Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Follow the money...The USMC budget indicates it wants to be a sea going 101st

It might be time for the Marines to dump the Eagle, Globe and Anchor and instead issue "Air Assault" wings with table salt (the bubba's at Ft Campbell get it...they won't like it but they get it).

Check this out from National Defense Magazine.
The Marine Corps' largest procurement effort continues to be the F-35B joint strike fighter program. In fiscal year 2016 the service received funding for 15 short takeoff and vertical landing variants. For 2017, the Marine Corps is asking for 16 F-35Bs. The multi-role strike fighter will replace the Marine Corps' aging fleet of McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II aircraft and the F/A-18 Hornet A/B/C/D variants.

The rotary wing aircraft request saw some decreases in numbers over 2016. The Marine Corps requested 16 MV-22B Ospreys, three fewer than it received in 2016. The fiscal year 2017 base budget supports the procurement of 24 AH-1Z attack and UH-1Y utility helicopters, five fewer than the service received in last year's budget.

However, the Marines will begin procuring the new CH-53K King Stallion in 2017. The heavy-lift cargo helicopter will replace the Marine Corps' CH-53E Super Stallion, which first entered the fleet in 1980. The first two low-rate initial production aircraft are slated for fiscal year 2017, which is consistent with the previous budget. The service still plans to procure four of the helicopters in fiscal year 2018, seven in 2019, 13 in 2020 and 14 in 2021.
Then this...
In the 2017 budget request, the Marine Corps is also asking for $787 million for research, development, test and evaluation. That money will go toward the service's amphibious combat vehicle program, which is aiming to build a new fighting vehicle to replace the service's aging fleet of amphibious assault vehicles. The program has been structured to provide a phased, incremental capability. The fiscal year 2017 budget will support the engineering, manufacturing and developments contracts that were awarded to BAE Systems and SAIC in November. This funding will include the delivery of 32 test vehicles, test and evaluation activities and associated program support, said the budget report.
How does that break down?  2.03 billion for the F-35's alone.  Aviation projects are being pushed forward and ground modernization is being pushed further and further to the right.  Marine Corps ground equipment is already past obsolete.

If we go by the budget (you spend money on what you consider important) it indicates that HQMC is trying to "transform" the Marine Corps into a seagoing 101st.

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