The Marine Corps strategy Operational Maneuver from the Sea foresees warfare that requires tactically adaptive, technologically agile, opportunistic, and exploitative forces. Individuals and forces must be able to rapidly reorganize and reorient across a broad range of new tasks and missions in fluid operational environments. The Marines will still need to project power ashore for a variety of potential tasks ranging from disaster relief to high-intensity combat.
This vision calls for the following actions: focus on an operational objective; use the sea as maneuver space; generate overwhelming tempo and momentum; pit strengths against weakness; emphasize intelligence, deceptions, and flexibility; and integrate all organic, joint, and combined assets. In order to implement these principles, new operational directions will be needed to enhance the integration of naval expeditionary forces, revolutionize forcible entry operations between the land and sea, and expand maritime maneuver across the spectrum of conflict. The vision also calls for modernizing capabilities in the following areas by capitalizing on new technology and approaches to doctrine, organization, tactics, and training: mobility, intelligence, command and control, fire support, aviation, mine countermeasures, and combat service support.
The focus of the Marine Corps Revolution in Military Affairs efforts is on the enhancement of the individual Marine and his or her ability to win in combat. The Marine Corps Combat Development System focuses on generating the most effective combination of innovative operational concepts, new organizational structures, and emerging technologies. Through the 5-year "Sea Dragon" program, the Marines have developed an extensive experimentation plan divided into three phases, each culminating in an Advanced Warfighting Experiment:
- Hunter Warrior--designed to examine naval power projection in a dispersed, non-contiguous littoral battlespace, enhanced firepower and targeting, and C4I and the "single battle." The scenario established a situation in which naval forward-presence forces were tasked with conducting advance force operations in support of a friendly nation against invasion from a hostile neighbor, pending arrival of follow-on U.S. land-based forces. The experiment tested how doctrine, organization, training, equipment, and sustainment can be improved to produce the needed capabilities to implement new warfighting concepts.
- Urban Warrior--a 2-year effort, begun in 1997, to explore operations in urban, near-urban, and close terrain.
- Capable Warrior--combining virtual and live forces in operational-level deception and maneuver in response to crisis, with the objective of containing or preventing an incipient major theater war.
(SOURCE: U.S. Marine Corps. 1996. Operational Maneuver from the Sea, Headquarters, Marine Corps, Washington, D.C.)