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Joint Operations: Escalation

A senior Hamas source who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said that his movement does not wish to see any resistance faction carry out military activities against Israel from the Gaza Strip without consensus from the joint operations room. Those 12 factions include Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP).

Joint Operations: Escalation


But after a long period engaged in land operations, how will the USMC effectively become a full spectrum crisis management force which deters peer competitors and contributes most effectively to escalation control?

When I visited II MEF again at the end of June 2021, I had a chance to meet with Lt. General Beaudreault as well as Colonel Garrett Benson and we focused on a way ahead being worked by II MEF with regard to shaping new crisis management and escalation control capabilities,

The initial conversation was with Colonel Benson and highlighted the strategic shift underway. The Colonel had recently been involved with the BALTOPS 50 exercise and operated aboard the C2 ship, Mt. Whitney. And in that capacity worked closely with the joint and coalition force on the C2 aspects of that exercise.

His background in the USMC has been completely wrapped up in the land wars, with his coming to II MEB being his initial engagements with operating from the sea. Indeed, his coming to II MEB is focused upon the integration the Navy and working new ways ahead with regard to joint operations from the sea.

Retired Lt. Gen. Kathleen M. Gainey knows joint logistics better than most people do. This 35-year Army veteran served as the deputy commander of the U.S. Transportation Command and as the director of logistics, J-4, of the Joint Staff during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Here are her views on the future of joint operations for the Army.

Serving in a joint assignment is like serving in another country. You learn about the culture, you learn different--and often better--ways of doing things, and you learn why they [the other services] operate the way they do. You learn to appreciate how they employ and sustain their weapon systems and how they depend on another service or agency for support.

The friendships you build [in a joint assignment] will pay you immeasurable benefits later when you need to work with that service or any other in the future. It gives you credibility you would not otherwise have going into some other position later in your career.

For example, in Afghanistan, we leveraged the existing British contract for equipment demilitarization rather than set up a new contract at the same location. This prevented competition for the same capability and any price escalation, and it eliminated the time, effort, and cost to set up another new contract.

I had the responsibility of helping lead the logistics enterprise, driving joint force readiness and providing the best logistics advice to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Because I had no directive authority nor any budget control over the services and supporting agencies, I had to provide the services with a compelling argument for what needed to be done to create a coalition of the willing.

There are several things that can be done that will improve interoperability and reduce costs. There is not a natural inclination to work with another service to jointly design equipment and supplies. This is often due to different requirements and timing of when the equipment is needed. But the services should seek opportunities to develop standardized pieces of equipment and supplies.

We also need to do more joint training to ensure we are interoperable and examine what needs to change in doctrine or policies to facilitate how we want to operate. Emergency deployment readiness exercises by air, sea, and a combination of the two used to be a staple of unit training. In the 24th Infantry Division, we built readiness for deployment by crawling, walking, and running through professional development discussions, rehearsal- of-concept drills, tactical exercises without troops, command post exercises, and full-scale rehearsals.

Learn as much as you can about the joint organization you are in. Learn the other services' cultures, processes, and procedures, and make sure you understand each service's role in accomplishing the mission. You aren't trying to convince them to transfer services. Rather, you are trying to help everyone involved understand how others operate. Doing so will provide insights into how to improve your methods.

Become as much of an expert as you can on the Army so that you can offer input on why we do things the way we do. When you return to your parent service, become an advocate for the joint organization you just left and impart what you learned to others. 041b061a72


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