There is the United States Marine Corps, which can hardly be called Marine Corps. But first things first…
The creation of a domestic analogue of Marine Corps would require a cycle of important organizational measures, the purpose of which is to unite all units of the marine corps and airborne forces under a single command, giving them Kantemirovskaya tank divisions, missile and artillery brigades, as well as engineering units and the Coastal Forces of the Navy. In the process, it will be necessary to withdraw from the Aerospace Forces and transfer to the new command several aviation divisions.
The command of the military structure should be placed in a separate building in the building of the Ministry of Defense on Frunze Embankment. At the entrance, knock out the inscription: “Armed forces of the Russian Federation. On a smaller scale. ”
Whether such a solution is necessary or unnecessary is another matter.
I suppose a satirical example gives a pretty good idea of what the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is.
The practice of creating smaller “clones” of the armed forces is not uncommon in our time. It is enough to see what are the domestic troops of the National Guard (Rosguard) of 340 thousand people. Which in terms of equipment, in quantitative and qualitative aspects, often surpass the Armed forces of Russia! The latest models of small arms are also presented there. weapons, and armored vehicles, and military transport aircraft. There are even combat helicopters!
Of course, the USMC and Rosguard have a different look and purpose. But the very fact of the existence of “yet another armed forces” in parallel with the main Armed Forces is not something exceptional in the modern world.
This is again to the question of how correctly to use the generally accepted term "Marine Corps" in relation to Marine Corps.
The concept of “Marines” originated in the XNUMXth century and referred to the light infantry that fought for the interests of the British Empire.
The meaning of the name was not that the soldiers jumped into the water, and, having barely reached the shore, immediately entered into battle.
Everything was much simpler. In order to get to any war, Marines soldiers first needed to cross the sea.
Fascinating sea cruises and conditions of service on distant shores, of course, left their mark on the appearance and equipment of these parts.
To date, the Royal Marines ("Royal Marines") have become what we used to call the Marine Corps. Elite landing units and special forces of the Navy with a total number of about 7500 people.
The Americans borrowed the word, but their idea of Marines is very different from what we see in other countries of the world. In this sense, the concept, purpose and objectives of the United States Marine Corps is much closer to the concepts of the XVII century.
If you express the true meaning of USMC in Russian, then its most accurate translation would be: "Overseas Corps."
Expeditionary army, combining all kinds of troops and designed to operate exclusively on foreign territories. In the desert, in the jungle, in the mountains, on the coast - these are already particular conditions of that war, which is unleashed in the Pentagon’s offices.
Roller "Lt Baldomero Lopez" delivered to the next batch of amphibians AAV-7 in the Middle East. Pay attention to the typical marine color of armored vehicles. Just a picture of Aivazovsky!
Other tasks of the Corps are the protection of naval bases (here the tasks of the USMC are consonant with the tasks of the Russian Navy Coastal Forces) and the security of American embassies. Honorary ceremonial function.
Why is the marine corps quoted everywhere? The personnel of the US Marine Corps are 10-20 times larger than the Marine units in other countries of the world!
At the sea borders of Russia 12 thousand "black pea jackets" are serving.
China has two naval brigades of approximately 12 thousand troops.
Turkey has only one Amfibi Komando brigade.
The personnel of the United States Marine Corps today totals 180 thousand people, not counting 35 thousand reserves!
The few. The Proud. The marines One of the motto of the Marine Corps Corps sounds exactly like the famous “We Are Few, But We Are in Vests!”
The presence of parts with "Abrams" in the USMC is not much surprise. Participation in modern conflicts is impossible without the support of heavy armored vehicles. The scope of those conflicts is fairly obvious. 180 thousand people are held in combat service not for participation in "targeted" operations.
Tanks are inevitable. But often have you seen "Marines" armed with multipurpose fighters of the 4th and 5th generation?
300 combat aircraft and fifty air tankers. Behind which on the way - an armada of 800 helicopters and convertiplanes. USMC Aviation outnumbers the Air Force in most countries.
Here is such an "infantry".
The main difference between USMC and other types of aircraft is increased mobility.
In its purpose, the Overseas Corps is no different from what is called the US Army. Like the Marines, the Army has absolutely nothing to do on the American continent. The meaning of all Pentagon units is reduced to wars on foreign shores.
Nevertheless, in the interests of the "Overseas Corps" special samples of equipment are ordered that accelerate the deployment of troops upon arrival at theaters of military operations.
On the other hand, all these amphibious cars and aircraft with vertical take-off are just a decorative cover.
Major military operations are impossible without serious and lengthy training, without achieving dominance at sea and in the air. Examples of the XNUMXth century clearly demonstrate the timing. Long months of concentration of forces in selected areas.
First, gaining access to ports and airbases of neighboring states. With the subsequent penetration of enemy territory (North Vietnam, Iraq) by organized convoys across the land border. If the enemy is not able to provide organized resistance, and his state and power structures are decomposed to the state of anarchy and the Middle Ages, then the capital’s international airport (Lebanon, Afghanistan) is used directly as the “portal” for the invasion forces.
Of the major naval operations, only the Incheon landing operation can be called as an exception. Which, firstly, occurred 70 years ago. Secondly, the US Marine Corps was represented in it by a single division. The bulk of the landing were British and South Korean infantry units.
More recent example. During the special operation in Grenada, the number of "marines" also amounted to only 30% of the total landing force.
This is a very important point. Let us turn to statistics: over the years of World War II in the Pacific theater of war, units of the "Marine Corps" took part in 15 large landings of naval landings of strategic importance. Whereas units of the US Army - at 26!
The Marines cannot be blamed for cowardice. The mortality rate among them was higher (3,7%) than in other types of armed forces (2,8% for the army, 1,5% in the ranks of the Navy), while 80% of the irrevocable losses of the USMC were directly attributable to losses in battle. In terms of mortality, the Marines were second only to civilian sailors. fleet (3,9%).
The paradox had a banal explanation: the Corps was many times inferior in size to the Army, and therefore took part in fewer operations.
But the fact remains so. If the tasks of these "rambo" were successfully carried out by ordinary army units, then what is the uniqueness of the Marine Corps in this case?
The “accelerated deployment” of certain USMC units equipped with special equipment is in many respects overestimated and cannot be decisive.
The army and the USMC are fighting under the same conditions in the same directions. The need to ensure the same combat characteristics does not dramatically reduce weight and reduce the size of military equipment. The identified problems are largely offset by the capabilities of the transport command of the US Armed Forces.
Therefore, the "expeditionary forces" do not hesitate to use the Abrams MBT with a mass of 70 tons. And as a heavy truck, engineering machine and tractor, the Corps uses the army five-axle chassis LVSR (10x10).
Nevertheless, an obvious fact: the Marines do not even have 1/10 of the amount of heavy armored vehicles that are present in the arsenal of the US Army. And that puts an end to the “do-it-yourself” actions of the USMC.
No matter how cool the Marines are and no matter how magnificent their Javelins are, with only ATGMs with a limited amount of heavy weapons, they will not withstand the attacks of the armies of those countries against which and for the sake of which the 180th Zamorsk Corps are contained.
No Stryker and Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The personnel of the Corps moves exclusively on "hammers" (19,5 thousand units), trucks (11 thousand units) and recently gained popularity of wheeled armored vehicles protected by the MRAP standard.
The situation in which such “light forces” will fall when trying to act independently on enemy territory is eloquently illustrated by the example of Somalia (1993). Then the United States Army units, also moving in trucks and light wheeled armored vehicles, got into a difficult situation. As a result, they are blocked and deprived of any chance of an independent exit from the environment.
400 tanks and two battalions of the HIMARS MLRS as part of the USMC are too few on the scale of serious operations.
And while the Marines are busy with their super-lightweight towed M777 howitzers, the army is using the Paladin self-propelled guns. Providing army units with significantly greater room for maneuver in the database zone.
The landing capabilities of the Overseas Corps are justified by the presence of 1100 AAV-7 amphibious landing vehicles.
30-ton amphibious armored personnel carriers drive beautifully along the beach and, in theory, allow landing on an enemy-occupied coast. In practice, AAV-7s are more common in the interior of the continent, performing typical tasks of armored personnel carriers. Associated with the transport of personnel in areas of armed conflict.
AAV-7 floating armored personnel carrier in Fallujah, Iraq. Far removed from the coast.
Promising floating (amphibious) ACV armored vehicles, ordered to replace the AAV7, will even more affect the number of landing groups. It is planned to purchase a total of 573 floating armored personnel carriers, half as much as is currently available.
Also in service with the Zamorsky Corps in small numbers there are wheeled BTR-BMPs under the designation LAV-25 weighing 13 tons. Able to overcome water obstacles swimming and even parachute landing. However, the popularity of the LAV-25 among the "Marines" is small. The number of light armored vehicles is at times inferior to the Abrams MBT!
This is once again about the priorities and real tasks of the Overseas Corps, for which amphibious assault forces remain a beautiful ceremony and a memory of traditions.
Undoubtedly, the Corps has amphibious assault forces similar to our Marine Corps, but the bulk of the USMC's tasks are located at a considerable distance from the coast.
USMC aviation deserves special mention.
The original idea was the possibility of rapid deployment in the war zone. With the deployment of aircraft on board aircraft carriers and at advanced airfields near the line of contact with the enemy.
In practice, all this was meaningless for several reasons.
The conditions and methods of basing USMC aircraft were no different from the basing of tactical aircraft of the Air Force.
It is very naive to believe that 4th-generation fighters (not to mention the F-35) will be able to service and operate from unprepared airfields. Only first-class airbases equipped with the latest technology!
USMC 11th Air Group at Sheikh Isa Air Base (Bahrain)
To date, the concept of "advanced airfields" in order to reduce flight time is completely out of date. During urgent requests, aircraft strike from the “airborne alert” position. After all, the duration of conventional sorties of multi-role fighters of the US Air Force in modern conflicts reaches 9 hours. Fighters with bombs “hang” for hours over or near war zones. Everything is done in the interests of the ground forces. From the moment a request is received, air strikes take a few minutes.
No VTOL aircraft stationed at the nearest aerodrome will provide such a response to the call.
In turn, the navy has its own carrier-based aircraft, superior in all respects to the aircraft of the "Overseas Corps". USMC squadrons are present on board aircraft carriers only as guests of honor.
As a result of all efforts to give a ghostly “mobility”, the bulk of the marine corps aviation currently consists of obsolete aircraft.
The basis of combat aviation is the first generation F / A-18C Hornet fighter-bomber and the Harrier II strike VTOL.
I believe that all connoisseurs of military equipment understand what is at stake, how different the capabilities of these aircraft are from the Strike Eagles and Raptors of the Air Force.
Things are slightly better with the promising F-35B, but there are also questions to the vertical. It is inferior in most TTX to the usual "Lightnings" of modification "A". From a less efficient hose-to-cone refueling system to an overly complex and overweight structure with a limit on permissible overloads and the value of the combat load.
But most importantly, the "Marines" lack their own AWACS aircraft, the basis of the foundations of modern air warfare.
The USMC fleet of rotorcraft makes a double impression. On the one hand, 800 units of helicopters and convertiplanes are power. Power with a capital letter.
On the other hand, there is only a faint resemblance to army aircraft, which are armed with over 2700 helicopters.
What is the USMC in light of the circumstances?
Conceptually - the invading army.
On the technical side - light motorized infantry with small "interspersed" heavy weapons. Which attached aviation units in order to simplify interaction and provide support from the air.
In reality, this structure does not correspond to the imposed image and does not have independence in real conflicts. Despite its large number and its “maritime” name, Marines have neither the ability nor the technical means to carry out amphibious landing on the coast of any prepared enemy.
Just as they would not dare to independently advance deep into enemy territory by land without the support of army units.
What was clearly demonstrated during Operation Desert Storm, the largest military conflict since World War II. The basis of the shock army again became the tank "wedges", which provided comprehensive support to other branches of the army. By the way, the American command took into account the experience of its predecessors in the operation "Citadel" and at that time effectively crushed the Iraqi defense.
Under the indicated conditions, all the tasks of the "light motorized infantry" are reduced to strengthening army units with heavy weapons. Acting in a single bundle, they really represent a formidable force.
Here, the last differences between the motorized infantry units of the Army and the Overseas Corps are blurred. Soldiers differ only in chevrons and payment checks issued from different departments.
USMC’s independent actions are limited to conflicts of the lowest intensity, in which the first "Marines" who arrive first are mostly police officers. Like any modern army, Corps units in such conditions demonstrate confident superiority over a technically weak and disorganized enemy.
The author of the article does not see the point in a detailed description of the particularities of the command of the Overseas Corps, which, as you know, "reports directly to the president." Who is whose deputy and what rank? Those interested in bureaucracy can find this data in any source.
I only note that even the US president will not be able to execute the order to deploy a contingent of such numbers. This is not an instant strike from a drone. Finally, the Marines themselves have no ships under their command; without the support of the fleet and the Maritime Command, they will not be able to get into any war.
The author does not set out to rewrite the established truths, because from this moment he returns to the familiar term "Marine Corps."
The main thing is to understand that under this phrase there is nothing like the Russian marines (Great Britain, China, etc.), which in their concept really are parts of the sea landing.
The most interesting question: why does the ocean still need to withdraw part of the Army and Air Force units into a separate type of armed forces?
Everything is explained by traditions.
The traditions of military glory. And traditions benefit!
Taking advantage of the presence of “another army”, colossal contracts for the supply of “special equipment” for it can be implemented. Everything - from rations and uniform sets, to those questionable in terms of utility, but due to their small numbers of extremely expensive fifth-generation fighters with vertical take-off.
At the same time, you can build an armada of landing helicopter carriers with a dock camera. By the way, the Navy has tacitly recognized the fallacy of the all-in-one concept, dividing the classes of helicopter carriers and dock ships. In any case, neither one nor the other nor the third are used (and cannot be used) for their intended purpose in modern combat conditions.
The Marines will soon not have enough amphibious vehicles, and all military operations are conducted on land. The US Navy does not need 20-node pre-aircraft carriers; it includes full-fledged nuclear aircraft carriers. But just imagine the appetites of the shipyard in Pascagul! There, several generations of managers live on projects of such grandiose and meaningless constructions.
This is what “a special type of armed forces” means in practice, which needs special attention.
Not to mention the increase in the staff of general posts.