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The USS Peleliu is being decommissioned.

Discussion in 'Military History' started by A-58, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I think you missed the point. You wrote: "how could they ''hope'' a BLT would fit? they didn't know?". They did know, they didn't hope, when designed it could carry a fully equipped Battalion Landing Team and the means to get them ashore. Since then the amount of space and equipment for improved command and control, larger, heavier, additional, and new equipment have eroded their ability to carry all of it.

    "even if they couldn't carry a full BLT, the had a heavy punch..." and yes a MEU carries a lot of combat power.
     
  2. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    "Okinawa was immobilized in mid-ocean when a propellor blade fell off. Luckily, pure chance I'm sure, it was a four-bladed prop, so the solution was to send divers out to the ship and cut off the opposite blade, so she could steam to port for repairs."

    Ha. Good story...The solution was brilliant in its' simplicity.
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    with tanks/TOWs/air crews/tracs and crews/etc??..Carronade said it was ''hoped''... so I went with that...I've got a picture of our MEU..I'll have to look for it...much thanks all replies..a lot of clear, excellent info in a little space..
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    a MEU story--our Co at MBPH [Wahiawa] was a tank officer, and said how the TOW boys [I remember clearly, he called them young kids, yahoos ] drove like maniacs [ they had the old jeeps then ] ..when I got to the MED,our TOW company bunked with us, and I went on a ride with them, and wouldn't you know, the jeep in front of us, drove like a nut, a couple of TOWers fell off, bouncing around on the road, [ one of them was a big boy ] and the jeep went into a ditch....youngsters and vehicles..no more TOWS, ? right?
     
  5. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Yes, they still have TOW's. They're normally employed in battalion CAAT (Combined Anti-Armor Team) teams formed from the anti-tank and heavy machine gun platoons of the battalion weapons company. They scream around the area with their hair on fire in Humvees mounting TOW's, Mk-19's or M2 HMG's. Very effective and lethal.
     
  6. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I take it they are updated since the late 80s ....sounds like a well engineered system.....had 1 fly past us about 15 feet away, at 29Palms...they didn't know we were there, supposedly or something
     
  7. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    My bad, I guess "hope" wasn't the best choice of words. USMCPrice put it better, the footprint of a BLT/MAU expanded beyond what the ship was designed for. It would be interesting to see some of the documents from early in the design process and the estimates of what they thought they would need to accommodate.

    Also as USMCPrice said, the TOWs are still with us, though I expect they've been significantly improved over the years. That's an important advantage we have, the ability to upgrade missile systems with new warheads, propellants, electronics, etc. so that what looks like the same weapon and uses the same launcher is much more capable than earlier models. The Navy's Standard and Sea Sparrow missiles are other examples that have gone through generations of improvement, something most other countries could only achieve by inventing whole new weapons, launchers, and platforms.
     
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    yes, would be interesting to see those documents..now you got my mouth watering....A BLT is not small...that would have to be a big ship, in my opinion,.....I don't see how they could've got that wrong....it says TOW first produced around 1970
     
  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Do any of you have info on the TO&E of a Marine battalion, not a BLT? Does the battalion's organic equipment include anything heavier than a Humvee?

    btw, do the Marines call it a rifle battalion, infantry battalion, or just battalion?
     
  10. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The Tarawa class LHA's are/were big ships, accomodating 1,703 Marines. The Wasp class LHD and America class LHA's are of even greater displacement. Compare it to a WWII class Essex aircraft carrier.

    Tarawa class LHA--displacement 39,967 long tons, full load--length 834'--beam 131.9'--flight deck 820' long
    Essex class CV-----displacement 36,380 long tons, full load--length 870' to 888'--beam 147.5'--flight deck 862' to 844' (the two numbers for length and flight deck are short hulled and long hulled Esex's)
     
  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I don't know that any of the three would be incorrect, however it's been my experience (maybe Brad can give his input too) that you refer to the infantry companies as rifle companies, then you have the weapons company and the H&S company added in to form the battalion, and I always heard that unit referred to as an infantry battalion. A BLT (Battalion landing team) has additional non-organic assets attached, engineers, artillery, tanks, etc.

    A Marine infantry battalion TOE consists of three rifle companies, each containing three rifle squads, a weapons platoon (60mm mortar section, assault section and medium machine gun section) and HQ section. In addition to the three rifle companies the battalion has a weapons company (81mm mortar platoon, anti-armor platoon and HMG platoon) and an H&S company (headquarters platoon, communications platoon, service platoon and battalion aid station).
     
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    1700, that does seem to be able to handle the personnel....that's with air crew, correct?
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    I would not think they would have anything bigger than a hummer? Motor T handled the transport, right Price? we had about 8 hummers for 81s, [ hardly ever used them at Lejuene! ] and I guess the 0311 infantry had some....great, interesting info from you guys...much thanks
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    possibly from time of design to launching,[ a very long time ] things changed..or they just said we'll just put a small version of the BLT in it
     
  15. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I don't think things had really changed much from the time of design to commissioning of most of the class. Most of the changes took place post commissioning. Let's do this by first establishing the dates the ships were laid down and commissioned. Then look at equipment introduction dates. (Ld will be date the ship was laid down, Com will be the date commissioned).

    USS Tarawa LHA-1--Ld 15Nov1971--Com 29May76
    USS Saipan LHA-2--Ld 21Jul1972--Com 15Oct77
    USS Belleau Wood LHA-3--Ld 05Mar1973--Com 23Sep78
    USS Nassau LHA-4--Ld 13Aug1973--Com 28Jul79
    USS Peleliu LHA-5--Ld 12Nov1976--Com 03May80

    The aircraft they were designed to embark the CH-46, CH-53, UH-1, AH-1 changed over the years with newer models, increased weight and capabilities, but all had the same size footprint. The MV-22 Osprey despite numerous attempts by Congress and the other services to kill the program, first flew in 1989, almost a decade after the last ship commissioned. Problems with the Osprey and a huge learning curve prevented it from being fielded until 2007. (Crew training began in 2000) The Osprey is much larger and heavier than the helicopters the Tarawa's were designed to operate, but they still managed to operate them.

    [​IMG]

    Peleliu operating MV-22 Osprey's Oct 2014.

    The United States Marine Corps started looking at the British Harrier back in 1970 and a joint development version the AV-8A entered Marine Corps service in 1971. However, the Marine Corps initial reason for acquiring the Harrier was as a close air support platform that could be deployed close to the FEBA (Forward Edge of Battle Area), damn haven't used that term in years :) , anyway they planned to base them at FARP's (Marine Corps term for Forward Arming and Re-fueling Point) close to the frontlines to reduce the downtime for CAS aircraft. We were also planning on fighting the Soviets/Warsaw Pact at the time and regular airfields would be very vulnerable to damage or destruction in an environment where we did not enjoy clear air superiority. The AV-8's operating from roads or clearings set up as FARP's would prevent the enemy from shutting down our CAS and they could be moved frequently to prevent targeting by hostile airstrikes. The Marine Corps has actually used the FARP concept often and with great success during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (Not just for the Harrier but for helicopters as well, partcularly the AH-1W/Z, and support aircraft like the UH-1N/Y's and CH-46). The Navy started investigating the possibility of basing the Harrier on Carriers and LPH/LHA's soon thereafter, with much positive testing, but the original Harrier (AV-8A) had a terrible accident record, when being employed as a ground based platform, so the causes for these needed to be identified and corrected before serious consideration of them being practically employed on ship could be implemented.

    ...gotta go, wife needs me to do a project. More as time allows.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pb55EWUIaIE
     
  16. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Just to touch on what Price was saying.
    Marine Corps Force projection / Amphibious Doctrine was such that helicopter borne assaults would attack first to secure the area behind the beaches allowing for follow on AAV borne forces to assault and actually secure the beach...not unlike "D-Day".

    When we went into Panama and Somalia the beaches were already secured because the coastal defenses had been attacked from the rear, the best way to take out coastal defenses is to attack from the direction the guns aren't pointing.

    When you add Harriers and Direct Close Air Support from the snakes and Naval Gunfire from a BB you have a you have the ability to project a sizable force with a minimal support foot print.

    The biggest change to the Amphib Doctrine is the loss of the Iowa Class BB's.
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    yes, they knew what would fit whatever was designed....but like engineering/construction projects now, cost overruns, etc, what looks good on paper, doesn't work in real life...what was the time from final design, to launching? over 5 years?...still, they pack a lot of power, add the carrier group, and you have a force that can/should cover many contingencies...we had Harriers, but I forget which ship they were on? it might just have been on the workup to the Med...for some reason, I don't recall them being permanent...
     
  18. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Thinking the issues with the AV8 were mostly from low hover. They put strakes on the belly in order to prevent (maybe) air recirculating or something. Similar to what happens with helicopters - the bin laden raid crash- for example.
     
  19. bronk7

    bronk7 New Member

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    is that what happened on that raid?
     
  20. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Read the tall fence surrounding compound caused issues with lift.
     

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