Today, every Marine is a rifleman. Tomorrow, they could be sub-hunters.
The Marine Corps is all in on shifting its spending, personnel and operations to support the Expeditionary Advance Base Operations concept, which would spread out smaller units of Marines across vast expanses of ocean and islands, maneuvering them around to make them tougher for an adversary to target as they conduct their missions.
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David Berger has laid out an idea that, if the Marines are going to pursue their strategy of establishing these EABs to do things like rearming and refueling, air defense and offensive strike, they may as well also help the Navy by searching the local waters for enemy submarines.
Berger wrote in a November Proceedings magazine article that “U.S. ASW capabilities in the air, on the surface, and under the sea rely on a brittle layer of logistical support. As Chinese and Russian undersea warfare capabilities continue to improve, logistics and other supporting operations for U.S. ASW forces will grow in importance. Integrating cross-domain ASW operations into the Marine Corps’ expeditionary advanced base operations (EABO) concept could enable the joint force to sustain or widen its advantage in ASW. Conducted across the spectrum of conflict, theater-level ASW is a campaign of sustained actions over time for undersea advantage. By offering forward logistics and support, as well as sensor and strike capabilities, Marine expeditionary advanced bases (EABs) could make a significant contribution to undersea warfare campaigns, including holding Chinese and Russian submarines at risk.”