LOSING TIME: The Few, The Proud, The Ready?
“Every day we live under a continuing resolution is a day we do damage to our military.” - Mac Thornberry, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee
The Few, The Proud, The Ready?
According to the Orange County Register, “the number of ground and aviation mishaps per 100,000 Marines this year is 10.49, up about 60 percent from 2014. Now, concerned Pentagon officials are looking to possible causes, including a speed up in training schedules to meet deployment demands around the globe, what top defense leaders say has been reduced funding for training, equipment maintenance and base infrastructure, as well as a drain to the private sector of experienced, highly skilled armed services personnel."
Compounding the stress of high operational pace, the Corps is struggling to retain Marines with key skill sets; dealing with outdated ground force equipment and aging helicopters.
WHAT WE ARE DOING TODAY:
The current continuing resolution delays enlistment bonuses needed to retain Marines and disrupts recruiting activities. It compounds the impact of years of deferred modernization on critical platforms that are aging out, like Amphibious Assault Vehicles (average age 40 years)and the Light Armored Vehicles (average age 26 years), and the CH-53 helicopter (in service since the 1970s) by delaying their replacements.
WHAT WE COULD BE DOING:
Passing full year authorization and appropriations would allow the Marine Corps to more effectively recruit and retain key skill sets. The NDAA also increases production of the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle and a new version of the CH-53 as well as authorizing first year production of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle.