Improvise, adapt, and overcome…

Firing a LAV from the deck of an LHD, but I can just see the AIROPS boss holding his head and going, “But, but, they’re FODDING my flight deck, it’s gonna take HOURS to clean that mess up!”

In September, Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary, or MEU, embarked aboard the amphibious assault ship Wasp parked LAVs on the flight deck for a ship defense drill in the South China Sea that was designed to mimic the MEU’s voyage through dangerous waters.

A 25mm chain gun IS going to do a lot more than a .50BMG, just sayin…

Full article, HERE from Marine Times.

And honestly this DOES make a lot of sense!


Marines… — 24 Comments

  1. They’ve also test fired missiles from a HIMARS sitting on the deck of one of the amphibious ships. Probably not much of a deterrent to nation-states with cruise missiles, but it does seem like a good idea for making sure any lesser threat doesn’t consider such ships easy pickings.

  2. A few missed casings, and they’ll be pulling pilots from the water. I’m guessing the Marines had some relief from boredom, and the flight deck crew had some long moments of checking the deck.

  3. You know it all started with the words “Hey, I wonder…”. Bored Marines are a dangerous thing, and that’s why they’re so effective.

    • I see LAV drag racing on the flight deck some time in the near future. This will be followed by the first catapult launched LAV in USMC/USN history

      • We cat launched a pickup truck. Didn’t stay in the air very long, though…

  4. Yes, it does make a lot of sense in some scenarios. However Wasp never travels alone and it does have airpower to engage targets well beyond the accurate range of a 25mm round.

    As you suggest, it sounds more like bored Marines wanted to have some fun and were playing the “what if” scenario game, and the skipper went along with it to try and break things up.

  5. TOS- Excellent point, and yes, the missiles hit 70km down range accurately!

    Jess- Exactly!!!

    Tole- Snerk… True!

    Gerry- LOL except they don’t have cats on those ships.

    LL- I’m thinking more swarm tactics.

  6. Both a good and bad thing that the 105mm isn’t there. Hard to brace and tie down for that recoil. And don’t even think about an Abrams – prohibitive weight loading is the start. Hellfire from a ground launcher, TOW, and Javelin are also fun, if there’s a sidelobe for them to shoot from.

    Wasp will have escorts, but there are places and times where more shorter range weapons with a human behind them, especially autocannons, can solve problems that something bigger can’t.

    Now I’m waiting for the “hey watch this” of landing a C-130 on RFSTOL. On second thought, that’s a sea story I don’t want to hear.

  7. OldNFO hits it right, about swarm. Dial the clock back about 125 years for OPSEC, and the alarms and excursions from th advent of the torpedo boat. This was followed by the need the torpedo boat destroyer and mounting batteries of quick-firing secondaries (medium caliber) on capital ships. And now, the destroyer is a bloody capital ship, from the capital cost.

    Rare second post, will now step back and watch.

  8. Sometimes thinking outside the box and utilizing what you have vs what needs to be developed is a good thing…. and maybe we need some more “bored’ soldiers to create want they need vs what someone else “thinks” they need

  9. Doesn’t that fit with one of the main missions for Marines? Shipboard security and Defense, along with Naval Landing Parties.
    I notice the LAV is chained down, so someone (rightfully so) respects the recoil.
    For all the far reaching defense envelopes of missiles, escort ships, and aircraft, there are plenty of recent examples of close in threats which don t get engaged in a timely fashion due to political considerations that this could resolve. Iranian patrol boats, anyone? And, it’s easy to blame a Marine NCO who “accidentally” sinks two small craft while trying to fire warning shots, thereby teaching bad guys about staying clear of U.S. vessels, while providing the brass with political cover.
    Notice that Somali pirates have apparently learned this lesson…

  10. NFO – yes I can come up with scenarios where you’d want to try it out. And I’m not saying that practice isn’t a good idea. But I stick by my Marines being bored and wanting to play with their toys. It’s boring at sea working out and cleaning gear over and over and over and over, etc. again. I think that this is a helpful distraction, even though you need to clear the obvious FOD problem.

  11. There is a long history of Marines firing guns from decks of ships and boats, going back to the days when the Marines actually crewed a few of a ship’s guns.

    During WWII in the Pacific, the Marines, and then the Army, put guns on just about anything that moved, or used landing craft with vehicles pre-mounted with weapons as ‘instant-monitors’ all throughout both the West Pacific Campaigns (Philippines et al) and the Central Pacific Campaigns (Island Hopping) after Tarawa (Bloody Tarawa) and Makin. (This process led to the creation of the armed LVT tank with M8 GMC turrets mounted.)

    Mounting additional air-defense assets on deck, or close range defense, won’t hurt, will help quite a bit. And will fill the role the LCS was supposed to fill but can’t.

  12. Back in I think it was 86, the LAV25 and 53 Echo were being introduced to FMF. The Guam LPH9 was offshore New River/ LeJuene as an open deck for DLQ’s. The Green Team slung a LAV out to us under a 53E that the Combat Cargo Officer and Air Dept could get an idea on handling and stowage of both. At the end of the day everyone was acquainted with the LAV and the Helo Support Team rigged it to be slung back to LeJuene. Everything went great until the 53E took a strain on the rigging. Seems the HST forgot about the appendage sticking out of the turret and the cables got caught on the barrrel. As the helo lifted the LAV went from a ground weapon to an Anti Aircraft weapon. We heard that the LAV became the command vehicle for the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

  13. Yeh But the WASP is covered in anti-ship and C-wiz AAA. The escorts are loaded for bear. That would FOD a flight deck too long to ever justify trying that UNLESS the ship took a casualty in main and backup power, and that was the only way to defend the Ship from Fast Little Fucking Boat’s or incoming Vampires. There are still a crapton of old Silkworm and Exocet setting in old buildings waiting for Mulla Amadulla to go. “I wonder if that still works?”

    • Maybe it was just done for training purposes. ISTR they were looking at doing this as standard practice on some of the valuable but lightly armed (or even unarmed) transports, including massive ships like the Expeditionary Mobile Base (ESB) and Expeditionary Transfer Dock (ESD).

  14. stabilized 25mm chain gun will mess up the day of anybody trying to snuggle up to a perfectly defenseless LPD, LSD, LHA, LPH or whatever they call them these days.

  15. To address one of the commenters above, the ARG really doesn’t exist as such anymore and if it had a surface combatant on a leash it means nothing since it could be a hundred miles away. Also, ARGs get split up to meet the theater commander’s mission/goals/requirements. You often find a single amphib moving around on its own even in the PG or other risky areas.

  16. I think all Navy ships, including carriers, should still have gun sponsons built into the hull, even if they don’t actually have guns equipped; that way guns can be equipped as needed. When I was onboard USS Deyo in 1981 off the coast of El Salvador/Nicaragua and the Nics sent gunboats out to chase us off, the ship had to quickly bring up and prep small arms, as the only guns the ship had were two 5″ dual-purpose, neither of those purposes being deterring a boarding action. Gunners Mates were bringing up M60’s and setting them up on weather decks- -in one case, directly under a quad Harpoon launcher!

    When I served on the same station later on USS Richard E. Byrd (CG-23), the lesson had been learned already and a .50 BMG had been mounted port and starboard just off the bridge.