The Commandant of the Marine Corps verbalizes his disconcert
about the fast approaching defense budget cuts weakening your Marine Corps to
bare bones numbers. Below he talks how dropping to a below par number of
Marines will put security at risk and will prevent Marines from completing
required missions. He holds his ground but the evident massive defense cuts can’t
be stopped as the election is over and plans are set in place. At least he is voicing that he disagrees with
Time for a CGar….the box is getting empty……
The top US Marine Corps (USMC) general has suggested
that he is not comfortable with further reducing the corps' planned 182,000
end-strength to save more money, but said that maintaining constant
"readiness" is his top priority.
"My most important measure is not how many
marines or items of equipment we have, but how ready we are to accomplish our
mission," USMC Commandant General James Amos said during an 8 November
briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington,
"Protecting our readiness is probably the number
one concern on my plate – being our nation's expeditionary crisis response
force, there's no effective substitute for readiness," Gen Amos stated,
adding that fewer marines could eventually affect the corps' capacity for
The USMC began to grow its force around 2006 from
about 176,000 marines to a high of 202,000 during operations in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Then, asked to plan for a post-war corps, the marines established
a Force Structure Review Group that studied overall requirements and suggested
they would need 186,000 active duty troops in total.
Gen Amos noted that the recommendation was still
10,000 marines more than in 2006, but that this accounted for changes that include
establishing Marine Corps Special Operations Command (3,500 marines), fully
manning all units (around 6,000), creating a cyber component (about 1,000), and
building organisations for counterinsurgency training or other functions.
The 2011 Budget Control Act, however, dropped the
Pentagon's planned 10-year spending by USD487 billion and this necessitated
that the USMC drop its end-strength still further, down to 182,000 troops by
Fiscal Year 2017.
"We've already taken risk now," Gen Amos
said, "going down to [182,000]". Any further reductions to USMC
end-strength are "going to reduce capacity and in some cases maybe some
capability" to be able to respond to multiple crises or needs, he added.
To ensure that the USMC can afford a force of 182,000
personnel, Gen Amos said the corps could assume more risk in its modernisation
accounts. "Am I going to be able to buy all the things I want? No. Am I
going to be able to modernise the way I want? No."
For example, he cited the USMC's plans to buy 5,500
Joint Light Tactical Vehicles rather than an originally programmed 20,000, and
instead refurbish and possibly upgrade Humvees and 7-ton trucks.
However, he added, "there are some things I
absolutely have to do", such as modernise the corps' CH-46 Sea Knight
helicopters, which are more than 40 years old.'
Maintaining 'readiness' is the USMC
commandant's top priority as defence spending is set to
He believes cuts in end-strength beyond
current plans for 182,000 marines would 'reduce