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File: 082696_d50035_001.txt
Page: 001
Total Pages: 27

                            Chapter 1


                      HISTORICAL PERS?ECTIVE


1001.   THE EARLY DAYS

a.   The Marine Corps' involvement in joint operations prior to
1898 was uncomplicated.   Marines afloat were an integral part of
ships' companies and subject to the command of the senior naval
officer present.   Also, the primary Marine mission with the fleet
involved furnishing ships' detachments rather than provision `of
embarked combat units.   In essence, the Marine Corps was not all
that important.   It even played a minority role in the formation
of landing parties since sailors usualjiy constituted the bulk of
such forces.

b.   The situation began changing with the creation in the 188 Os
of the "New Navy'1 with its steel-hulled, steam-powered ships.
Such ships were tactically and strategically effective only if
they had access to coal to fire their boilers.   The Navy began
giving serious consideration to the seizure and defense of the
coaling stations necessary for fleet operations.   Combat for the
control of such advance bases could not be the province of ad hoc
forces formed from ships' crews.   The new ships needed their
entire complements to fight fleet actions.   These realities
gradually led naval officers to see the need for a standing force
trained and equipped for the mission of seizing and defending
advance bases.

1002.   1898-1916

a.   The Spanish-American War of 1898 demonstrated the necessity
of United States forces being able to seize and defend an advance
base for the fleet.   The seIzure of Guantanamo Bay by a Marine
battalion gave the U.S. Navy a valuable base for its successful
campaign against the Spanish fleet.   The battalion, however, was
an ad hoc force quickly assembled from a number of guard
detachments, a standard technique for assembling an expeditionary
force.

b.   A standing organization, named the Advance Base Force, came
into being prior to World War I.   Eventually there would be two
such commands, one on each coast.   These deployed for exercises
and for expeditionary duty, the latter generally taking in Latin
Amer~ca.

c.   The advance base force did not participate in joint
operations in the modern sense.   Its participation in various
interventions was as part of a naval contingent in a naval

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