The Army and Marine Corps continued to strengthen joint efforts between the two services when leaders formally signed the document "Gaining and Maintaining Access: An Army-Marine Corps Concept" March 14, 2012.

Lt. Gen. Keith Walker, director of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Army Capabilities Integration Center, and Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, signed the concept, which focuses on how the "services conduct entry operations against a hostile foe," according to the 21-page document.

"Gaining and Maintaining Access" is a concept that, similar and complementary to the Air Sea Battle, falls under the overarching ideas of the Joint Operational Access Concept, or JOAC, which was signed in January by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey.

In Dempsey's blog entry from Jan. 17, 2012, the date of JOAC's release, he stressed the importance of gaining and maintaining access across every domain -- land, air, space, sea and cyber -- and how the success of the Joint Force of 2020 depends on it.

"No matter how formidable our forces, if we are unable to bring our capabilities to bear in any of these domains, we may not be able to complete the mission or meet our nation's needs," he wrote. "Our adversaries know this as well."

More specifically than the JOAC, the Army-Marine Corps Concept focuses on how the two services will work together to "provide the joint force commander with the capability for decisive action on land and in the littorals."

In addition to contributing to the Joint Force, the Gaining and Maintaining Access Concept, or GMAC, will also shape the Army of 2020 through the Army Campaign of Learning, ARCIC's director explained.

"Our (Army) Campaign of Learning will exercise the concept and help us refine it," Walker said. "Throughout our joint work with Expeditionary Warrior, the Marines' future wargame last week, we already started using some of the concepts, and we also plan to use some in Terminal Fury 2012."

Terminal Fury is a two-week multiforce exercise in the Pacific Region, which tests the abilities of the joint task force to respond during contingencies.

Walker said ARCIC will continue to exercise the ideas of the concept in its joint experimentation and wargames, which will help determine what capabilities the Army needs regarding doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel and facilities.

Page last updated Fri March 16th, 2012 at 00:00