• Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, discusses Marine Corps innovations in the Wednesday keynote address at West 2018 in San Diego.
     Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, discusses Marine Corps innovations in the Wednesday keynote address at West 2018 in San Diego.

Marines Have Changing Future in Their Sights

February 7, 2018
By Robert K. Ackerman
E-mail About the Author

Adversaries have innovated, the Corps wants to leap ahead.


The already-complex Marine Corps mission is about to become more intricate as the Corps strives to incorporate new methods of warfighting and countering enemy capabilities. Viewing adversaries has given the Corps a glimpse of the future, and major changes lie over the horizon.

These points were hammered home by Lt. Gen. Robert S. Walsh, USMC, commanding general, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, speaking at the day two morning keynote address at West 2018 in San Diego. From amphibious assaults to information warfare, the Marines are incorporating new capabilities that will lead to an entirely new way of waging combat, the general allowed.

Planners have studied peer activities, particularly Russian operations in Ukraine, for a look at what they may expect in future conflicts. “Anywhere we go, we are going to be contested,” Gen. Walsh declared. “We would probably struggle in the complex environment [such as in Ukraine].”

“A key part of our force is out-innovating our adversaries,” he declared.

One step taken by the Corps is to stand up Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) information groups that pulled together all elements of the information environment. Gen. Walsh observed that the structure is in place, and training and equipment will follow. Demand for participating in and support from these groups will be high.

He pointed out that the F-35 is a complete game-changer for the Marine Corps and the Navy. “We’re learning a lot with the F-35B that will help with the F-35C on the carriers,” he allowed. The aircraft’s sensor suite will change the way maritime and littoral forces fight. Even reconnaissance may change substantially in the future, and this in turn will change the way Marines operate.

Major changes already are underway. In a recent amphibious exercise, the first 15 minutes of landing ashore featured almost exclusively unmanned operations, the general related. This will have major ramifications for Marines across the board.

“When you shift gears to a high end [combat], it changes your training and changes your force,” he warranted.

Enjoyed this article? SUBSCRIBE NOW to keep the content flowing.


Departments: 

Share Your Thoughts: