Marines: ‘Readiness Required to Deter Aggression’ and ‘Win Our Nation’s Battles’ at Risk

Thursday, April 6, 2017
By Paul Martin

6 Apr 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marine Corps, under current funding levels, is expected to face “increasingly significant challenges” to the readiness necessary to deter aggression and win America’s battles, high-ranking military officials told lawmakers.

While the Marine Corps lieutenant generals noted that “the most dire readiness situation lies within our Aviation element,” they also conceded that the service branch is facing a shortfall in inventory of operationally available amphibious ships, a critical component of the service branch.

“Amphibious platforms provide the sovereignty, strategic mobility, unmatched logistical support, operational reach, and forcible entry capability required to deter and, when necessary, defeat our Nation’s adversaries,” they told a House panel Wednesday. “Our amphibious concepts have been validated throughout our history, and we will remain a conduit for innovation.”

Amphibious warships remain the preferred method of deploying the Marines into battle.

“The availability of amphibious shipping remains paramount to our relevancy, responsiveness, resiliency and readiness. The Nation’s amphibious warship requirement remains at 38,” the generals wrote in joint testimony. “The current inventory of 31 vessels falls well short of this requirement. Maintenance challenges in the aging amphibious fleet significantly exacerbate that shortfall.”

According to the lieutenant generals who are in charge of the various pillars of the Marine Corps, the lethal capabilities of some potential adversaries have already exceeded America’s as a result of “deferred modernization” efforts.

“As we engage in the current fight and maintain our forward presence in order to respond to crises, our enemies and potential adversaries have not stood idle. They have developed new capabilities which now equal, or in some cases exceed, our own,” the Marines told the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness.

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