March 24th, 2012, 19:49
BEEN HERE A WHILE
Marines To Lose 12 Aircraft Squadrons plus some
From brother Marine Bruce Whitaker in Maryland :
Marines To Lose 12 Aircraft Squadrons, 4 Infantry Battalions (UNCLASSIFIED)
The Marine Corps has finalized its plans for restructuring its force around a 182,100-person end strength that will result in steep cuts to aircraft squadrons, battalions and other parts of the force, and the service has briefed Congress and affected parties, a top Marine official said today.
Marine Corps leadership decided to reduce the service's flight capability, going from 70 flying squadrons to 58, and cutting all three wing support group headquarters, according to information released today by the Marine Corps Combat Development Command. The service will drop from 27 infantry battalions to 23 -- eight infantry regiments to seven -- 10 tank companies to eight and 15 light armored reconnaissance companies to 12.
Marine logistics groups will be reorganized to adjust to the new force structure, and, despite not being able to accommodate the five region-specific Marine Expeditionary Brigades the Marine Corps had envisioned, leadership built three joint task force-capable MEB command elements for contingencies that may arise, MCCDC commanding general Lt. Gen. Richard Mills said during a telephone conference with reporters today.
Mills said the cuts were difficult, but his team spent more than a year studying the capabilities the Marine Corps of the future would need to have and how to come down from a surge-level force as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos did not suggest a number for the end strength, Mills said, but after arriving at 186,000 as an ideal force, budget constraints forced the team to cut a little deeper.
Assuming that infantry units were at the core of Marine Corps missions, the team went back and analyzed the enablers and determined how many logisticians, engineers and more were really needed to support the infantry, Mills said. On the aviation side, the Marines found duplications of missions, allowing for further cuts there.
As promised, the new force will also boost the Marine Corps' cyber and special operations capabilities, with more than 250 Marines being added in the cyber realm over the next several years and 821 being added to Marine Corps Special Operations Command, Mills said.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina will face the steepest cuts, losing 5,800 Marines, including some at nearby Marine Corps Air Station New River . MCAS Cherry Point in North Carolina will lose 2,100. In California , Twentynine Palms will lose 2,500, MCAS Miramar will lose 1,200 and Camp Pendleton will lose 2,300.
Mills said the cuts were not made with the assumption that any other service would make up for lost capability. However, he said the Army and Marine Corps were in talks lately about how to continue working closely together even after the war in Afghanistan ends. He cited the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as one example of similar needs in equipment being a good starting point for inter-service cooperation, and Mills said that they were working on joint doctrine for areas like forcible entry. Joint training exercises are being planned that would incorporate amphibious and air assault phases, but Mills declined to give a time line for when those exercises could start.
In drawing down to this new force, no Marine will be forced to end his or her contract early, which was a primary concern for Amos, Mills said. The Marine Corps is still looking at options for voluntary early separation, though Mills said he didn't think that would be needed. Marine Corps spokeswoman Maj. Shawn Haney told Inside the Navy last week that Amos would look at the personnel drawdown plan after his last congressional testimony this week, and that more details could be available as soon as the end of this month.
-- Megan Eckstein
Micky --- All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; mercy; duty; hope. Sir Winston Churchill
March 24th, 2012 19:49
March 24th, 2012, 23:48
Hmmmm...I wonder how the cuts at Camp Lejeune will effect my son. He told me they mentioned him going to Korea possibly, when he was home last time. I hope that doesn't happen! I also hope these cuts aren't so drastic as to leave our Marines lives more at stake! That is unacceptable!
Proud Mom of Sgt Nick, USMC