Good read, link to complete article at bottom.
Japan is changing its self-defense stance for the first time in decades since WW ll. This is a major shift in our already strong alliance and comes in response to aggressive moves by China and North Korea in the Indo-Pacific region.
Marine Corps stood up a Littoral Combat regiment in Hawaii last year and this Friday is commissioning a new KC-130 squadron there, VMGR-153. It is now announcing the transition of one artillery regiment, the 12th Marines on Okinawa, and the 4th Marines Infantry Regiment will be the next to transition and stationed in Guam where we now have a new Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz.
These Marine regiments are designed to be highly mobile and quickly dispersed and are going to equipped with new weapons including anti-ship missile systems that could threaten and deny access to Chinese warships moving about the Indo-Pacific region. These systems will be truck mounted and will fit inside a KC/C-130 transport. We have already demonstrated the ability to quickly move these from island to island and place to place, fire them, load up and leave. The HIMARS is one system that has been at the forefront of the testing.
The KC-130 squadrons will no doubt be part of the plan to provide mobility for these artillery and anti-ship systems and that will likely change the primary role and composition of the squadrons going forward. One might think of this as a "shoot and scoot" coastal artillery strategy.
This new capability, combined with the ability to launch the Red Dragon palletized hypersonic missile system from a common cargo aircraft like a KC/C-130 could prove to be a major deterrent to Chinese naval ambitions.
This new capability comes at a price and in order to pay for it and justify it the Commandant of the Marine Corps agreed to slash all Marine Corps tank units and other types of combat units not considered essential by him in this new environment. This has not come (as always in any new shakeup of this magnitude) without a lot of controversy, especially among older retired senior Navy and Marine Corps officers whose worldview of U.S. Naval services was formed at a completely different time and under different circumstances.
Link to complete article: Shake up of Marine Units in Japan