“Information warfare was our biggest success or
the biggest subentity that laid the groundwork and
the foundation for our ultimate success in Operation
Odyssey Lightning,” Ogden said. “As Col. Simmons
said, we had to fight for intelligence and we did and we
were extremely aggressive.
“The Joint Intelligence Center onboard Wasp was yet
a microcosm of the overall entity writ large in that the
blue/green team in there never once tried to say, ‘hey,
I did this.’ It was always a team effort and their ability
to fuse intel and get the best picture of what’s going
on, what the enemy is doing, how do we get at the
enemy, how do we help generate targets, was the huge
win overall which allowed us to then expend more ordnance because we were winning the intelligence battle.
That was a huge, huge success story,” he said.
“As far as intelligence is concerned, this enemy
[ISIS] remains a difficult and amorphous foe, and,
so, you’ve got to fight for intelligence,” Simmons
said. “The big 330-Marine command element was the
answer to this problem. We had sufficient intelligence
collection, production, dissemination capacity to work
this military problem and do it successfully, but we
had to make sure we sustained that inside the MEU.
“The entire targeting cycle has to be resonant
inside that headquarters or we’re going to operate in
an immature theater or we’re not just flying some-
body else’s target list or ATO [air tasking order]. It was
us figuring out how to get after the problems. Even
though it is not necessarily trigger pullers, it lends to
getting that thing done,” he said.
Wasp returned to the Gulf of Sidra and started sup-
porting the GNA ground forces again on Dec. 4, Ogden
said. “But on the 6th of December the GNA-aligned
forces were able to declare victory and raise the flag
successfully liberating the town of Sirte and getting it
back into Libyan hands.”
“Odyssey Lightning was a success for combined
arms,” Simmons said. “It wasn’t a victory for air
power or sea power or regular warfare; it was the com-
bined arms effect of the ARG/MEU team with all the
things that it brought to the fight being off the coast in
international waters without having to work through
any national caveats. That was really the lesson that
we ought to draw from that fight.
“Asymmetric warfare isn’t something the enemy
does to us; it’s what we could do to them,” he said.
“Our asymmetric advantage is that we can use maneuver space of the sea. We can get after this enemy in
asymmetric ways that they cannot defend against:
attack them in their sanctuaries. While this deployment was exceptional, it ought not be the exception.
Anywhere that is reachable from littorals, we can put
this enemy at risk and under threat, we ought to continue to do so wherever they exist as long as the fight
is still ongoing.” n
Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit
(22nd MEU), hike aboard USS Wasp in the Mediterranean Sea July 18. The 22nd MEU deployed with a command element of 330 Marines with the Wasp
Amphibious Ready Group, as opposed to the usual 80, with increased intelligence-collection capacity making up for much of the additional manpower.