164.
5. Ron Christman, China’s Second Artillery Force: Capabilities and Missions for the Near Seas (China Maritime Studies Institute, 2014), 37.
6. CAPT Wayne Hughes and RADM Robert Girrier, USN (Ret.), Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations, 3d ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2018), 280–84.
7. Toshi Yoshihara and James Holmes, Red Star Over the Pacific, 2d ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2018), 237.
8. Sam LaGrone, “The Basics: Inside the Carrier Air Wing,” USNI News, 28 April 2016.
9. Commander, Carrier Strike Group 9, “About Us: Reporting Units."
10. Gen David H. Berger, USMC, Force Design 2030 (Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 2020), 5.
11. Hughes and Girrier, Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations, 280–84.
12. Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, “Seventh Fleet Task Forces,” www.c7f.navy.mil.
13. CAPT Nick Oltman, USMC, “EABO Needs a New Naval Command and Control Structure,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 145, no. 5 (May 2019).
14. Mallory Shelbourne, “Marine Corps to Stand Up First Marine Littoral Regiment in FY 2022,” USNI News, 20 January 2021; and Megan Eckstein, “Navy Officials Reveal Details of New $100M Light Amphibious Warfare Concept,” USNI News, 19 November 2020.