The Marine Corps will do away with its law-enforcement and tank battalions, under a planned reorganization that will take place over the next 10 years. Seapower magazine reported that the plan, which the service introduced in March, also calls for the reduction of infantry battalions to 21 from the present 24, cut the number of artillery cannon batteries to five from 21, reduce amphibious vehicle companies to four from six, and trim the number of helicopter and tilt-rotor squadrons as well.
The change would bring the Marine Corps into line with the 2918 National Defense Strategy, which shifts focus away from battling Middle East extremists and toward emphasis on the Indo-Pacific theater, the Marine Corps report – entitled Force Design 2030 – stated.
The move would return the Marine Corps to its traditional mission – operating in and around coastal theaters – and away from inland operations. Doing so will require a “reaffirmation” of the working relationship between the Corps and its parent service.
“We must transform our traditional models for organizing, training, and equipping the force to meet new desired ends, and do so in full partnership with the Navy,” the report stated.
The Marine Corps would emerge as a force better able to fight so-called “gray zone” conflicts – that is, those that do not necessarily meet the definition of traditional warfare.