Being America’s 911 force has taught the Marines to be flexible and adaptable, because there’s no way of knowing where the next crisis will occur, or what kind of response it will require. That’s why Marine leaders want to keep a third of their fighting forces deployed forward — overseas — at all times. But there are a few things the Marines must have to use those forces to maximum effect. They need warships configured to launch a landing force. They need aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey that can fly far and fast, but land on a dime. And they need amphibious vehicles that can transit the last few miles of ocean, then rapidly transition to maneuver warfare on land.Here.
That last item is beginning to look like the weak link in future plans for going ashore. The Marines have about a thousand amphibious tractors or “amtracs” designed to do the job, but they were first built in the 1970s, and despite numerous improvements are showing their age. Threats from enemies ashore are growing much faster than the ability of the vehicles to survive as they approach the beach at about eight miles per hour. Plans to develop a replacement vehicle that could plane at high speed on the water’s surface fell through — the program was canceled in 2011 — so now the Marines are stuck with a fleet of slow-moving museum pieces.
Why is he talking about the ACV now?
The deadline for submissions has passed and supposedly its in the hands of HQMC to do a downselect to two vehicles. Coincidence? I don't think so. Thompson's backed by many in the defense industry and he does have access to military leadership so I get the sense that something is going on.
Exactly what, I just don't know.