Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger wants the Marine Corps to get into submarine hunting while deployed on expeditionary advanced bases.
The expeditionary advanced base concept has been developed as the Marine Corps shifts its focus away from the Middle East toward near-peer competitors like China and Russia. The concept sees small units of Marines spread out on bases in the littorals of a future battlefield.
While there, Marines can either provide logistic support Navy P-8A Poseidons and MH-60R Seahawks as they conduct submarine hunting missions. Or, the Marines armed with underwater sensors can do their own submarine hunting.
Marines “could operate unmanned air vehicles equipped with ASW sensors and sonobuoys and deploy and operate passive and active acoustic arrays in adjacent littoral waters,” Berger said in an opinion piece posted by the U.S. Naval Institute.
“In the event of hostilities, when cued by these organic sensors or other joint ISR capabilities, EABs could harass and potentially neutralize Russian submarines with ground-launched ASW missiles or light torpedoes from Marine aircraft,” he added.
While the Marine Corps has not quite gotten into the submarine hunting game yet, don’t be surprised if 2021 sees Marine looking under the ocean.
This is an excerpt from “21 Things Marines Need To Know For 2021,” in the January print edition of Marine Corps Times.