Expeditionary Sea Bases help the Navy and Marines fight in the Pacific

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The US Navy and Marine Corps are building a new fleet of “Sea Basing” ships capable of transporting Marines, launching special operations attacks, controlling drones, supporting air operations and performing combat functions. extended command and control in dispersed areas of maritime operations.

The service has now laid the keel of the future USS John Canleythe Navy’s fourth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship, built by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD-NASSCO).

The Navy considers its maritime base capabilities very important to future fleet maritime operations, especially in the vast geographic expanse of the Pacific where competition with China has become the service’s focus. Indeed, in response to the provocations and modernization of the Chinese navy, the navy has developed a distributed maritime operations strategy, a specific effort to expand the navy’s operations envelope and integrate a stronger network, connectivity multi-domain and disaggregated operations in otherwise disconnected combat zones.

Another critical element of the sea base is that in huge sea areas like the Pacific it is not always practical to base or launch helicopters, expeditionary forces such as the Marines, and task forces. special from land. Land operations in the Pacific might simply be too remote for critical and urgent naval warfare operations. This reality has guided the Navy’s plans to modernize its fleet and expand its reach. Indeed, the Navy is now honing its amphibious warfare capabilities, strengthening its command and control capabilities, and seeking to provide effective combat power as Marine Corps expeditionary units near island chains, coastal areas or other maritime targets. Seabases, and ESBs in particular, will greatly support these amphibious operations by adding critical command and control dimensions to offshore operations.

According to a report by Naval Maritime Systems Command.

Perhaps of the greatest importance, this additional command and control could help support the Navy’s growing fleet of unmanned systems, a rapidly evolving dynamic that is already reshaping concepts of operation for maritime warfare. Expeditionary sea bases and large-deck amphibious assault ships could, for example, function as “mother ship” command and control nodes operating entire fleets of interconnected aerial and surface drones. These unmanned systems could venture into high-risk areas to conduct surveillance, function as targeting nodes, hunt mines, or even carry out attacks when controlled by human decision makers.

Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a highly trained expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army – Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. Osborn also worked as an on-air military anchor and specialist on national television networks. He has appeared as a guest military pundit on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also holds an MA in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Picture: Flickr.

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