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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Arc-heated facilities at AEDC offer unique test capabilities for hypersonic programs

Air Force photograph This photo shows the arc heater H3 being test fired prior to the installation of a model injection system. The AEDC High Temperature Materials Characterization and Evaluation is unique in capability and is ...
 

 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy commemorates C-2 Greyhound’s 50th anniversary of first flight

Navy photograph Nov. 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound. The “workhorse” of the fleet took to the skies Nov. 18, 1964, from Bethpage, N.Y.   For nearly 50 years, the C-2A ...
 
 

Air Force announces criteria for KC-46A Reserve basing

After extensive internal review, the Air Force on Nov. 9, released the basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. The KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal year 2019. The basing criteria under consideration include mission...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis

The footprint of the Jolly Green Giant

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis Airmen from the 56th Rescue Squadron tackle Capt. Robert Smith, 56th Rescue Squadron executive officer, after his fini-flight, or final flight, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, N...
 




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>