CHESTER HAS MOVED!: 15th MEU Operational Planning Change

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

15th MEU Operational Planning Change

An Alert Reader, whose son is in the 15th MEU, has posted in the comments section of a previous post further insight into the 15th MEU's activities. He notes that the USS Pearl Harbor has not deployed this time around, but the USS Rushmore (LSD-47) has instead. Moreover, he has links to every ship in the Expeditionary Strike Group 5 at For ESG5/15th MEU Families - Ship Info. Quick note: What role might the regular surface ships -- the non-amphibs -- play in a mission like this? Certainly the USS Pasadena, the fast-attack sub, could provide a reconnaissance or force protection function. And certainly the USCGC Munro, the Coast Guard Cutter, will be quite busy. But what about the Bunker Hill (cruiser) the Milius (destroyer) and the Thach) (missile frigate). We'd welcome the comments of those with more naval knowledge. Certainly any water-producing capability those ships possess, along with their medical personnel, will come in handy. The Alert Reader goes on to mention that the concept of operations has changed for the MEU:
And they've just changed their plans. Sri Lanka won't take all those Marines because of political concerns. (sheesh) So the BHR and Duluth are going to the sourthen coast of Sumatra (the Lincoln group is on the northern coast). And only the Rushmore is going to Sri Lanka.
More info as it develops . . . [is anyone having browser problems with this site -- like the sidebar appearing in the wrong place? If so, please email us and let us know: ]


Blogger USMC_Vet said...

Force protection, mainly I would gather. Would they not do some snooping while in the neighborhood? Why not?

But, I would think it generally unwise to go skimming the waters anywhere near China without proper force protection (an plainly visible, high profile).

Splitting an entire resource set from a naval group for any reason has to be ill-advised as well. Naval Units not ported in CONUS ports (save Hawaii) are forward deployed. For instance, would any forward deployed Marine unit of any size divest themselves of their entire medical support crew for any reason? Too great a vulnerablility would be created. The sweetening of a target, so-to-speak.

No, I say we travel well balanced (while maybe lighter), no matter what the intended mission. Unintended missions are always around the corner.

One non-naval-expert's common sense (IMO) view.

January 4, 2005 at 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cruisers/Destroyers, besides force protection, can provide air control, carry 2 more SH-60s, conduct search and rescue, and serve as lilly pads for helo refueling.

January 4, 2005 at 5:26 PM  
Blogger chaoticsynapticactivity said...

What the "combatants" add to the mix at this point are more people, and some equipment.

I was XO on a ship like THATCH in 1989 when HUGO took out our homeport of Charleston, SC. We happened to be at sea off Mayport, FL doing helo ops, but arrived in Charleston 4 days after the storm. We were anchored off the coast the morning after, but not allowed in due to the chance the channel has shifted and we may have grounded.

Once in port, we provided manpower to the Naval Base, the Naval Weapons Station, the Red Cross, and local governement agancies. After hours, then crew assisted the families of their shipmates.

We had a place for the crew to catch some sleep, get cleaned up, get a meal in them, then they could get out working again. These were necessary functions to allow us the sustain the effort necessary to keep at the clean up effort.

Had we been fully equipped for a deployment, with our helos and their crews aboard, we'd have have two SH-60s to add to the SAR effort, and the helo det sailors to add a few strong backs.

We had a independent duty Hospital Corpsman assigned, with one HM3 working for him. That's one solid EMT person and an assistant. Additionally, with all hands trained in basic first aid, as a necessity of shipboard life, there were plenty of people with a basic ability to help in those matters.

On many cruises, and with the clean up of Charleston, we had lots of strong young men to clean debris and build things.

Some of the basic firefighting equipment on every ship includes portable pumps, both electric and gas driven. Resuce and Assitance (R&A) drills regularly trained at moving this equipemtn for use to help another vessel. These pumps could be deployed ashore to move water in the affected areas.

While not as flashy as the CVNs where the reporters are, don't doubt any less compassion aboard the "small boys," and even the submarine. I can bet you the sailors will be chomping at the bit to do something to help, and every rested, strong back will be able to provide some relief.

January 5, 2005 at 10:00 PM  

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