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The Navy and Marine Corps in Regional Conflict in the 21st Century
Use of Army, National, and commercial systems, in addition to Navy and Marine Corps assets, to contribute to communications connectivity and to common facilities and systems for logistic support of amphibious maneuvers from the sea;
Expansion of the Navy and Marine Corps guided-weapon inventory, coordinated with that of the other Services; and
Cooperative operations in populated areas with Army and coalition partners.
Indeed, it could be argued that one of the frequent objectives of an entire Navy and Marine Corps operation is likely to be the establishment of a lodgment for continuing heavy combat by the Army and the Air Force—the ultimate in cross-Service collaboration under a CINC. Enough is understood about such operations that it is possible to indicate, based on the above, the key steps that will have to be taken to enable joint operations.
Combined operations present a different set of problems, since it is not always possible to know ahead of time who the coalition partners will be. However, many such coalitions, such as NATO, have already spent decades and extensive resources to ensure that disparate national forces can operate together. It is possible, from those experiences, to indicate steps that can be taken to prepare better for smooth and effective functioning of ad hoc as well as existing coalitions with which U.S. forces may be involved in regional conflicts.
Key Areas of Emphasis to Refine Joint Operations
Provision must be made in all the following areas to ensure seamless interoperability of all forces—including Navy and Marine Corps forces —that may be involved in all manner of regional conflict situations:
Joint interoperability for tactical C4I and weapon systems;
Common WGS-84 grid and universal time, with all maps in the grid, for all forces—for situational awareness, targeting, unit and force location (of all participants in a conflict, and neutrals), and non-cooperative CID;
A multi-Service (and allied) coordinated approach to CID;
The ability to receive, process, and use all-source surveillance and targeting data, in a timely fashion;