TABLE 3.1 Representative Marine Air Ground Task Force Sizes (Current Force Structure, Not Tailored for Sea Basing)

 

MEU

MEF (FWD)

MEF

Personnel

2,800

18,800

54,600

Sq Ft Vehicle Stow

62,000

620,000

1,554,000

Cu Ft Cargo Stow

160,000

2,450,000

11,478,000

Total Vehicles

150

4,300

13,900

Tanks

4

58

62

Advanced amphibious assault vehicles

12

109

187

M198 howitzers

6

30

54

MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft

12

36

96

CH-53 helicopters

4

8

36

UH-1N helicopters

3

6

18

AH-1W helicopters

6

18

54

NOTE: Partial listing of vehicles shown above; vehicle numbers are approximate. MEU, Marine expeditionary unit; MEF (FWD), Marine expeditionary force (forward); MEF, Marine expeditionary force.

presence and readiness the resolve and capability of the United States to intervene militarily in a crisis.

The maritime prepositioning forces (MPFs), too, have demonstrated their value both in military conflicts, such as the Persian Gulf War, for which they provided the first substantial ground-combat forces, and in humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. Employment of today's MPFs, however, depends on having available in the immediate vicinity of the objective area both an airfield to receive the personnel and light equipment that are flown in and either a port for unloading equipment from the prepositioning ships or coastline suitable for over-the-shore logistics operations. Importantly, the arrival of troops and equipment and their assembly into combat-ready units require a benign environment, free from hostilities.

Future military operations may not be afforded the luxury of convenient airfields and ports or benign environments. MPF 2010+ is a concept for exploiting the rapid deployment capabilities of maritime prepositioning without depending on airfields, ports, or benign conditions in the immediate area of intended force employment. The MPF 2010+ concept calls for four functions not provided by the current MPF:

  1. At-sea arrival and assembly of units, eliminating the need for airfields and ports in the immediate vicinity of the objectives;
  2. Reinforcement of the assault echelon of an amphibious task force;
  3. Indefinite sea based sustainment of the forces ashore; and
  4. In-theater reconstitution and redeployment of the force.


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