Few things say "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I'm all out of bubble gum" like a Navy amphibious assault craft absolutely covered with Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II joint strike fighters ready to bomb an adversary back to the Stone Age.

That's the logic behind the so-called "Lightning Carrier" concept designed to turn those "Gator Navy" amphibs into ad hoc aircraft carriers — and the Corps appears to be moving slowly but surely into turning that concept into a new doctrine for the new era of great power competition.

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Not only are U.S. Marines experimenting with a new aircraft carrier concept, but they are also taking a fresh look at forming "mini" carrier strike groups to fill in when the carriers are called away.

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The U.S. Marine Corps is developing a new concept of naval warfare to allow Marines to take South China Sea islands from Beijing in the context of a massive missile fight in the Pacific.

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