The Marine Corps light armor reconnaissance community is at a crossroads as the vehicle-driven force faces new challenges in more austere terrain and strapped for logistics.
As Marine Corps Commander Gen. David Berger has stressed the importance of reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance capabilities for almost the entire force, one of the key pieces of this puzzle remains in limbo. .
Berger’s force design vision, which puts the Marines shoulder-to-shoulder with the Navy, envisions a reconnaissance force that “will win the hide / seeker contest” in a potential sensor-led combat with China.
But the Light Armored Reconnaissance Marines are still waiting for a new vehicle dubbed the Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle, or ARV, which has been talked about for over a decade but remains a drawing board concept in budget days. And these Marines carry out their mission with a platform that predates the birth of many of them – the Light Armored Vehicle, which first rolled off the line in 1983.
The state of the Marine Reconnaissance Element appears to be in high demand, but remains in “flux,” noted Mark Cancian, senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and retired naval officer, in his budget report for November.
The service is looking for a medium caliber gun with anti-armor firing capabilities, precision guided munitions, electronic warfare, extensive reconnaissance and surveillance command and control suite, active and passive protection of vehicles and maritime mobility from coast to coast, noted a congressional research service. ARV report, published July 2021.
The Navy requested more than $ 48 million in its latest research, development and evaluation request.
But the program was recommended by officials for reassessment in a February 2021 update to Congress. The CRS report also raised the question of whether funding should be suspended until the Corps decides what to do with its LAR and ARV companies.
This is an excerpt from “19 Things Marines Need To Know For 2022”, in the January print edition of the Marine Corps Times.
Todd South has written on crime, courts, government and the military for several publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-authored project on witness intimidation. Todd is a veteran of the Iraq War Marines.