The Marines are preparing for a potential ‘big-ass fight,’ and they may soon be spending more time in Alaska
The Pentagon has been reorienting its forces for what it sees as emerging great-power competition with Russia and China.
For the Marine Corps, that likely means shifting away from the Middle East and refocusing on Europe and the Pacific.
To keep preparing for conditions in those places, Marines may soon find themselves spending more time in Alaska.
The US military has been shifting its focus to preparing for a potential great-power conflict, changing how it uses its weapons and where it operates. For the Marine Corps, that increasingly means getting ready to fight at the top of the world.
“The Marines are looking at spending a lot more time in Alaska,” Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican from Alaska, told reporters on August 8 during a trip to the state with Army Secretary Mark Esper.
The Navy and Marine presence in Alaska is currently small. Some sailors are stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, on Alaska’s southern coast. There are also some Marines there, assigned to a reserve unit.
Marines took part in the Arctic Edge exercise in March this year, joining roughly 1,500 soldiers, sailors, and airmen in Alaska “to train military forces to fight and win in the Arctic,” Air Force Lt. Gen. Ken Wilsbach, head of Alaskan Command, said at the time.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said prior to the exercise that the Corps was looking for ways to spend more time in Alaska as it seeks more training opportunities in extreme conditions.
A few weeks after the exercise, he told Sullivan during a Senate hearing that Marines “have gotten back into the cold-weather business.”
“We can’t assume that we’re going to fight in a desert. It’s not going to be a temperate climate. It could be in an Arctic climate,” Neller …read more
Source:: Business Insider