Strategy, Theory, Tactical Possibilities and the Design of Amphibious Concepts   [open pdf - 741KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The United States Marine Corps developed Operational Maneuver from the Sea in the 1980s and codified it as a Marine Corps concept in 1996. In brief, Operational Maneuver from the Sea seeks to exploit the sea as maneuver space to defeat access denial systems and exploit gaps in an adversary's defense. Forces move directly from the sea to attack land-based centers of gravity without securing a beachhead or establishing a land based logistics node. Operational Maneuver from the Sea is a theory and as such cannot avoid the influence of its context. This context requires careful analysis if militaries are to apply the theory in other contexts separated by time, geography and governed by different strategies. Such considerations are directly relevant to the Australian Military because in 2009, Australia affirmed its commitment to a maritime strategy. Central to this strategy is the ability to project force from the sea to control maritime approaches and defeat armed incursions into Australian Territories. Whilst the Australian Defence Force practiced amphibious operations in World War Two, its repository of concepts and doctrine has eroded. The planned introduction into service of two Landing Helicopter Docks in 2014 has brought this conceptual erosion sharply into focus.The Australian Defence Force is analyzing international exemplars of amphibious operations with an eye to refining its amphibious concepts. This monograph argues that the Australian Defence Force should not consider Operational Maneuver from the Sea as an operational concept for its amphibious forces and posits an operational concept that serves the aspirations of Australian strategy, nests with Australian Army theory, and considers the tactical possibilities of the force."

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