WASHINGTON — In March, nearly ten thousand Marines and sailors waged a campaign in the vast Pacific Ocean against a near-peer competitor, putting to test emerging technologies and fighting concepts aimed at sea control.

The Pacific Blitz exercise tackled naval integration and getting “back to our roots” following years of counterinsurgency operations in the Middle East, Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, the commander of the California-based I Marine Expeditionary Force, told Marine Corps Times in an interview.

Studying a future sea battle, Marines realize that they might be ordered to seize islands and beachheads, a traditional mission for the amphibious force. But a maintenance backlog and procurement delays for amphibious ships and connectors threaten to hamper the Corps’ ability to fight at sea and prepare itself to confront a rising China.

“I believe the Navy has a backlog and a number of platforms for maintenance. So, yes, we are concerned about the availability of these platforms,” Gen. Robert B. Neller, the commandant of the Marine Corps, told lawmakers on April 10.