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.


 
 

 
Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III

Russian aircraft flies near U.S. Navy ship in Black Sea

Navy photograph by Seamn Edward Guttierrez III Sailors man the rails as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook arrives at Naval Station Rota, Spain, Feb. 11, 2014. Donald Cook is the first of four Arle...
 
 

45th Space Wing launches NRO Satellite on board Atlas V

The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload. The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office. “I am proud of the persistence and focus of the...
 
 
navair-x47a

X-47b completes night flights

  The unmanned X-47B conducts its first night flight April 10 over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.  Night flights are the next incremental step in developing the operations concept for more routine UAS flight activity....
 

 
navy-zumwalt

Navy to christen future USS Zumwalt, new class of destroyer

The Navy will christen the future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) April 12, during a ceremony at General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine. The lead ship and class are named in honor of former Chief of Naval Operations (C...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 Lewis Hunsaker

Future USS America delivered

Navy photograph by PO1 Lewis Hunsaker More than 900 Sailors and Marines assigned to the amphibious assault ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) America (LHA 6) march to the ship to take custody of it. The U.S. Navy officially acce...
 
 
af-f22

Installation of backup oxygen system in F-22 combat fleet continues

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s F-22 Division is on-track to complete installation of the Automatic Back-up Oxygen System, or ABOS, in the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor combat fleet by December 2014. In Janua...
 




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>