March 26, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
The Stars and Stripes is reporting that the top U.S. commander in the Pacific region is claiming that the U.S. Navy and Marines do not have enough assets to carry out a contested amphibious operation in the Pacific if a crisis arises.
More from Stars and Stripes:
As the war in Afghanistan winds down, Marine Corps leaders want the service to return to its roots of being a force that can attack enemies from the sea, as the Marines did frequently during World War II. But Adm. Samuel Locklear III, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the capability does not presently exist in his area of responsibility.
“We have had a good return of our Marines back to the Asia-Pacific, particularly as the activities in the Middle East wind down in Afghanistan … But the reality is, is that to get Marines around effectively, they require all types of lift. They require the big amphibious ships, but they also require connectors (meaning landing craft landing craft and other amphibious vehicles). The lift is the enabler that makes that happen, so we wouldn’t be able to [successfully carry out a contested amphibious assault without additional resources].”
His remarks come at a time when there are growing concerns in Japan and elsewhere that China might try occupy the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The islands are under Japanese administrative control, but China has claimed sovereignty over them.
Full story here