The Sand Table: Volume 1, Issue 5

      Download the latest newsletter.

    GCE Community of Practice,

    This issue's feature article is on China's Airborne Corps.  China is

    conducting a major modernization effort of its airborne force - impacting

    organization, training, and equipment.  Of note, the only airborne forces in

    the world that have the capability to air drop mechanized battalions are the

    Russians and the Chinese.  What makes both countries' capability even more

    unique is that they are also amphibious.  They can air drop an airborne

    mechanized infantry battalion (Russian BMD equipped and Chinese ZBD equipped)

    as a vertical envelopment and that force (parachuting along with their

    vehicles), can begin maneuvering shortly after hitting the ground.  Major

    rivers or lakes do not pose obstacles to their movement and maneuver.  Their

    organic self-propelled artillery capability (120mm mortar) is also mechanized,

    air droppable, and amphibious.  Furthermore, they can hit those rivers and

    lakes with an in-stride transition to swimming - no stopping is required to

    reconfigure or transition.

    We also have articles on the effort to equip our M1A1 tanks with Trophy active

    protection, an article on our GCE's counter fire radar planning

    considerations, and an article on UAS organization.  This UAS article

    challenges paradigms in that it suggests we organize Group 3 UAS as an organic

    capability to the GCE... as we used to do in the 80s with the Pioneer RPV.

    I hope you enjoy your reading...

    Of note, we have upgraded this issue to UNCLASS//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY given

    its content.

    Semper Fidelis,

    Col Tim Barrick, USMC

    Commanding Officer

    Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group (MCTOG)

    Twentynine Palms, CA

    Office:  760-830-3682

    BBY:  760-401-9848

    Email:  [email protected]