by Captain John Konrad (gCaptain) In recent months, the US Navy’s critical lack of available amphibious ships has led to the Marine Corps being unable to assist in major crises in Turkey and Sudan. Commandant Gen. David Berger discussed this situation during a House Armed Services Committee meeting and expressed his regrets for leaving gaps that other services need to cover. One of those services that has stepped in is the US Merchant Marine.
The Association of Marine Corps Logisticians (AMCL) is on USMC organization that’s taking the lead in fostering stronger collaborations with the US Merchant Mariners, Military Sealift, and commercial maritime logistics experts. Having had the opportunity to speak at exceptional event AMCL’s annual event last year – which also included participation from The US Maritime Administration, Military Sealift Command, US Transportation Command and US Coast Guard – I witnessed firsthand its impact as a catalyst for new ideas that the USMC is now pursuing. This conference offers logisticians at various levels and from all branches of service the resources and insights needed to address logistics and supply chain challenges effectively.
The second annual in-person AMCL Symposium, is taking place from August 8-10, 2023, and promises to offer a platform for thought leadership, innovation, and connection among the logistics and supply chain professional community. The agenda will focus on emerging technology, digital transformation, talent management, leadership and professional development, innovation culture and mindset, public-private partnerships, and Marine Corps Force Design 2030.
The emerging partnership between the Marine Corps and the Merchant Marine, along with collaborations with allied merchant navies from nations such as the Philippines, showcases an innovative strategy to tackle logistical challenges. This approach holds the potential to significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of crisis response in the future. Despite the ongoing shipbuilding crisis, which has hindered the nation’s ability to respond to international crises and deliver vital supplies to troops (including the alarming shortage of tankers required to provide much-needed fuel for aviation units), these collaborations and shared resources between branches offer a path to improve and strengthen capabilities.
The shipbuilding crisis the nation faces is likely to deepen the military’s growing logistical problems. However, through combined efforts like the partnership between the Marine Corps, the Merchant Marine, and commercial logistics professionals national security could be strengthened, and the capacity to respond to a wide range of global emergencies – from humanitarian missions to the possibility of full-scale conflict – will be enhanced.
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