Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The USMC hoped for budget boost is gone with the wind...

via Marine Corps Times
Despite President Trump’s promise for a massive military buildup, the Marine Corps is not expected to grow any more next fiscal year.

If approved by Congress, the proposed Marine Corps' fiscal 2018 budget will keep active-duty end strength at 185,000, budget documents show. Lawmakers recently approved funding for the Corps to grow from 182,000 to 185,000 this fiscal year.

Trump, on the campaign trail last year, publicly endorsed recommendations from the Heritage Foundation think tank calling for adding 12 active-duty Marine infantry battalions and one active-duty tank battalion.  

“We will build a Marine Corps based on 36 battalions, which the Heritage Foundation notes is the minimum needed to deal with major contingencies,” Trump said during a Sept. 7 speech, in which he called for a bigger U.S. military.

At this point, it is impossible to say whether future budgets will call for the Marine Corps to become larger, said retired Marine Lt. Col. Dakota Wood, the principal author of the Heritage Foundation’s review.

Although Trump has said he intends to increase the size of the military, and the House and Senate Armed Services committees have expressed support for the idea, other lawmakers do not want to increase defense spending without finding non-military spending cuts, Wood told Marine Corps Times Monday. 
Remember that budget boost that the Pentagon and HQMC lusted after?  Well it ain't gonna happen and with fiscal hawks holding sway over the defense hawks it seems like it will never happen.

The funny thing is that the Pentagon has made it easy.  They can't even run a proper audit of the dept so who in their right mind would allocate them more resources until they can account for what they've already been given!

Cuts are coming boys and girls.

Unless Thornberry can pull a rabbit out of his ass then the F-35 will certainly be cut, as will the CH-53K.  I would even bet that the final multiyear buy of MV-22s will be reassessed.  HQMC made a bad bet it seems and now they're gonna reap the whirlwind.

Sidenote!  There is one thing the Marine Corps can try but its gonna be hard to explain to the Congress.  They can close bases and reduce the size of the force.  If they revert back to the original plane of 150K Marines and give up Miramar then maybe they can find the funds to buy all the toys they want.

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