The U.S. Marine Corps wants to get back into the business of “itty bitty boats,” potentially purchasing an entire family of small watercraft. The service says diminutive boats could give conventional and special operations Marines more flexibility, offering commanders new options for deploying smaller elements on discreet or distributed operations.
U.S. Marine Corps Major General David Coffman, presently serving as the U.S. Navy’s director for expeditionary warfare, detailed the basic concept to Military.com on the sidelines of Navy League event in November 2017. With various types of craft, regular Marines and special operators might be able to better patrol the flank during operations in littoral areas, rapidly transport reinforcements to support offensive or defensive operations, or rapidly launch raids from multiple directions. The senior officer said that interest in the idea of small groups of waterborne Marines had come straight from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller.