12/01/2013: The Forager Fury exercises in the era of the Opsrey and KC130J have migrated from operating forward to reshaping USMC strategy with regard to leveraging sea and land bases.
As then Commanding General First Marine Air Wing put in the interview he did with us last year:
SLD: There is a broader strategic point, which emerges from your exercise and the range and speed of the Osprey and the multiplier effect, which it and the coming F-35Bs could have on Pacific operations. There are many islands in the Pacific. With the flexibility and relocation skills evident by the USMC (e.g. with regard to expeditionary airfields), islands can be a useful compliment to amphibious to provide the kind of presence which we may well need in the years ahead. What is your thinking along these lines?
MG Owens: This makes sense. We have a relative paucity of amphibious shipping.
When I was a young lieutenant and captain, I think we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 amphibious war ships in the Navy inventory.
Right now, we have 28 and they’re spread about as thin as they possibly can be. We’re running through their lifecycle faster than anticipated, and yet they’re never enough.
Going back to the whole challenge in this AOR is getting to where you need to be with some capability. Being able to stretch the legs of the aircraft and operate from austere sites is critical.
In this year’s Forager Fury Exercise, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alex Hogue, Aircraft Group-12, (Reinforced), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, sets up barbed wire at the MAG (REIN) Operation Center during Exercise Forager Fury II at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on 27, Nov. 2013.
The Marines practice for real life situations that will take place on a compound on an advanced, expeditionary, or Sea base. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Richard Currier/ Released).
Credit: III MEF:11/27/13
- In the second photo, U.S. Marines with 1st Marine Aircraft Group-12, (Reinforced), prepare the MAG Operation Center for Exercise Forager Fury II at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on Nov. 27, 2013.
- In the third and fourth photos, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Michael Ham, Special Signal Command Team, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, sets up the Trojan Light Sac at the MAG Operation Center for Exercise Forager Fury II at Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, on 27, Nov. 2013.