26th meu post deployment brief

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In July 2011, Second Line of Defense sat down with Col. Mark Desens to discuss the recent deployment of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Earlier we had discussed, with Col. “Ozzie” Osborn, the 15th MEU, the evolution of the ARG as a very flexible combat structure and set of assets.

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-amphibious-ready-group-a-core-national-capability/

Col. Desens led 26th MEU through two deployments; the first in Sept. 2008 – April 2009 and most recently Aug. 2010 – May 2011. His deployments included exercises throughout the Central and Africa Commands, and operations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Libya.

Indeed, one might refer to the Agile Response Group rather than to the Amphibious Ready Group. We crafted a slideshow, which shows the flexibility of the ARG during a deployment. The 26th MEU is shown during its multi-month deployment, which included Operation Odyssey Dawn.

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-agile-response-group-or-the-arg-reconsidered/

We noted: “it is clear that the range of operations capable of being executed concurrently is not widely grasped in the strategic community.”

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  • JIC coverage of JOA (XI) Acted as JIC/N2 for all embarked staffs 24 X 7 tracking of Libyan Naval/Coast Guard units Provided all intel/targeting in support to strike on Libyan Coast Guard unit Red Data Base Manager for entire JOA Intel support to Coalition: pushed CIP/I&W via CENTRIX Managed Common Intelligence Picture Imagery/strike support to 78 Combat air sorties to include BDA ELINT tracking of Libyan SAM threat iso MEU ACE mission ashore Information Ops Messaging: Leaflets took time to develop Regular shipboard transmitters able to conduct long range broadcasts Broadcasts more flexible, able to keep pace with operational changes PDU 5: AV-8 had mechanical difficulties deploying PDU-5, drop was four hours past mission Assessed to open over sea or leaflets blown out to sea Armed helo: Excellent SSC platform / pouncer PON AFSB Second PR platform provides flexibility along with capability to perform multiple missions and greater coverage Coalition Comms Chat/messages: no issues; R/T: UHF/HF Crypto: no problem with Coalition, but lacked USAF crypto Coalition integration Direct N2/LNO interaction with Coalition via CENTRIX (CDG/GAR)
  • 26th meu post deployment brief

    1. 1. Colonel Mark Desens Commodore Pete Pagano 16 June 2011 KEARSARGE Amphibious Ready Group 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit Post Deployment Brief
    2. 2. THEATER SECURITY COOPERATION OPERATIONAL TASKING KSGARG & 26th MEU conducted missions across the full spectrum of operations from Humanitarian Assistance to Combat Operations KINETIC OPERATIONS ODYSSEY DAWN & UNIFIED PROTECTOR OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF EGYPT, LEBANON CONTINGENCY ALERT COUNTER PIRACY PATROLS BILATERAL TRAINING BILATERAL TRAINING <ul><li>Planned Deployment </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly Aggregated </li></ul><ul><li>Sequential </li></ul><ul><li>Executed Deployment </li></ul><ul><li>Disaggregated </li></ul><ul><li>Complex </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Simultaneous Execution </li></ul>Overview
    3. 3. Amphibious Squadron Four PHIBRON 4 Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit 26th MEU Supported/Supporting Command Relationship Det, VMGR-252 2 x KC-130J TACRON 21 Det 1 Naval Beach Group Det D VMM 266 (REIN) (Aviation Combat Element) Battalion Landing Team 3/8 (Ground Combat Element) Combat Logistics Battalion 26 (Logistics Combat Element) LSD 50 USS CARTER HALL LHD 3 USS KEARSARGE LPD 15 USS PONCE 1 st Bn, 2 nd Mar (-)(REIN) (Ground Combat Element) (Libya) Fleet Surgical Team 6 Task Organization CPR4/ARG Personnel: 1,946 Sailors 26th MEU Personnel: 2,892 Sailors and Marines
    4. 4. Pakistan Humanitarian Assistance <ul><ul><li>Heavy flooding affected 14.5 million people, destroying more than 722,000 homes prompting early deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deployed 4 x CH-53E via Stratlift ISO Pakistan HA/DR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Close coordination with PAK Mil, World Food Programme, and World Health Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictive Analysis of flood waters by MEU S-2 influenced Ambassador and PAKMIL decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Austere Conditions: No material handling equipment. Minimal hygiene and life support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Any Clime and Place” </li></ul></ul>Duration of Mission 57 days Total Supplies Delivered 3,159,786 lbs Average Heat Index (Day/Night) 103 F “ If You Fly, You Work” KSG CTH PON FORCE LAYDOWN 53 DET KSG: NATIONAL TASKING CTH: MARITIME SECURITY OPS PON: FHA/DR ALERT AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    5. 5. EDGED MALLET: KENYA JODP: JORDAN IRON MAGIC: UAE RED REEF: SAUDI ARABIA EASTERN SAILOR: QATAR Flexible, Relevant, Made an Impact Theater Security Cooperation EDGED MALLET IRON MAGIC RED REEF EASTERN SAILOR JODP AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    6. 6. Afghanistan <ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deny enemy sanctuary by restricting freedom of movement within the Upper Gereshk Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Support Afghan Gov ’t build Rte 611 </li></ul><ul><li>Support Village Stability Operations IVO Mirmandab, Tambah, and FOB Rob </li></ul><ul><li>Key Takeaways </li></ul><ul><li>MEU Main Effort; accepted risk to MEU (-) </li></ul><ul><li>Trained to OEF standards in PTP </li></ul><ul><li>BLT 3/8 Integration with VMM-266 during MEU PTP facilitated aggressive and safe heliborne operations </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with MARSOC ISO Village Stability Operations </li></ul>KSG CTH PON BLT(+) KSG: NEO BPT, ODYSSEY DAWN CTH: MARITIME SECURITY OPS PON: NEO BPT, ODYSSEY DAWN FORCE LAYDOWN II 3 8 AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    7. 7. Operational Flexibility <ul><li>Situation Late February 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Unrest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lebanon Special Tribunal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Arab Spring” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tunisia </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Egypt </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Libya </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>KEARSARGE and ENTERPRISE in Red Sea </li></ul><ul><li>BLT 3/8(REIN) and 6 x MV-22B in Afghanistan </li></ul>ENTERPRISE to OEF KEARSARGE to Libya ARG/MEUs - operating from land, sea, and air – provide tactical and operational flexibility to the Combatant Commander EGYPT SAUDI ARABIA IRAN YEMEN OMAN SYRIA IRAQ JORDAN UAE BAHRAIN QATAR KUWAIT LEBANON ALGERIA MOROCCO LIBYA TUNISIA MOROCCO KSG CTH PON FORCE LAYDOWN BLT(+) KSG: NEO BPT, ODYSSEY DAWN CTH: MARITIME SECURITY OPS PON: NEO BPT, ODYSSEY DAWN AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    8. 8. Combat Power from the Sea <ul><li>Big Deck Amphibs & STOVL Strike </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid Response…Deadly effects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>USS KEARSARGE supported four embarked staffs simultaneously </li></ul><ul><li>TACRON 21 Det provided JOA-wide 24/7 Tactical Air Command and Control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Joint Intelligence Center provided JOA-wide support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coalition Integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OPERATION ODYSSEY DAWN / UNIFIED PROTECTOR </li></ul></ul>JFACC HQ TACAIR AVIANO, ITALY MEU Decision Cycle 800 ft / minutes Distance to target area 100 - 300 nm JFACC Decision Cycle 350 nm / hours Distance to target area 1000 - 3000 nm <ul><ul><li>AV-8B Targets Destroyed : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>35 T-72s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>25 APCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 HET Vehicles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 SP Arty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 MRL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 SCUD </li></ul></ul>KSG CTH PON FORCE LAYDOWN BLT(+) KSG: ODYSSEY DAWN CTH: MARITIME SECURITY OPS PON: ODYSSEY DAWN AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    9. 9. “ BOLAR 34” TRAP <ul><li>On 21 March 2011, “BOLAR 34”, a USAF F-15E Strike Eagle crashed east of Benghazi, Libya </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MEU TRAP determined best available: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Uncertain Environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most responsive force </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>47 minutes from MV-22B launch to pilot recovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MV-22B executed 45 min faster than the next available platform </li></ul></ul>150 nm <ul><ul><li>Timeline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2138Z ARGMEU notified </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2250Z AV-8B Launch </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2332Z MV-22B TRAP Force launched </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2351Z CH-53E QRF Launch </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>0019Z Pilot Recovered by MV-22B </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>0100Z TRAP Force and Pilot Recovered aboard KSG </li></ul></ul></ul>AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY
    10. 10. <ul><li>Key enablers to improve disaggregated capabilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>LSD 41 class C4I enhancements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LINK </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bandwidth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 rd MH-60S assigned to ARG </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A third MH-60S allows full exploitation of the Armed Helo kit equipped helicopter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Intel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KC-130J dedicated support provides: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flexible asset enabling the broad range of MAGTF missions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Realizes the full potential of MV-22B and STOVL aviation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Requires review of existing Command Element structure </li></ul></ul></ul>Improve Disaggregated Operations without compromising preparation for Major Combat Operations Key Takeaway: Disaggregated Operations
    11. 11. <ul><li>Inherent Flexibility of ARG/MEU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducted Full Spectrum OPS: Humanitarian Assistance to Combat Operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provided Persistent and Flexible Sea Base </li></ul></ul><ul><li>KEARSARGE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National Tasking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On station and on alert in northern Red Sea for Egypt contingencies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Operation ODYSSEY DAWN / UNIFIED PROTECTOR </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CARTER HALL: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 x MH-60S, SOF detachment embarked for nearly two months of continuous training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PONCE: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Operation ODYSSEY DAWN / UNIFIED PROTECTOR </li></ul></ul>Provided COCOM with flexible, forward-deployed capabilities Key Takeaway: Seabasing
    12. 12. <ul><li>Invest in Amphibious Forces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve Disaggregated Capabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advocate for Big Deck Amphibs and STOVL aviation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seabasing provides flexible forward deployed capabilities across the spectrum of military operations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strategic Investment in Djibouti </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain Relevance / Access to Kuwait </li></ul>Recommendations

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