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 26 FEBRUARY 2004


Chairman Saxton, distinguished members of the Committee, it is my honor to report on the transformation efforts of your Marine Corps.  The Marine Corps remains committed to warfighting excellence, both today and in the future, and the support of the Congress and the American people has been indispensable to our success on the battlefields of the world and in the Global War on Terrorism.  This Subcommittee's interest in the future concepts and capabilities of your Corps and your support of our endeavors is vital to the security of our Nation.  I thank you for your continued support and commitment to the development of your Marine Corps. 

Our Mission and History of Innovation

Marines are both expeditionary and innovative by nature, with a centuries-old tradition of anticipating, adapting, and preparing for new circumstances.  We are transformational by design.  Our heritage of doctrinal and system development in close air support, amphibious warfare, vertical envelopment, and maritime prepositioning has contributed much to joint warfighting over the past century.  The overall mission of the Marine Corps has similarly evolved throughout the years, from a naval constabulary to an amphibious force, to today's expeditionary force-in-readiness. Sea-based, combat-ready Marine and Navy combined arms forces have played a vital role in shaping global and regional security environments, assuring access to overseas regions, and facilitating timely crisis response - anytime, anywhere, from the sea. 

Our successes over the past few years has both reaffirmed our tradition of flexibility and innovation and provided valuable lessons for our future force development.  In Operation Enduring Freedom, sea-based Marines projected power hundreds of miles inland to establish a stronghold deep in enemy territory.  During Operation Iraqi Freedom, more than 66,000 Marines (including Reservists), their equipment, and supplies deployed to the Iraqi theater using a combination of expeditionary amphibious warships comprising two Amphibious Task Forces, two Maritime Prepositioning Squadrons (MPS), and strategic military and chartered commercial airlift. Once combat commenced, a Marine Corps combined-arms team advanced more than 450 miles from the sea to Baghdad and beyond. Your Marine Corps went farther, faster than in any time in its history, and achieved successes in every battle.  The lessons from those continuing endeavors are still being collected, analyzed, and incorporated into our future concepts and capabilities.  As one example, we are bringing our Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Companies (ANGLICO) back to the active Marine Corps from the Reserve component in order to further integrate with joint fires capabilities.

Marine Corps Transformation

Our force development begins with and is guided by concepts that describe our future naval force.  Enhanced naval capabilities are based on naval concepts that describe how the Navy - Marine Corps Team will operate as an integrated naval force from now through 2020 in a joint and multinational environment.  Transformation is not simply the military application of technology.  Transformation is instead a continuous process built around new operational concepts, organizational agility, revolutionary technologies, and wide-ranging business and acquisition reform.

Transformation must then produce either the ability to do something previously unachievable or the ability to perform a function exponentially better than before.  Each product of the Marine Corps' continued transformation will result from a synthesis of activities across concepts, organizations, technology, and business reform to achieve one or the other of these objectives.  We finally achieve the capabilities that support our concepts through investment, Science & Technology, Research & Development, experimentation and wargames, and training and education. 

The Marine Corps' transformation is inherently linked with that of our sister Service, the United States Navy.  Indeed, the integration of Navy and Marine Corps concepts, organizations, and technologies is a prime example of our continuing transformation, and serves as a model for future joint force development.  The Navy - Marine Corps Team's transformation encompasses and integrates powerful extensions to current joint capabilities, as well as a range of innovative new capabilities.

Operational Concepts

Seabasing, Operational Maneuver From The Sea (OMFTS), and Ship-To-Objective-Maneuver (STOM) are the central concepts in our transformational efforts. 

Seabasing is the overarching expression of our Navy-Marine Corps vision, incorporating the initiatives that will allow the joint force to fully exploit one of this nation's asymmetric advantages - maritime dominance of the sea.

Seabasing, a national capability, is our overarching transformational operating concept for projecting and sustaining naval power and joint forces which assures joint access by leveraging the operational maneuver of sovereign, distributed, and networked forces operating globally from the sea. Seabasing unites our capabilities for projecting offensive power, defensive power, command and control, mobility and sustainment around the world.  It will enable commanders to generate high tempo operational maneuver by making use of the sea as maneuver space in order to gain advantage over our adversaries.

The Operational Maneuver From The Sea (OMFTS) concept seeks to fully exploit the naval character of Marine Corps forces-their ability to move by sea, deploy at sea near the scene of a crisis, project power ashore and sustain themselves from the sea, and redeploy to the sea. What distinguishes operational maneuver from the sea is the use of the sea as a means of gaining operational advantage, as an avenue for friendly movement that is simultaneously a barrier to the enemy, and as a means of avoiding disadvantageous engagements.

The Ship-to-Objective Maneuver (STOM) concept is a transformational tactical application of enduring naval capabilities for Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) and exploits each of the enhanced capabilities described by Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare (EMW).  Enabled by persistent, responsive, and dynamic sea bases forward deployed in international waters, naval forces executing STOM will be able to project Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) directly to critical operational objectives located deep inland, dislocating our adversaries both in space and in time.  STOM includes combined arms penetration and exploitation operations from over the horizon by both air and surface means, with forces moving rapidly to operational objectives without stopping to seize, defend, and build up beachheads or landing zones.  STOM provides the Navy - Marine Corps Team with an enhanced, sea-based forcible entry capability optimized for the introduction of follow-on Air Force, Army and multinational forces.

Operational Concepts - Seabasing

The inherent mobility, security, and flexibility of naval forces provide an effective counter to emerging military and political limitations to overseas access.  Seabasing provides the dynamic access, speed of response, flexibility, and persistent sustainment capabilities necessary to execute combat operations ashore, allowing us to initiate maneuver in the seaspace to enable and conduct joint operations ashore at a time and place of our choosing. 

Seabasing is not new to the Navy - Marine Corps Team; we have projected power from the sea for many decades.  However, the new transformational capabilities that we seek in Seabasing will allow us to conduct the initial Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration of our combat forces at sea, rather than in a permissive shore location.  Critical to our Seabasing concept is the Maritime Prepositioning Force of the Future which will provide the capabilities of At Sea Arrival and Assembly, Selective Offload, and Reconstitution at Sea.  But, we must also continue to retain the advantage in joint forcible entry operations provided by our amphibious assault ships, such as will be provided by the LPD-17 and LHA(R).

As we face an uncertain future characterized by unreliable access to host nation or allied support and increasingly sophisticated anti-access and area denial technologies, we believe that Seabasing will exist not only as another operational capability, but as the preferred means of deploying, employing, and sustaining joint forces in distant anti-access environments throughout the globe. 

Operational Concepts - Ship-To-Objective Maneuver

Marine forces, operating from the sea base, would conduct Ship-To-Objective Maneuver (STOM) directly against objectives ashore while leaving the majority of logistics, command and control, and much of the fires at the sea base in international waters.  STOM is one of the fundamental requirements for naval forces.  Everything we do in the Navy and Marine Corps is intended to have an effect on the enemy, whether it is deterring him or defeating him.  Naval forces of the future will use the sea as a maneuver space in order to project Marine Air Ground Task Forces deep inland, attacking key operational objectives without stopping to establish command, logistics, or fires support bases first.  

Ship-To-Objective Maneuver is a concept for integrated naval forcible entry, combining both air and surface assaults directly against operational objectives deep inland.  The most significant change is that we will no longer establish fixed and vulnerable command, logistics, and fire support bases ashore before attacking key objectives.  Instead, we will move seamlessly ashore, moving faster than the enemy can react.  Key components of this concept include the ability to move assault echelons of credible size and combat power across a distance of over a hundred miles inland from a sea base.  We will need capable high-speed connectors such as a heavy-lift Landing Craft Air Cushion, vertical lift assets like the MV-22 Osprey and CH-53X heavy lift helicopter, and the amphibious assault capabilities provided by our Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).

Seabasing Capabilities

Seabasing is not a single thing, unit, or platform.  It is the flexible integration of a wide range of capabilities that provides freedom of movement by using the sea as maneuver space; freedom of action in anti-access environments; reduced vulnerability to attack; and increased operational agility and speed.  A series of Navy - Marine Corps capabilities to operationalize Seabasing are being developed through four interdependent and synergistic Naval Capability Pillars (NCPs):

-    Sea Shield describes the precise and persistent naval defensive capabilities that extend not only throughout large maritime areas, but also deep overland to protect joint forces and allies ashore in anti-access environments.   Sea Shield Mission Capability Areas include Personnel Protection, Critical Asset Protection, Air and Missile Defense, and Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction.  We are pursuing such programs as the Complementary Low Altitude Weapon System and the Multi-Role Radar System.  Another key element of Sea Shield is Force Protection, and the Marine Corps, as the lead agent for Joint Non-Lethal Weapons, is actively seeking new and innovative ways to expand the ground commanders force protection capabilities.  We must capitalize on Seabasing as a means of protecting joint forces across the range of military operations (ROMO).  This can be viewed as a protection "network" addressing the Force Protection functions of detect, assess, warn, prevent/deter, defend, and recover.

-    Sea Strike describes the naval capabilities to project dominant and decisive offensive power from the sea in support of joint objectives.  These capabilities include and integrate long-range, precise aircraft and missile fires; large-volume covert strike capability; high-tempo decisive maneuver by Marine Air Ground Task Forces; Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS); maritime special operations; and information operations to capitalize on the strategic agility, operational maneuverability, precise weapons employment, battlespace influence capabilities and persistent sustainment of naval forces.  Transformational Sea Strike capabilities are Deliberate and Time Sensitive Strike, and Marine Air Ground Task Force Ship-To-Objective Maneuver.   The Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing Joint Strike Fighter, as well as the afore-mentioned EFV, MV-22, and CH-53X, all play a significant role in achieving these capabilities.  Our triad of fire support systems - the Expeditionary Fire Support System, the Lightweight 155, and the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) - also are key to our Sea Strike success.

-    Sea Base describes the capabilities that allow naval forces to exploit the maneuver space provided by U.S. control of the sea.  It includes those capabilities that provide unimpeded mobility and persistent sustainment.  Incorporating the complementary characteristics of amphibious, maritime prepositioning, and critical connecting platforms, Sea Base capabilities provide movement without the need for permission or infrastructure, and logistics without fixed and vulnerable stockpiles ashore.  The Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) platform ranks highest in our requirements for achieving these capabilities.  Along with the LPD-17 and LHA(R) amphibious assault ships, advanced fast sealift ships such as the T-AKE Auxiliary Cargo and Ammunition ships, and high speed connectors, the MPF(F) provides the needed basis for our future Sea Base capabilities.

-    FORCEnet, as the integral naval component of the DoD-wide Internet Protocol-based advanced network, will provide the open architecture and building blocks that integrate sensors, networks, decision aids, weapons, warriors, and supporting systems into a highly adaptive, human-centric, comprehensive system that operates from seabed to space and from sea to land.  FORCEnet is the enabler for functional capabilities across each of the other three pillars.  Our future command and control systems, such as the Common Aviation Command and Control System and the Unit Operations Center, along with advanced communications systems such as the Joint Tactical Radio System, will move us toward a truly integrated C2 architecture.

Organizational Concepts

The Marine Corps is also actively pursuing Transformation in our warfighting organizations.  New organizational concepts, such as the Global Concept of Operations and the Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), will positively change the nature of forward deployed operations.  These new operational configurations greatly strengthen the naval power provided to the regional commanders and increase the presence of U.S. forces throughout the globe.

Tactical Air Integration of our strike-fighter aircraft assets with those of the Navy will fundamentally change Naval Aviation and provide a more potent, cohesive, and affordable fighting force for both the Navy and Marine Corps. 

And, recent operations including Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom reaffirmed the scalability and tailorability of our Marine Air Ground Task Forces.  The ability to rapidly combine Marine forces from around the world under a single commander provides joint warfighters with a powerful operational advantage, one that enables the potential of other joint capabilities.  As the Navy - Marine Corps Team pursues innovative methods such as Seabasing to support the Joint Operating Concepts, we are also working to speed the seamless blending of Marine Corps units from around the globe as crises demand.  The ability to more rapidly fuse MAGTFs from in and out of theater, along with integrated naval tactical aviation and other elements of the flow-in echelon to support our single battle concept, will require careful consideration of our MAGTF training and readiness cycles.  Along with the Navy's transformation in the operational availability of our Expeditionary Strike Groups and Carrier Strike Groups, streamlined scalability of our MAGTFs will provide Joint Force Commanders with superior strategic agility by more rapidly and effectively integrating forward-deployed, prepositioned, and surge forces. 

New Technologies

Future concept development relies on Science and Technology (S&T).  In close coordination with the Navy, our S&T efforts are focused on achieving the capabilities necessary to realize Seabasing and Ship-To-Objective Maneuver, primarily through the Future Naval Capability program at the Office of Naval Research.  Covering such areas as Littoral Combat & Power Projection, Time Critical Strike, and Autonomous Operations, these Future Naval Capabilities directly support our Transformational plans.  Other areas, such as ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore connectors, advanced seaborne materials handling, and vertical heavy lift are being aggressively pursued through establishment of solution teams and joint requirements boards.

Experimentation goes hand in hand with both concept development and Science & Technology.  Our Sea Viking 04 series of experiments, being conducted by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in conjunction with Navy and Joint experimenters, seeks to challenge the assumptions and identify the successes of our Seabasing and Ship-To-Objective Maneuver concepts.  And, continuing testing of transformational technologies, such as the High Speed Vessel (HSV) SWIFT and Non-Lethal Weapons, will further enhance our operational capabilities.   We are also experimenting with Over-The-Horizon/On-The-Move (OTH/OTM) communications that will allow us to influence a much larger, extended battlespace.

However, the majority of our transformational new technologies that support Seabasing have already been planned and programmed within the Department of the Navy.  Amphibious assault platforms, such as the LPD-17 and LHA(R), will help ensure that we maintain a forcible entry capability from the sea.  The Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) (MPF(F)) will greatly enhance the operational maneuver and sustainability capabilities of a sea-based MAGTF and represents a critical component of Seabasing.  Unlike any other prepositioning ship, the MPF(F) will not be reliant on a port facility, thereby greatly reducing our dependence on international support as well as mitigating area denial capabilities of future adversaries.  And, advanced tools for the Marine on the ground, such as the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), the Lightweight 155, and the Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), will all support sea-based operations.  Moving towards an all-vertical air capability, future MAGTFs will employ the MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) Joint Strike Fighter, and the upgraded AH-1Z Cobra/UH-1Y Huey helicopters in future Seabasing operations.  Command and control improvements, such as the Common Aviation Command and Control System (CAC2S) and the Unit Operations Center (UOC), will enhance our capability for truly integrated joint command and control under the FORCEnet concept.  Finally, our renewed focus on logistics modernization will improve the overall effectiveness of our Marine Air Ground Task Forces as agile, expeditionary forces in readiness.  At the heart of this effort is the Global Combat Support System - Marine Corps which supports the Marine Corps Logistics Operational Architecture and will include a single point of entry, web based Portal capabilities, back office tools to assist in the management of the logistics chain and logistics command and control capability to support the operational commanders.

Business and Acquisition Reform

The Marine Corps Business Enterprise Office coordinates implementation of better business practices across all three strategic business processes:  providing installation support, acquisition, and logistic/combat service support.  The USMC Business Plan implements the Commandant's direction to manage the Business Enterprise of the Marine Corps through application of better business practices and reflects our commitment to exercise resource stewardship by aggressively seeking to maximize our effectiveness and efficiency.


In conclusion, I would like to again thank the members of the Committee for their outstanding, continuing support for the Marine Corps and for the opportunity to address our Transformation initiatives.  Our Transformation is focused on new capabilities, based on the overarching concept for Seabasing.  Your Marine Corps remains a truly expeditionary force in readiness, and our recent successes were in large part due to your continued support and commitment to maintaining our nation's expeditionary warfighting capability.  Your Marine Corps will continue to innovate in order to assure success in the future and be good stewards of the trust and commitment that this Nation has bestowed upon us.

House Armed Services Committee
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