FORCE DEVELOPMENT FOCUS AREA
Naval Integration Force Development Focus Area
Achieving the vision of Expeditionary Force 21 will require greater integration of naval capabilities particularly in sea control, power projection, maritime security, and integrated maritime command and control. Integration is defined as “the arrangement of military forces and their actions to create a force that operates by engaging as a whole.” Integration can be achieved by combining multiple separate forces or organizations into one, or by better aligning separate forces or organizations with one another. The first method will provide both unity of effort and command, the second will enable greater unity of effort. Both methods will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of naval forces operating within the projected future operating environment.
Naval forces normally employ sea control and power projection as an indivisible whole. For example, gaining sea control may be dependent upon power projection in the form of strikes and amphibious raids to neutralize land-based threats to the fleet, or amphibious assaults to seize and control littoral terrain such as islands, archipelagos, straits, or shorelines. Naval power projection capabilities underpin a broad spectrum of missions by allowing us to rapidly insert, support, and when appropriate, withdraw forces ashore; provide sea-based intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and fire support to forces ashore; conduct riverine operations; and establish lodgments to facilitate the introduction of additional forces.
At the heart of naval integration lie command arrangements that foster cooperative naval solutions at the institutional, operational, and tactical level:
- At the institutional level, greater alignment between the HQMC and OPNAV staff directorates, along war-fighting functions, will promote greater understanding and stronger relationships between the multiple principal staffs directly responsible to service leadership.
- At the operational level, Marine, Navy, and Coast Guard components will integrate resources in a manner that provides the GCC with the most responsive and effective support from the maritime domain.
- Integrating plans between the regional MARFORs, Navy, and Coast Guard components will better posture the maritime services to develop robust, multi-year plans that ensure the most efficient use of limited security cooperation resources. This will involve naval integration with the Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) and developing a foundation for integration into the JFMCC staff and Maritime Operations Centers.
- At the tactical level, MEF, MEB, Fleet, and ESG headquarters, should develop the same degree of the robust integration and interoperability of the ARG/MEU.
- Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard expeditionary forces can further integrate functions such as beach master and landing support, and small boats and riverine units, much like medical and tactical air integration today.
More closely integrating naval capabilities across the institutional, operational, and tactical level should focus on enhancing the following areas:
- Expeditionary ISR, organic fixed-wing strike, long-range assault support, and cyber/electronic warfare (EW) operations, all of which are critical to conducting strikes and amphibious raids to neutralize land-based threats to the fleet.
- Training and education, exercises and deployments that expand Blue/Green staff relationships to foster greater unity of effort, increased speed of action, and seamless execution of sea control.
- The ability to conduct amphibious assaults to seize, secure and or control littoral terrain such as islands, archipelagos, straits, or shorelines and deny its use to an adversary.
- The ability to plan and manage fuel resupply requirements at the operational and theater level, enabled by sustainment command and control relationships.
- The ability to maneuver throughout the entire littoral battlespace (air, land, sea), including along restrictive waterways; to conduct expeditionary strikes and raids; establish multiple expeditionary airfields and bases; and provide the unity of command necessary to operate effectively in the maritime domain.
- Maritime security which involves: increased planning, coordination and exercises to integrate Marine capabilities into the Navy’s composite warfare concept (CWC); boarding capabilities from multiple platforms and forces; improved employment of USMC rotary-wing assets in support of the naval maritime security mission; and improved training, planning, and coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard operational commanders.
- A coordinated approach to ensuring readiness of platforms and forces to achieve GCC goals.