These 7 photos show how the Marines take a beach

If the US had to assault a beach today, the assault would have to be conducted from over the horizon in order to avoid being targets for anti-ship missiles launched from several miles inland. This would push amphibious ships back approximately 15-20 nautical miles, stretching the range of current AAV range, which would work in conjunction with assault aircraft and helo’s. Factors to consider are sea state, enemy defenses, maneuverability of nearby enemy armies, range of landing craft, potential casualty rate, availability of logistical support upon landing etc. All of these factors come into play when launching an amphibious assault, and each and every factor has an acceptable “failure rate”, which may or may not become a limiting factor with respect to launching the assault.

The actual assault would have a long timeline, and would look something like the following:

0100: Begin aerial and missile bombardment

Cluster munitions weapons test

Photo: US Air Force

0200: Launch amphibious landing craft (AAV’s)

AAv amphibious assault vehicle water ocean attack boat Navy Marine Corps

Photo: US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Katerine Noll

0415: Launch helo assault and gunships e.g., V22 Ospreys, Super Stallions and Cobra’s.

Marine corps aviation helicopters and V-22

Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Michael L. Haas

0455: AAV arrival at surf zone outside of target objective, halt missile and aerial bombardment.

Amphibious assault vehicles storm the beaches at Camp Lejeune North Carolina

Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Julianne F. Metzger

0500: AAV’ assault beach and begin suppressing fire on target where necessary with accompanying infantry.

Cobra Gold 2010 Marines assault a beach after exiting an AAV

Photo: US Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Leo A . Salinas

0505: V22 and Super Stallions drop reinforcing infantry battalion.

Soldiers fast rope from a CV-22 Osprey

Photo: US Air Force Tech. Sgt. DeNoris Mickle

0600: Beach secure, begin landing heavy armor and logistical support.

Marines unload an M1A1 tank from an US Navy hovercraft during preparations for a deployments to the Global War on Terror

Photo: US Navy Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Laura A. Moore

William O. Scarf writes on Quora.com.