Index

STATEMENT OF
LIEUTENANT GENERAL JOHN E. RHODES
COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE CORPS COMBAT
DEVELOPMENT COMMAND
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE KOSOVO CONFLICT

Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the lessons learned from the Marine Corps participation in the recent Kosovo crisis. Though limited in scope, the Marine Corps contribution to Operation ALLIED FORCE was important in two key respects. First and most notably was the Marines’ contribution to the combat power of the allied forces. This contribution came from Marines forward deployed on Naval shipping and land bases in the EUCOM theater of operations. Second was the importance of the Kosovo crisis as an indicator of future conflict, and of the capabilities required to meet the still emerging challenges of the next century. My testimony will provide background information on Marine Corps operations, then address both the contributions of Marine forces and the impact of Kosovo on Marine Corps future concepts and capabilities. In doing so, I will emphasize three key areas: "lessons learned" from our experience; the operation’s impact on personnel, equipment, and procedures; and the impact of Kosovo on our modernization program.

Before going into details, however, let me say that the Marine Corps participation in Operation ALLIED FORCE is a success story. In a very real sense our national experience in Kosovo validated America’s continued need for flexible, tailorable, expeditionary Naval forces capable of projecting power from the sea. If Operation ALLIED FORCE is any indicator of future military operations, and I believe to some degree that it is, then the United States must maintain the capability to project power not only from forward land bases, but increasingly from the relatively unconstrained and unencumbered sanctuary of a seabase.

BACKGROUND

The Marine Corps is a multi-dimensional force. We provide the nation and our warfighting CINCS a variety of capabilities which can be either broadly relevant to a multitude of challenges and requirements, or very narrowly focused on a specific mission. Both aspects were demonstrated in Kosovo, with Marine forces forward deployed on Naval shipping forming one leg of our presence, and Marine aviation units forward based at Aviano forming the other. In order to better understand Marine Corps operations, and the lessons learned from them, I will briefly outline some relevant facts regarding both our sea and land based forces in the context of the recent crisis.

MARINE CORPS CONTRIBUTIONS

The Forward Deployed MAGTF

The Marines key contribution to CINCs is the Marine Air/Ground Task Force (MAGTF). MAGTFs provide a variety of tailored forces, from the large and powerful Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), to the small and narrowly focused Special Purpose MAGTF. MAGTFs are combined arms teams consisting of a headquarters, ground combat, aviation, and support elements. During Operation ALLIED FORCE, the initial Marine coningent was provided by the 24 Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable)or MEU(SOC). They were replaced at the end of their normal six-month rotation by the 26 MEU(SOC). These units provided the CINC with the flexible, seabased, all purpose force which would prove so useful throughout the operation.

MEU(SOC)s are 2,200 strong MAGTFs formed around a task organized command element, a reinforced infantry battalion, a composite squadron with helicopters and vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL) fixed wing aircraft, and a versatile support element with fifteen days of accompanying supplies to support operations ashore. The MEU(SOC), embarked aboard a three to five ship Navy Amphibious Ready Group(ARG), is specifically designed to be the first-on-the-scene force.

The "special operation capable", or SOC designation, is a direct outgrowth of this first-on-the-scene requirement. Each ARG/MEU, including the 26 MEU(SOC), undergoes an intensive twenty-six week pre-deployment training program. Progressive training in individual and unit skills allow the MEU to execute a full range of conventional operations--from humanitarian assistance to combat missions-—as well as selected maritime "direct action" operations.

A MEU’s pre-deployment training culminates with a thorough evaluation that certifies the unit to be "special operations capable." In addition to demonstrating proficiency across the entire spectrum of mission profiles, MEU(SOC)s must be able to plan and execute any assigned mission within six hours of notification. They must also be able to conduct multiple missions simultaneously.

As part of the pre-deployment work-ups, each MEU(SOC) conducts a Joint or Combined Task Force Enabler exercise. This exercise hones the ARG/MEU(SOC) team skills as a first-on-the-scene joint force, tasked with missions for follow-on Joint or Combined Task Forces. The training focuses the MAGTF command element on JTF procedures, and emphasizes communications to allow for immediate contact with the designated JTF or Combined Force Commander. MEU(SOC)s are fully capable of operating with our allies or coalition partners.

Throughout the crisis 26 MEU(SOC)was poised for action in any number of mission profiles. It stood ready as an enabling ground force had the need materialized; provided the capability for the Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP); provided security for Task Force SHINING HOPE (refugee camp construction in Feir, Albania); and was the lead American element of NATO’s peacekeeping forces. Further demonstrating its inherent flexibility, 26 MEU(SOC) provided humanitarian aid to earthquake victims in Turkey while enroute home from their Kosovo deployment. This additional mission was accomplished in stride without complication, incident or undue hardship.

Forward Deployed Aviation

In addition to the 26 MEU(SOC), extensive Marine Aviation assets participated in the Kosovo operation, from the F/A-18D with its Advanced Tactical Aerial Reconnaissance System, to the venerable EA-6B Prowler with its extensive electronic warfare capabilities. Many of the assets utilized were already forward deployed and responded instantly once needs were identified. Others were deployed to the region within a matter of hours or days after need determination. All assets were fully combat capable and operationally available upon arrival, and. all were quickly and efficiently integrated into the Joint/Coalition operational environment. The flexibility that Marine Tactical Aviation brought to ALLIED FORCE was achieved through our commitment to expeditionary combat readiness, and the capabilities that naturally flow from that commitment.

Aviation Operations: Some Examples

Following are a few examples of operational activities conducted during the Kosovo conflict. All highlight the Marine Corps flexibility, an inherent quality of our expeditionary nature.

On 17 May 1999, Marine Aircraft Group 31(FWD) received a deployment order for two (2) F/A-18D squadrons and required support. Within 36 hours the squadrons and all organic and external support equipment began deploying from MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina. On 22 May 1999 the Hornets arrived in Tazar, Hungary and began preparing for combat operations. Marine F-18Ds were the only fixed-wing asset in theater capable of fulfilling all tactical aircraft missions. Additionally, an Expeditionary Airfield (EAF) System deployed to Tazar and provided a unique capability in support of all weather strike capable operations. Within four days of the systems arrival, the Marine Wing Support Squadron installed and subsequently initiated EAF operations with two M-21 aircraft arresting systems, two Fresnel Optical Landing systems, 2000 feet of runway lights, and 2000 feet of day taxiway markers. These assets provided CINCEUR with day/night airfield capabilities in excess of the existing Host Nation facilities.

Our AV-8B Harrier's supported Operation ALLIED FORCE from a seabase of L-class amphibious ships and were one of three assets able to deliver ordnance in adverse weather.

Our Harrier’s flew combat missions while our assault support and Battalion Landing Team (BLT) assets were engaged in land operations for humanitarian assistance (Operation SHINING HOPE)

Seabasing

26 MEU(SOC)’s experience in Kosovo demonstrated the continuing requirement for military forces capable of operating in austere environments where transportation networks and support facilities are inadequate or have either been degraded or destroyed. 26 MEU(SOC)s experience as part of Joint Task Force NOBLE ANVIL reinforced the critical importance of operations emanating from the sea.

Our concept of seabasing envisions bringing ashore only those elements of the MAGTF essential to mission accomplishment. In support of strike operations during Operation NOBLE ANVIL, the MEU(SOC)’s aviation, aviation support, command and control, and logistic functions remained at sea throughout the operation. The Navy/Marine Corps team’s competence in using the sea for the majority of its basing requirements afforded CINCEUR with tremendous operational freedom, precluding the need to establish, man, and protect extensive shore-based facilities. Once we decided to introduce ground forces as part of NATO’s commitment, the United States’ ability to operate from the sea allowed immediate action without having to delay operations to construct land-based support facilities.

The ability to seabase the majority of our combat and combat service support assets allowed the 26 MEU(SOC) to operate effectively in an austere environment with only rudimentary transportation and support infrastructures.

Marine Corps Lessons Learned

"Lessons Learned" are an integral part of the Marine Corps Combat Development System. The Marine Corps Lessons Learned program was established in 1988 to solicit, collect, collate, archive, and generate discussion on significant issues raised in both exercises and tactical operations. Lessons Learned and After Action Reviews drive development of new tactics, techniques and procedures while enabling Marines to better support the dynamic requirements of the warfighting CINCs. Additionally, this focus on Lessons Learned enables us to modify doctrine, training, procurement, and modernization programs to enhance the efficiency, capabilities and survivability of our forces.

In the case of Kosovo, information from multiple sources was entered into our Lessons Learned system during and after the conflict. Sources included forward based Marines at Aviano, as well as from Navy and Marine Corps tactical forces forward deployed with the Theodore Roosevelt Battle Group and the 26 MEU(SOC), both of which entered the crisis early. Other sources of information included:

-Senior headquarters participants in formal and informal debriefs by and with members of the Navy/Marine Corps team.

-MEU weekly Situation Reports (SITREPs)

-MARFORLANT/STRIKEFORSOUTH input

-Participation in formal DOD & joint briefings

Additionally, a steady stream of local commander’s assessments helped round out the picture. These assessments, facilitated by established personal and professional relationships with Marines on-scene, provided us with a clear and candid picture of the situation in the theater. The 26 MEU(SOC) After Action Review is a prime example of this type of assessment. That report, submitted in September 1999 is quoted below:

26 MEU (SOC) LESSONS LEARNED

FROM ALBANIA, KOSOVO AND TURKEY

MEU’S MUST ARRIVE FULLY TRAINED. THERE IS NO TIME OR TRAINING AREAS AVAILABLE TO PROVIDE IN-THEATER TRAINING.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO INVEST UP FRONT IN BOTH AN AGGRESSIVE TRAINING AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. OUR EQUIPMENT IS OLD AND REQUIRES MORE MONEY TO MAINTAIN THE HIGH STATE OF READINESS REQUIRED.

MEDIA STAFF AUGMENTATION NEEDS TO BE CLOSELY EVALUATED. INCOMING PERSONNEL WILL NOT KNOW YOUR UNIT, YOUR MAJOR SUBORDINATE ELEMENTS, OR YOUR CAPABILITIES.

YOU MUST TRAIN WITH YOUR BATTLE ROSTER DURING PRE-DEPLOYMENT TRAINING PLAN (PTP); DECIDE FOR AUGMENTATION EARLY OR THE INFLUX AT THE LAST MINUTE WILL BE EXTREMELY DISRUPTIVE.

TACTICAL RECOVERY OF AIRCRAFT AND PERSONNEL (TRAP) ALERT 60 IS A GOOD STANDARD TO TRAIN TO, BUT IT’S NOT SUSTAINABLE OVER THE LONG TERM IF INVOLVED IN ADDITIONAL MISSIONS. AIRCREW PROFICIENCY CAN ONLY BE MAINTAINED THROUGH AN AGGRESSIVE TRAINING PROGRAM THAT FOCUSES ON NIGHT VISION GOGGLES (NVG’S), TERRAIN FLIGHT (TERF), ORDNANCE AND LONG RANGE NAVIGATION. IN THE ALBANIA AND KOSOVO AREAS OF OPERATIONS, THE MEU WAS INVOLVED IN SECURITY FOR REFUGEE CAMPS, SECURITY FOR CTF-64 HELICOPTERS ABOARD THE USS INCHON, HELO SUPPORT TO JTF SHINING HOPE AND BATTLEFIELD AERIAL INTERDICTION (BAI), AS WELL AS TRAP. TRAP ALERT 60 DID NOT PROVIDE ENOUGH FLEXIBILITY TO ACCOMPLISH ALL EFFECTIVELY AND SAFELY. DUE TO THE HIGH RISK INVOLVED, THE MEU COMMANDER, STAFF AND KEY PERSONNEL WERE HELD HOSTAGE ABOARD KEARSARGE AS MEMBERS OF THE TRAP DETERMINATION TEAM.

LIAISON IS CRITICAL TO HIGHER AND ADJACENT UNITS (PARTICULARLY IN THE MULTINATIONAL ENVIRONMENT) TO INFORMATION FLOW AND ENSURING SUCCESSFUL MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT; BUT IT HURTS TO LOSE PERSONNEL.

BE PREPARED TO PLAN WITH MINIMAL INFORMATION, BUT EXPECT DETAILED INFORMATION REQUESTS FROM HIGHER HEADQUARTERS.

CONTRACTING SUPPORT WILL PROVE CRUCIAL TO SUCCESSFUL MISSION ACCOMPLISHMENT. ON-SCENE COMMANDERS NEED THE ABILITY TO CONTRACT FOR INTERPRETERS AND OTHER PETTY CASH REQUIREMENTS DEEMED MISSION ESSENTIAL.

BOTH CIVIL AFFAIRS AND PSYOPS ARE FORCE MULTIPLIERS AND WILL BE REQUIRED IN MOST CONTINGENCIES. WE NEED TO WORK THEM MORE AGGRESSIVELY INTO OUR PREDEPLOYMENT TRAINING PROGRAM (PTP); A TWO WEEK TRAINING IN URBAN ENVIRONMENT EXERCISE (TRUEX) IS NOT ENOUGH.

IN PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS YOU MUST:

BE AGGRESSIVE AND VISIBLE BOTH DAY AND NIGHT;

OWN THE MAJOR LINES OF COMMUNICATION (LOC’S);

RESPOND WITH OVERWHELMING COMBAT POWER;

GATHER TIMELY AND ACCURATE INTEL;

REMAIN IMPARTIAL, THERE IS NO ENEMY;

MAINTAIN THE INITIATIVE; KEEP THE FACTIONS OFF BALANCE;

MAXIMIZE SNIPERS TO OVER WATCH IN THE CITY, BUT MAKE SURE THEY KNOW WHERE THEY ARE LOCATED IN ORDER TO PREVENT FRATRICIDE;

CONTINUALLY REINFORCE THE BASICS OF SAFETY (DRIVING,

WEAPONS HANDLING AND COMPLACENCY;

PEACE ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS WILL BE DE-CENTRALIZED IN MOST CASES.

THE STRATEGIC CORPORAL IS A REAL PERSON; NCO TRAINING AND JUNIOR OFFICER EMPOWERMENT WILL BE KEY FACTORS FOR SUCCESS.

PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS MAY REQUIRE EXTENSIVE CIVIL FUNCTION RESTORATION (POLICE, FIRE, MEDICAL AND UTILITIES); MP’S WILL BE INVALUABLE.

DURING SITUATIONAL TRAINING EXERCISES (STX’S) REHEARSE DETAINEE HANDLING PROCEDURES, TO INCLUDE INTERROGATIONS AND INCARCERATION.

TRUE TRAINING NEEDS TO BECOME MUCH BROADER IN FOCUS THAN JUST THE COMMAND ELEMENT, MARITIME SPECIAL PURPOSE FORCE (MSPF) AND AVIATION COMBAT ELEMENT (ACE); MSE INTEGRATION IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT IS ESSENTIAL. THE BLT NEEDS MORE TRAINING TIME TO FOCUS ON MILITARY OPERATIONS IN AN URBAN ENVIRONMENT (MOUT). WHILE THE MOUT FACILITY AT CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA IS A GOOD PLACE TO START, WE NEED TO DO BETTER.

THE ARTILLERY BATTERY’S ROLE AS A PROVISIONAL RIFLE COMPANY WAS CRUCIAL TO MISSION SUCCESS. PTP SECURITY OPERATIONS PREPARED THEM WELL.

THE MOBILITY PROVIDED BY AN ADDITIONAL LIGHT ARMORED VEHICLE (LAV) PLATOON PROVIDED UNPARALLELED EMPLOYMENT FLEXIBILITY, BOTH IN KOSOVO AND DURING SPLIT ARG EMPLOYMENT. TANKS ARE TOO HEAVY FOR MOST BRIDGES AND EMPLOYMENT OPTIONS ARE EXTREMELY LIMITED.

FAST ATTACK VEHICLES ARE INVALUABLE FOR MOBILITY AND FIREPOWER FOR ENABLING FORCES. AN AIR TRANSPORTABLE FOLLOW-ON VEHICLE IS NEEDED NOW!

RADIO BATTALION WILL BE THE ONLY SHOW IN TOWN, NO ONE ELSE HAS ASSETS TO MATCH OUR COLLECTION CAPABILITIES. EXPECT NATIONAL INTEREST ON A DAILY BASIS.

KC-130’S WILL PROVIDE IN-THEATER RESUPPLY FLEXIBILITY. TASK FORCE FALCON NEEDED OUR SUPPORT TO PULL BASIC SUSTAINMENT DURING THE EARLY STAGES.

ALL OPERATIONAL TRAFFIC MUST BE OVER SIPRNET; COMSEC WAS A MAJOR PROBLEM OVER THE UNCLASSIFIED LAN. THE MARINE CORPS MUST PUSH FOR MORE SIPRNET CONNECTIVITY FOR OUR OPERATIONAL UNITS. WE RECEIVED NUMEROUS REQUESTS FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION OVER THE NIPRNET.

ROTARY WING CLOSE AIR SUPPORT (CAS) WILL PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN DEFUSING MANY DEVELOPING SITUATIONS. TIMELY RESPONSES ARE ESSENTIAL. UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS EXIST IN THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT. DETAILED MAP STUDIES AND COORDINATION PROCEDURES ARE REQUIRED TO PREVENT FRATRICIDE.

DISASTER RELIEF OPERATIONS ARE HIGHLY POLITICALLY SENSITIVE; YOU MAY KNOW WHAT’S REQUIRED, BUT YOU MUST GET THE HOST NATION TO ACCEPT THEIR DILEMMA AND YOUR SUPPORT.

MEU HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (HA) CAPABILITIES ARE VERY LIMITED, BUT OUR COMMAND AND CONTROL (C2) IS CRITICAL TO COORDINATING DOS, HN, NGO AND PVO REQUIREMENTS. OUR STRENGTH LIES IN C2, MANPOWER AND AIRLIFT.

THE CIVIL-MILITARY OPERATIONS CENTER (CMOC) IS CRITICAL TO COORDINATING RELIEF EFFORTS; IT NEEDS TO BE LOCATED WHERE IT CAN READILY AFFECT COORDINATION WITH ALCON.

SPECIAL OPERATIONS TRAINING GROUP (SOTG) SHOULD REVIEW THE PTP FOR MEU SERVICE SUPPORT GROUP (MSSG). FOCUS SHOULD BE ON PROVIDING ALL CLASSES OF SUPPLY AND FUNCTIONS OF COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT (CSS) WITH THE ABILITY TO COORDINATE/ INTEGRATE THE EFFORTS OF OTHER SUPPORTING AGENCIES TO SUPPORT MEU MISSIONS.

Impact on Personnel, Equipment, and Readiness

Operation ALLIED FORCE placed exceptional demands on Low Density/ High Demand (LDHD) assets at all levels. Our original intent was to deploy two of our single-seat F/A-18A "Hornet" squadrons to support the Kosovo conflict. This decision was complicated by the fact that the "A" model of the F/A-18 has limited avionics capabilities, a significant limitation in operations requiring extensive joint integration. Given the heavy joint/combined flavor of the operation, we had no choice but to deploy two of the already heavily tasked F/A-18D squadrons to ensure the CINC’s requirements would be met. To date, there are 28 "A" models still in the active force, and all 48 of the F/A-18s in the Marine Corps reserve are "A" models. These 76 aircraft – representing 51% of our total single-seat strike aircraft capability – are essentially relegated to an in-extremis combat use role in today’s environment. By upgrading them with new avionics we can greatly enhance the Marine Corps’ ability to serve the needs of the Warfighting CINCs at a fraction of the cost of obtaining new strike aircraft.

The Advanced Tactical Reconnaissance System (ATARS), a developmental aerial reconnaissance system, was cleared for use in theater and was employed with great success by our F/A-18D aircraft. Outstanding intelligence products resulted from each mission, significantly augmenting the imagery and information available to commanders at all levels. ATARS definitely proved it’s worth. Sufficient systems, including ground support stations and equipment should be procured at the earliest opportunity.

Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B Prowlers, the only standoff jamming aircraft available in theater, were vital to the success of air operations and the overall campaign. The high usage rate of these LDHD assets severely strained both aircrew and airframes. Of the four Marine EA-6B squadrons, three were deployed in theater and the remaining squadron was in the United States prepared to deploy within 96 hours. Critical as they were to the success of this and any other operation, our Prowlers need upgrades that will enhance their situational awareness. Specifically, data-link upgrades (Link 16 upgrades) and Night Vision Devices (NVDs) for the Marine EA-6Bs should be procured at the earliest opportunity. These upgrades will enable the Prowler to maintain its current edge on the modern battlefield. There is also a demonstrated need for more integrated joint training of aircrews to maximize the potential of this most important system across the services. Even with these enhancements, however, the fact remains that our Prowlers are simply old and over-committed. Both the aircraft and their crews are showing the stress of heavy use over many operations. In order to reduce the stress on Prowler personnel and equipment, we have suspended normal EA-6B rotations to Iwakuni, Japan. We will reinstate the normal deployment cycle in the spring of next year.

Modernization Programs

In light of our experience in Kosovo, we will continue to pursue the major equipment end items to make OMFTS a reality while directly responding to the lessons learned from that conflict. Key capabilities such as the MV-22 tilt rotor aircraft, the Advanced Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAAV), the Landing Craft Air Cushioned (LCAC) Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) and MPF Future, are our more important enhancements. I will briefly address each of these major initiatives, and comment on several other areas of interest in our modernization program.

Beginning in the year 2001, upon delivery of the 12th airframe, the Marine Corps will stand up its first Fleet Readiness Squadron of MV-22 Ospreys, VMMT-204. The addition of these aircraft will provide forward-deployed MAGTFs a significant advantage in speed, range, responsiveness, and survivability over any existing rotary wing aircraft. The first operational deployment of the Osprey with an East Coast unit is scheduled for FY03. West Coast deployments will begin in FY06.

The AAAV will bring significant improvements in mobility, firepower, and protection to the MAGTF. The range, speed, and ability to function in difficult surf conditions of this vehicle will give commanders additional flexibility in the time and place they can land combat forces. On land, these vehicles will offer enhanced speed, trafficability, firepower, and ballistic protection; important capabilities across the spectrum of conflict.

The third leg of what we call the triad (MV-22, AAAV, LCAC) is that which currently exists:, the LCAC. Currently nearing the end of its initial service life, the SLEP program will keep these critical assets in the inventory while adding capabilities vital to the rapid movement of forces and supplies in Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS) operations. The speed, carrying capacity, and unparalleled maneuverability of these craft makes them extremely useful across myriadin littoral access operations, ranging from combat assault to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. They provide the on-scene commander with the ability to ferry an extraordinarily large amount of equipment and supplies from the seabase to forces operating along vast expanses of the world’s shoreline.

Another key enabler to OMFTS will be the development of Maritime Prepositioning Force(MPF)-Future. Building on the strengths of the current MPF concept, MPF-Future will give the joint warfighting commander the ability to deploy, employ, and sustain combat-ready Marines in the absence of host nation support facilities. The MPF(F) becomes an integral part of the sea-based logistics area from which follow-on sustainment operations and logistics support will be provided to support maneuver forces ashore

Although an operational capability, MPF-Future also has an important logistical orientation. We intend to develop a capability of seabased operations and logistics in which strategic sealift delivers everything from combat ready forces to follow-on supplies and equipment to support operations ashore. Not necessarily descriptive of a particular ship or platform, the seabasing area should contain a combination of Navy at-sea platforms, to include amphibious assault ships, Maritime Prepositioning Ships, various auxiliary ships, Maritime Sealift Command ships and allied/coalition assets. Rather than delivering all things ashore and forming the traditional "Iron Mountain" of supplies, seabased logistics operations will deliver tailored support from the sea base to highly mobile combat forces ashore.

In concert with the seabased operations and logistics areas, we will need to develop heavy lift, high speed, sea-ferrying craft capable of rapidly transporting equipment and personnel ashore. This family of littoral expeditionary support craft will allow us to rapidly project a viable combat force ashore and sustain that force for an indefinite period.

Beyond the OMFTS triad and the new logistics capabilities anticipated, we look forward to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) which will further enhance the versatility and lethality of future MAGTFs. Further, the continued development of the Navy’s Land Attack Destroyer (DD 21), the Landing Platform-Dock-17 (LPD 17), and Landing Helicopter-Assault (LHA) ship replacement are absolutely critical to our success in future operations. I should note, however, that the application of new propulsion technologies to the LHD-8 in FY 2000 could be a very prudent investment. We feel that LHD-8 could serve as an effective transition ship to ease the replacement of the LHA-1 Tarawa-class ships, which will reach the end of their effective service lives early in the next century. Additionally, the Landing Helicopter Ship-Next Generation (LHX) will have an enhanced capability to conduct simultaneous flight and well-deck operations using the LCAC(SLEP), AAAV, MV-22 and JSF. This will further enhance the United States’ ability to maintain an effective and dynamic forward naval presence and power projection capability in the 21st century. I would now like to address several other areas of interest that were highlighted during the Operation ALLIED FORCE.

Preferred Munitions. DOD reliance on preferred munitions has been well documented. The convergence of bad weather and the need to conduct accurate targeting to minimize collateral damage in Kosovo resulted in preferred munitions expenditure rates far above planning factors. Current trends indicate that preferred munitions will continue to be the weapon of choice in the future. It is therefore imperative that we restock inventories as soon as possible, as well as review requirements and acquisition objectives to ensure sufficient quantities are available to support future operations.

Aviation Training Assets. We want to ensure that sufficient quantities of training munitions are available to support aircrew training and to validate end-to-end system performance. While our aircrews performed superbly, lack of sufficient PGM training assets contributed to a less than optimal performance during the initial stages of the operation. Proficiency increased in direct correlation to experience with the weapons—-even though that experience was gained under combat conditions.

Close Air Support. Many sorties were cancelled due to adverse weather. Had a ground element been employed in combat operations, it would have been unable to receive adequate fixed wing close air support during periods of poor weather. While aircraft such as the AV-8B and F/A-18C/D are capable of delivering munitions using GPS with great accuracy at night or through cloud layers, to do so requires high quality target coordinates. Currently, the ground combat element possesses neither the ability to consistently generate target coordinates of the required quality, nor to provide positive control of aircraft operating in or above clouds. We will pursue acquisition and fielding, to both ground and air units, of a an advanced close air support system that allows the generation of high quality coordinates and control of close air support aircraft under all weather conditions.

Additionally, our AV-8B Harriers need the capability to self-designate targets and receive laser designations. To partially satisfy this requirement, as part of the supplemental funding resolution passed to support Operation ALLIED FORCE, the Marine Corps was able to procure nine of the fifty-six requested LITENING Target Designation pods.

Urban Operations. Many of the target sets in Kosovo were in urban areas. As urbanization increases, the likelihood of having to conduct future operations in such areas also increases. We have developed an Urban CAS Range (commonly known as "Yodaville") in Yuma, Arizona that allows us to train our aircrews and develop effective Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for urban environments. We must continue to develop precise, low collateral damage and non-lethal weapons, and we must also continue to enhance and optimize ISR systems for use in urban environments.

UAVs. The success of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Kosovo is a validation of our continued need for this type of assets. Tactical UAVs will play an ever-increasing role in future Marine operations, regardless of the level of operations.

Increased Mobility Vehicles. Kosovo demonstrated a significant need for highly mobile land vehicles. Our Light Strike Vehicle is an MV-22 internally transportable, high speed ground vehicle. This vehicle will add to the ground mobility of airlifted forces without sacrificing tempo to the demands of lower air speed for external loads. Such vehicles will be critical to reconnaissance and airfield seizure and security missions, which are key mission profiles for MEU(SOC) operations.

C4ISR. Finally, we will continue to prudently invest in advanced C4I concepts, strategies and technologies. Access to a world-wide command information architecture will provide our forward-deployed commanders with an instantaneous, location-independent means of command. It will also serve to empower them with the dynamic situational and cultural awareness needed to successfully advance our nation’s interests.

TOWARD THE FUTURE:

From Concepts to Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures

The Marine Corps is and always has been an expeditionary force, and the 21st century promises to be a truly expeditionary age-–one punctuated by frequent crises demanding immediate response. Kosovo has demonstrated that, once again, the challenge of planning, deploying, and executing short-fused contingencies will continue to be central to America’s military posture.

Our tradition of expeditionary readiness and innovation underlies the Marine Corps ability to remain "most ready when the nation is least ready." Clearly, we’re not clairvoyant about the future of crisis and conflict, but Kosovo has served to validate our thinking in a number of areas. First is the enduring utility of forward deployed and rapidly deployable forces that are powerful, flexible, and sustainable over extended periods. Second is the growing importance of the littoral areas of the world. Third is the importance of access, which rests on the twin pillars of presence and forcible entry. In an era of expanding transnational and asymmetric threats, the availability of overseas basing and unconstrained overflight cannot be safely assumed. Therefore, presence and entry requirements will increasingly call for the unique capabilities that naval forces can provide. Fourth is the importance of tailorable, all purpose forces which can easily shift from mission to mission without lengthy retraining or re-equipping.

Our capstone warfighting concept, Operational Maneuver from the Sea (OMFTS), envisions a future environment characterized by "crisis in the littorals" and describes a new form of littoral power projection in which Marines will apply the tenets of maneuver warfare within the context of amphibious operations. In OMFTS we will focus on an operational objective, using the sea as maneuver space to generate overwhelming tempo and momentum against potential adversaries. OMFTS offers us the promise of extraordinary leaps in operational flexibility through significantly enhanced capabilities for seabased logistics, fires and command and control.

A second key concept, "Maritime Prepositioning Force 2010 and Beyond, acknowledges the continued need for a Marine Corps prepositioned presence at sea that is also able to support the advanced operational and logistics requirements of OMFTS. These concepts, and the capabilities required to fully implement them, will be key in meeting future challenges. Further, the lessons learned from Kosovo will help us refine specific requirements that will ultimately lead to the full range of capabilities envisioned in those and other supporting concepts.

Conclusion

For the Marine Corps, Kosovo was less a watershed event than an affirmation of our vision of future conflict and of our direction in preparing to meet the challenges of the next century. Lessons learned from that conflict highlighted both known strengths and deficiencies, and suggest that the Marine Corps is on track in our plans to modernize and shape the Marine forces of the future. I appreciate this opportunity to address this subcommittee on behalf of the Marine Corps, and look forward to answering the questions of committee members. Thank You.