DN - Defence Notes

MDM 2017: Commandant highlights new fighting concept

21st September 2017 - 12:09 GMT | by Scott Gourley in Quantico, Virginia

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The Commandant of the US Marine Corps, Gen Robert Neller, used the venue of Modern Day Marine 2017 to highlight the service’s new Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) fighting concept.

Acknowledging that he had spotlighted the Marine Operational Concept at last year’s event, Neller credited cooperative efforts with the US Navy for ‘the outgrowth’ of the LOCE concept.

‘We’ve seen a lot of gear here this week,’ he began. ‘But the equipment itself is just materiel. It doesn’t work unless you’ve got an idea of how to employ it or have a better idea of who you’re going to get to use it.’

He said that the last 16 years had been characterised by a continuous sustained land campaign ashore, but added: 'We didn’t have to fight to get to the fight. We just went. In fact, if you think about the history of our nation, we haven’t had to fight to get to the fight since World War II.’

Neller stated that the service should not be caught 'preparing for the last fight' and that the future could see the requirement to 'fight our way across the ocean, or in the air'. 

Potential adversaries would not 'let us simply go to the fight uncontested', he warned.

‘When we get to the fight, or when we get to where we need to be part of that fight, or as the main effort, we have to figure out how we are going to project our power ashore; in the littorals; in that area where air and sea and land meets. So this is what this [LOCE] concept is about.’

Neller acknowledged that work still remains on ‘how we operate to get there and how we operate to get on that land where we can provide our maximum capability'.

In addition to identifying several supporting exercises, products and training opportunities, Neller said that industry could help with critical ‘connectors’ – for movement between ships at sea as well as moving high volumes of equipment ashore – identifying it as an area where the Marine Corps will ‘pay close attention'.

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