As formations capable of launching fifth generation stealth attacks from the ocean, dispatching heavily armed ship-to-shore vehicles laden with Marines and weapons, operating Osprey Tiltrotors for transporting troops behind the lines enemies and command fleets of surface, air and submarine drones, US Navy Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs) could almost function as tailored and customizable multi-mission carrier groups.
This would be particularly true in maritime environments such as those in the Pacific region where there are many island chains, coastal areas and sea-land operational requirements. Unlike carrier strike groups which, having large, deep draft ships in blue waters such as aircraft carriers and destroyers, amphibious groups can conduct maritime combat operations both in open blue waters and in open blue waters. coastal areas. In terms of the types of immediate combat missions that could emerge and quickly become needed in the Pacific region, many of the possibilities would likely require capabilities associated with an ARG.
Perhaps this is partly why the US Navy now operates its America Amphibious Ready Group in the Pacific region, conducting patrols and security operations in the Philippine Sea. An ARG in the Pacific region would not only have the capacity to launch amphibious ship-to-shore attacks in island areas or along disputed enemy coasts. The Navy, however, could launch the fifth-generation vertical take-off and landing F-35B that can perform over-land strikes, attack enemy surface ships, support advancing amphibious forces, or even conduct reconnaissance missions. and forward targeting. . In this regard, an ARG introduces a measure of mission versatility that a heavier, longer-range carrier strike group might not achieve while still providing the possibility of fifth generation air support.
There are so many potential scenarios in the Pacific region that could require or benefit from the presence of amphibious forces. Should Taiwan or Japan fall victim to a Chinese attack, an ARG could immediately bring in thousands of Marines to support defenses, launch F-35 jets to attack oncoming forces, and rapidly reinforce supplies, troop reinforcements, weapons and equipment at the shores attacked. With craft such as ship-to-shore connectors capable of carrying large amounts of Marines, equipment and weapons into combat, an ARG could itself launch amphibious attacks against attacking amphibious forces to thwart their advance and prevent a successful land landing.
Amphibious forces can also operate a large number of aerial drones and unmanned surface ships capable of performing advanced reconnaissance missions, carrying essential supplies ashore, or even conducting offensive attack operations when in use. led by a human.
This kind of tactical mission scope would also prove essential if some sort of confrontation arose in the South China Sea, where land and sea intersect repeatedly and in rapid succession. This need for a close range, multi-domain, Pacific-oriented maritime attack most likely explains why the Marines are working intensely to build and deploy their new lightweight amphibious warship for “island-hopping” expeditionary warfare. weapons and Marines swiftly and indifferently from ship to shore.
Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National interest. Osborn previously served in the Pentagon as a highly trained expert in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air presenter and military specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.