The U.S. Marines are always the first fighting force sent into action on the ground. To get to where ever it is they need to go, the Marines need to hitch a ride from the U.S. Navy, usually in an amphibious ship. Well, as it turns out, according to an Inspector’s General report, and the officer in charge of training the Marine personnel, the Navy needs a few new ships, and that lack is effecting combat readiness.
“We can do some training…through virtual systems, but at some point, you have to put the ships to sea and go through a mission rehearsal,” testified Beaudreault, noting that they need at least 38 amphibious ships if they’re to meet operational demands. “The ability to generate the number of ships required to train at a Marine expeditionary brigade level just simply isn’t there, so we take it in bite-size chunks.”
So, why is it that the Navy is lacking less than four dozen amphibious ships (note they have plenty of air craft carriers)? Budget cuts.
Budget constraints are holding the Navy back, according to officials and a report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office, which identified the lack of enough amphibious ships as the biggest problem when it comes to training military personnel.
In 2016, for example, data collected from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, which operates in the Pacific, revealed the Navy was unable to fulfill more than 90 percent of requests for support training due to a lack of ships, according to a report in The Washington Free Beacon.
Budget constraints…or a lack of a congressman willing to do the heavy lifting in the district where the amphibious ships are built.
Either way, the landing Marines are not ready due to a lack of a specific type of Naval warship.
Beaudreault, along with Navy Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, the deputy chief of naval operations for operations, plans, and strategy, testified to the accuracy of the GAO report and stated that Congress needs to take immediate action.
“The most important actions that Congress can take now is to immediately repeal the caps on defense spending under the Budget Control Act and provide a defense appropriation that provides a sufficient, consistent, predictable funding,” Beaudreault told lawmakers.
That would be nice. Otherwise, the Marines can’t get to where the fighting is. That is their purpose in the Armed Services. It would be beneficial to everyone for these ships to be procured.