Thursday, October 05, 2017

Heritage Foundation ranks USMC & Army weak, USN & Air Force marginal in power index...

via Defense News.
The index gauged America’s armed forces’ as “marginal” in their ability to win wars against two major adversaries simultaneously, its yardstick for what the nation needs.

In the report, Heritage calls for an Army of 50 brigade combat teams, a Navy of 346 ships and 624 strike aircraft, an Air Force of 1,200 fighter/attack aircraft and a Marine Corps of 36 battalions.

Any buildup would be a tall order under current Capitol Hill dynamics. Lawmakers championing a larger military have for years run into the cross-currents of Republican opponents of deficit spending and Democratic allies of nondefense spending — all pressurized by statutory budget caps passed in 2011.

Heritage gave the Navy, Air Force and nuclear suite a collective grade of “marginal” for total power — a kind of D grade — compared with a top score of “very strong.”

The Marine Corps, meant to be the nation’s expeditionary armed force, which sustained decreases in amphibious ships and available aircraft as aging aircraft have been decommissioned. The index downgraded its readiness from “marginal” to “weak,” alongside its capacity — attributed to a number of aging air and land platforms.

“The Marine Corps dropped because of their aircraft woes and its general readiness,” Wood said. The index cited the USMC’s reporting at the end of 2016 that only 41 percent of its fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft were flyable.
Story here. 

Heritage Foundation Report here.

Wow.  He backs up his assessment with facts but I really wonder if we're actually looking at a funding problem as he asserts or if we're looking at management woes.

Notice that the Marine Corps is paying a penalty in its readiness quotient because Aviation is jacked up from the floor up.

How that has been allowed for almost a decade is beyond me.  The F-35 just wasn't worth the damage that its caused to Marine Air.  No plane, even the Death Star from Star Wars would be worth this much pain.

Read the article and digest the report.  Then weep for your US military.

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