The Auxiliary Platforms and Payloads Council at the Pentagon has focused its efforts on using the Expeditionary Fast Transport for Marines’ afloat command and control requirements, as well as looking at technical enablers to allow Marines to operate from the Littoral Combat Ship, the head of the amphibious warfare branch said last week.
Capt. Bryon Johnson said at the National Defense Industrial Association’s annual Expeditionary Warfare Conference in Portsmouth, Va., that the council was not considering a formal Marine Corps mission package for the LCS but instead was looking at more ad hoc adaptive force packages for LCS and the Expeditionary Fast Transport ship (EPF), formerly called the Joint High Speed Vessel.
A particular interest is putting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets and unmanned vehicles on the EPF, he said.
“We are looking at ways to put adaptive force packages on [EPF], particularly for command and control … using the [EPF] maybe as an afloat command center” in humanitarian assistance missions, for example.
On LCS, he said the council is examining what enablers the Marines would need to operate from the platform – with extra berthing being a top concern, he said.
However, he made clear that these efforts were not meant to replace amphibious warships, but rather to help reduce the high demand on the amphibs.