US Marines training for war with China on island-hopping battlefields, report says

US Marines training for war with China on island-hopping battlefields, report says

Logistics support vessel USAV SP4 James A. Lew (LSV-6) prepares to unload vehicles at Trident Pier.

Logistics support ship USAV SP4 James A. Lu unloads the vehicle at Trident Pier, preparing to be driven by U.S. Marines stationed in the United Arab Emirates.U.S. Army photo courtesy of Spc.travis teet

  • New U.S. Marine formations are learning how to fight adversaries like China on remote islands.

  • The new formation is designed to be smaller and more agile, according to the Washington Post.

  • The military is learning new naval warfare strategies after decades of combat in the Middle East.

The report says U.S. Marines are learning how to fight adversaries like China on remote islands in response to rising tensions in the Pacific.

The troops are trained to fight across difficult terrain after 20 years of fighting on the ground in the Middle East, the Washington Post said.

A US Navy admiral recently explained to the US House Armed Services Committee that the threat from China is growing.

Admiral John Aquilino of the United States Navy. China’s military buildup is “on a scale not seen since World War II” and Beijing says it is on track to invade Taiwan by 2027.

The military is creating new Marine units, such as the 3rd Marine Coastal Regiment, that are smaller, more agile, and designed to support larger joint forces.

Rather than conducting traditional amphibious attacks, these smaller, more mobile forces gather intelligence and quickly share it.

According to the newspaper, precision attacks such as sinking ships with medium-range missiles are also possible if necessary.

“We have spent much of the last 20 years monitoring terrorist adversaries who were not highly armed and did not have the full use of state power,” said John, commander of the 3rd Marine Coastal Regiment.・Colonel Lehane says: he told the Post.

“And now we need to redirect our formation to someone who might have that ability.”

Lehane said the unit’s most valuable role is its ability to “see things on the battlefield, get targeting data, and understand what’s going on when others probably can’t.” said.

Pentagon experts predict that in the event of a war, U.S. satellites would be jammed or destroyed by China, the Post noted.

The new Marines are envisioned to play a key role in enabling large-scale joint operations aimed at countering Chinese aggression in the region, including against Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines.

Taiwan, in particular, has long been concerned about the possibility of invasion by China.

This week, it was reported that China has built a model of the main area of ​​Taiwan’s capital, home to the presidential palace and other government buildings, in the desert region of Inner Mongolia.

China has also been documented Build mockups of US aircraft carriers and other warships At the training site, perhaps test and improve missiles.

China has home field advantage

USS Lewis B. Puller, where U.S. Marines board an expeditionary offshore base.from an inflatable boatUSS Lewis B. Puller, where U.S. Marines board an expeditionary offshore base.from an inflatable boat

U.S. Marines with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit All Area Reconnaissance Detachment board the Expeditionary Sea Base USS Lewis B. Puller from a 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boat.U.S. Marine Corps photo: Sergeant Sarah Stegall.

China has been pressuring the government for decades not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state, pledging to “unify” the autonomous island and mainland by 2050.

The paper pointed out that in recent years, the Chinese government has significantly expanded its influence in the Pacific Ocean, building artificial islands as military outposts in the South China Sea and aiming to expand its bases in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

Not only does China have the largest military power in the region, it also has a strong home base and could easily deploy its roughly 1 million troops, ships, and aircraft into any conflict.

By comparison, U.S. ships and aircraft must travel thousands of miles or rely on partner nations to station personnel and weapons on their territory.

The Marine Corps’ new plan, known as Force Design, focuses on placing Marines on the front lines while hiding them from radar and other detection methods.

These “stand-in” groups could number in the thousands across the region and would be used to support a large joint force confronting the main enemy.

Analysts say the Marine Corps’ new strategy is promising, but will face challenges, including logistical hurdles, in such a vast ocean area.

Also, regional partners like Japan may allow U.S. forces to fight from their territory, as some officials may fear angering the Chinese government and drawing them into conflict with the United States. It’s unclear whether that will happen, the Post said.

In 2021, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, played a war game Imagine how a war between China and the United States over Taiwan would unfold.

In one of the more pessimistic scenarios, 900 American fighter and attack aircraft would be lost in four weeks, equivalent to half of the U.S. Air Force and Navy’s fighters.

However, the losses on both sides would be enormous.

Mark Cancian, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Business Insider that war gambling showed that: “The United States and Taiwan have been largely successful in defending the island from Chinese occupation, but the cost has been very high.” Hundreds of aircraft, aircraft carriers have been lost, and Taiwan’s economy, as well as the Chinese navy and air force, have been devastated. brought about misery. ”

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