U.S. Marine Corps to Disband all of its Tank Battalions?

There should be a separate category here for Military news. Anyway, this was recently announced and I find this rather confounding considering the amount of money that was recently procured to our military in the last Omnibus bill, so this news is rather surprising. So from my understanding this news is part of a restructuring plan that will take place over the next 10 years gradually phasing them (tanks) out and in anticipation of the changes in which battles will be fought in the future and this is what to expect. What are your thoughts on this?

From the video transcript:

In the next decade, the Marine Corps will no longer operate tanks or have law enforcement battalions. It will also have three fewer infantry units and will shed about 7% of its overall force as the service prepares for a potential face-off with China. The Marine Corps is cutting all military occupational specialties associated with tank battalions, law enforcement units and bridging companies, the service announced Monday. It’s also reducing its number of infantry battalions from 24 to 21 and cutting tilt-rotor, attack and heavy-lift aviation squadrons.
The changes are the result of a sweeping months-long review and war-gaming experiments that laid out the force the service will need by 2030. Commandant Gen. David Berger directed the review, which he has called his No. 1 priority as the service’s top general.

“Developing a force that incorporates emerging technologies and a significant change to force structure within our current resource constraints will require the Marine Corps to become smaller and remove legacy capabilities,” a news release announcing the changes states.

By 2030, the Marine Corps will drop down to an end strength of 170,000 personnel. That’s about 16,000 fewer leathernecks than it has today.
Cost savings associated with trimming the ranks will pay for a 300% increase in rocket artillery capabilities, anti-ship missiles, unmanned systems and other high-tech equipment leaders say Marines will need to take on threats such as China or Russia.

“The Marine Corps is redesigning the 2030 force for naval expeditionary warfare in actively contested spaces,” the announcement states.

Units and squadrons that will be deactivated under plan include:

3rd Battalion, 8th Marines
Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264
Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462
Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469
Marine Wing Support Groups 27 and 37
8th Marine Regiment Headquarters Company.
The 8th Marine Regiment’s other units – 1/8 and 2/8 – will be absorbed by other commands. Second Marines will take on 1/8, and 2/8 will go to the 6th Marine Regiment.

Artillery cannon batteries will fall from 21 today to five. Amphibious vehicle companies will drop from six to four.

The Hawaii-based Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367, which flies AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft, will also be deactivated and relocated to Camp Pendleton, California, the release states.

And plans to reactivate 5th Battalion, 10th Marines, as a precision rocket artillery system unit are also being scrapped. That unit’s assigned batteries will instead realign under 10th Marines, according to the release.

“The future Fleet Marine Force requires a transformation from a legacy force to a modernized force with new organic capabilities,” it adds. “The FMF in 2030 will allow the Navy and Marine Corps to restore the strategic initiative and to define the future of maritime conflict by capitalizing on new capabilities to deter conflict and dominate inside the enemy’s weapon engagement zone.”

Existing infantry units are going to get smaller and lighter, according to the plan, "to support naval expeditionary warfare, and built to facilitate distributed and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations.

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Wonder what that means. New organic capabilities, maybe they are getting into gardening.

I can understand eliminating the Abrams tank, but it could be replaced by a smaller more mobile tank for infantry support. Reducing aircraft doesn’t make much sense either as it would make evacuating troops, if trapped more difficult. This is only a retired Army vets oponion .

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I would not be surprised if the Marine Corps is absorbed by the Navy and is no more by 2030. As wars become higher tech what we have done since 1775 is becoming irrelevant – assault, overwhelm and destroy the enemy by whatever means is necessary. Now you pick them off with drones and snipers equipped with 50 cal. rifles. Warfare has changed dramatically since WWII. Different influences have tried to disband the Corps for years.

You are definitely right about that last part about being antiquated and outdated. From my understanding of reading into this further the objective is to get lighter faster, more efficient and like the battleship, the tank will no longer be a weapon of practicality. Correct me if I am wrong but the Marines have always been a ancillary of the Navy and are an amphibious force. The Navy is also changing to smaller ships with manoeuvre ability and quickness as the new norm.

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Marines have always been the infantry of the Navy, originally sharpshooters in ships rigging. Killing Islamic terrorist on the shores of Tripoli was one of their first amphibious assaults. I think the “boots on the ground” will become much more specialized as time goes on. Though the Delta Force was officially founded in the mid 70’s, its roots go back to the early 60’s. I had friends that were a part of the early experiments with special forces using specialist from different branches of the services. I think some of that stuff is still classified. I think you will see units like Delta and SEALS be the fighting units of the future. The Marines this past month switched their main objective from terrorism to the Chinese and Russia threat. They are phasing out the mentality we had hammered into us at Parris Island and Camp Geiger. It’s a new world with new challenges we live in, my friend.

I respect a retired Army vets opinion! :wink:

Thank you BROTHER VET!!!

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