We have to be careful in the Western Pacific —
given the tyranny of time and the tyranny of distance
— that we have a good operational laydown, that we
don’t get strategically mal-deployed because we don’t
have the lift that we need. We are going to have to continue to work through this with the Navy to see where
their ARG [Amphibious Ready Group] capability may
be, if we can get additional amphibs beyond what’s in
Sasebo [Japan] and the forward-deployed naval forces.
We have to see where our host nation support would
be for laydown and harbors, things like that.
Both the HSV and the Joint High-Speed Vessel are
very good and potentially viable alternative platforms.
They help us move people and things. They are not
where we need to be in terms of moving aircraft, because
we actually need the rotary wing — the V/STOL
[vertical and/or short takeoff and landing] aircraft —
with us, but they do, indeed, move a lot of people and
they can move things.
There are some sea-state and harbor-access conditions that we have to watch there, and we have to make
sure that the advertisement actually matches the capability. We have used HSV and JHSV to some success
and, when you are taking the smaller units for training
during shorter periods, you can certainly use them.
What changes, if any, are you making to the
Mojave Viper training at Marine Corps Air
Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms,
Calif., to reflect the Pacific rebalancing?
PAXTON: We are looking at redoing both the Mojave
Viper and now the enhanced Mojave Viper that we’ve
used with great success for Iraq and Afghanistan for
the better part of 12 years. We are looking at a large-scale exercise, an LSE, and an ITX, an integrating training exercise. So there are two different formats that we
are looking at in terms of ways to train battalions and
regiments, or Air-Ground Task Forces built around
battalions and regiments.
In regard to the Pacific, probably the most unique
thing we are doing at Twentynine Palms right now is in
our MCTOG, our Marine Corps Tactical Operations
Group. You might be familiar with MAWTS, the Marine
Aviation and Weapons Tactics Squadron at Yuma, Ariz.
We are now two to three years into building MCTOG
and MCLOG, which is our ground operations and logistics operations that are counterparts to MAWTS at
Twentynine Palms. They are training grounds and seeding grounds for operations officers and operations
chiefs, so they can do planning and training at the small
unit level, intermediate and large.
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 12 SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2013
Paxton speaks with Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, March 18.