WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the Subcommittee's hearing titled “Amphibious Warfare Readiness & Training.” For testimony and to watch the hearing click here.
"Good morning. The subcommittee will come to order. I welcome you today for this hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, Readiness Subcommittee, on 'Amphibious Warfare Readiness & Training.'
Today the subcommittee will hear from the Navy and Marine Corps regarding the status of Amphibious Training and Readiness – specifically the challenges of amphibious ship availability and Navy and Marine Corps inter-operability. We are also pleased to have the Government Accountability Office present to comment on their recent study of Amphibious Operations Training, released in September 2017. I ask the witnesses do their best to describe where shortfalls exist and what can be done to improve the less than optimal state we are in, specifically how better and more consistent funding could help. We have held a series of readiness hearings and briefings on aviation, surface combatants, DoD infrastructure, and other topics. Every session points to the same grim conclusion…our services are indeed in a readiness crisis.
Marine Expeditionary Units aboard US Navy amphibious vessels are an important element of our forward deployed strategic deterrent. To be effective, the Navy Marine Corps team must train together regularly, certainly more than they do today. Because we have too few ships, necessary training is not possible.
President Ronald Reagan frequently used the phrase, 'Peace Through Strength.' I agree with President Reagan and believe we need a higher level of defense funding to achieve that goal.
I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today on how this capability can improved.
I am pleased to recognize our witnesses today. I thank them for taking the time to be with us. We have:
• Lieutenant General Brian Beaudreault, Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations, US Marine Corps
• Vice Admiral Andrew L. 'Woody' Lewis
Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5), US Navy
• Mr. Cary Russell
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management
U.S. Government Accountability Office"