Editorial - Sept. 2011

During World War II, FADM Ernest J. King was reputed to have remarked, “I don’t know what the hell this logistics is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it.” This month we have a focus on logistics that will help explain what it is and where we are going to better support the force as we enter our second decade of combat. Just as our enemies have changed and adapted, we have to change and adapt in order to keep Marines at the point of the spear supplied with the materiel that they need to accomplish their mission. Eight articles this month, including three that are on the web, highlight the gamut of logistical innovations that our logisticians are implementing to more efficiently and effectively provision Marines.
   
A second focus of this month’s edition is on science and technology. Of particular interest is Capt Ray J. Mirenda’s article, “Offensive Cyber Warfare,” on page 8. Cyberspace is an expansion of the battlefield and is in many ways the new key terrain in warfare today. On the web Capt Christopher Tsirlis has written about “Overreliance on SatCom.” He is sounding a warning bell. It is an asset that does not have infinite capacity for growth and is more and more vulnerable to disruption and interdiction from even nonstate actors.
   
On page 49 Capt Dan Brendel has “Parting Reflections.” The Corps espouses in the Marine Corps Operating Concepts that we operate via mission command, which is defined as “a cultivated leadership ethos that empowers decentralized leaders with decision authority and guides character development of Marines in garrison and combat.” Capt Brendel saw a different reality. On page 86 Maj Peter J. Munson offers constructive solutions on reversing the trends Capt Brendel saw in training.
   
The aviation section has a provocative and interesting article this month by Maj Christopher J. Cannon. On page 53, in “The F35–B Needs a Plan B,” he risks the ire of the establishment by forthrightly raising a cautious note about the program, not because the Corps does not need it, but because given the current fiscal climate, it may not be able to afford this airplane. His metrics for plan B provide food for thought.
   
As you can see from the table of contents, this issue is diverse in topic and level. We are sure there is something in this month’s Gazette that will pique your interest.   
   
On the web we also have an interesting look at the history of the Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) or, as it was known, Pickle Meadow in Bridgeport, CA. The article, penned by MajGen O.K. Steele, looks back at the Corps’ first winter in a training area acquired to train Marines to fight in the brutal mountain terrain of Korea. Sixty years later MWTC is still a vital training area for a fight in brutal weather and mountainous terrain—this time in Afghanistan.
   
This month also marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks on our Nation on 11 September 2001. On our website at www.mca-marines.org/gazette we have a photo slideshow to help you remember and to commemorate that terrible day. If you are one of the many readers with a smart phone, download a Quick Reference or QR code app to your phone. Use the camera feature with the QR code app and scan the code to take you right to the slideshow to view on your phone.

Welcome to the new cyber battlespace.
                                                                           
John Keenan