Defense

June 26, 2013

Budget cuts mean 8,000 fewer Marines, commandant says

Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

If sequestrationís annual spending cuts continue past this year, the Marine Corps will lose 8,000 in troop strength, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos said June 26.

ìI donít want this to happen,î the nationís senior Marine told the Defense Writers Group here. Ongoing sequester cuts will lead to readiness risks, he said, but Corps leaders are working to ensure America will have ìthe best Marine Corps it can afford.

Amos said heís already done the unpleasant work of planning for sequester-related spending cuts beyond fiscal year 2013. Before this fiscal yearís sequester cuts took effect March 1, he said, a ìvery, very small groupî of Marine Corps leaders took a look at what would happen to the force if that provision of the 2011 Budget Control Act did become law.

Amos said the Marinesí active-duty force is now at about 194,000, and originally was planned to decrease to 184,000 by the end of fiscal 2017. Sequester dropped that to 182,000, he said, and future across-the-board sequestration spending cuts of $500 billion over 10 years ultimately would lead to an active-duty end strength of 176,000 Marines. The current 27 Marine Corps active-duty infantry battalions are set now to reduce to 23, but would drop further with more troop cuts, Amos said.

I know exactly how many battalion thatíll be, but Iím not going to reveal it this morning, because the secretary of defense hasnít made his decisions on any of this yet. There will be battalions in there, and there will be squadrons, there will be logistics battalions, and thereíll be some headquarters,î Amos said.

As budget pressures continue, the general said, cost will drive whether Marine Corps plans for new amphibious and ground tactical vehicles go forward. The commandant said heís looking for practicality in an amphibious combat vehicle designed to get Marines from ship to shore.

ìWhat I really need is a Ford F-150,î he added. ìI donít need a Cadillac Escalade.î Of the joint light tactical vehicle, he added similarly that developers must get the cost down, ìor Iím not going to buy it.

Amos noted Pentagon leaders have spent recent weeks studying the strategic choices and management review Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered earlier this year. Amos said while no decisions have been made yet, the review tees up a range of strategic choices the department will have to make based on a $500 billion ìbillî levied over the next decade.

The Marine Corps will spend its dollars to preserve its quick-reaction capability and support national strategic priorities such as the Asia-Pacific region, Amos said, but priorities come with a price. If Marine Corps strength drops to 176,000, he said, the force will lose its rotational combat capability.

ìIf we go to war, some major war somewhere, weíre going to go and weíre going to come home when itís over. Ö Thereís no elasticity to rotate forces if we go below 182,000,î he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>