Good day hard-chargers!!
So we now have word that the Marine Corps is not expected to grow during the next fiscal year.
If approved by Congress, the Marine Corps’ fiscal 2018 budget will keep active-duty at 185,000. Recently funding for the Corps was approved in order to grow from 182,000 to 185,000 this fiscal year.
President Trump, last year, publicly endorsed the Heritage Foundation, calling for 12 active-duty Marine infantry battalions and one active-duty tank battalion.
The idea was to build a Marine Corps based on 36 battalions, the Heritage Foundation noted that this is the minimum needed to deal with major contingencies.
Many now wonder at this point if future budgets will call for the Marine Corps to become larger. The only answer to this staggering question is only time will tell.
President Trump has said he intends to increase the size of the military, however, other lawmakers don’t necessarily agree to increase the defense spending without first conversing in order to find non-military spending cuts.
It is believed that the Marine Corps must grow to 190,000 in order to successfully defeat adversaries.
The force structure concluded that the Marine Corps needs to add more Marines for information environment operations, counter unmanned aerial systems and also air defense. Adding more Marines would help capabilities needed for 21st century warfare.
Marine Corps Commandant General. Robert Neller said “If you don’t have those things, whatever formation you put on the battlefield will not survive or be combat effective.
Another serious challenge the Marine Corps faces is the aging fleet of planes and helicopters.
There is a proposed budget, however, it does not accelerate the purchasing of new aircraft. Next year the Corps expects to purchase 353 F-35B Joint Strike Fighters and 200 CH-53K King Stallion helicopters and 67 F-35Cs which will replace the F/A-18 Hornets.
So each CH-53K cost $87.1 million, but when research and development are included the price tag is up to $138.5 million per helicopter.
Colonel Hank Vanderborght said “We fight the war on cost everyday to get things at best and absolute value for the taxpayer.”
I for one was excited to see the Corps grow close to 200,000 strong, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer in order for this to take place. Until then, I urge you all to keep up with current events as you may be effected weather its good or bad.
Isaac J. Hall II