QDR: It’s Over, Barring Surprises

QDR: It’s Over, Barring Surprises

The QDR is pretty much finished and the major decisions made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on April 6 are likely to comprise most of the review’s major decisions.

“It appears to be essentially over:” that’s the judgment of a Pentagon official with detailed knowledge of the review. “There appears to be no appetite for anything bolder than the 6 April decisions,” this source said.

The wrenches that could get tossed in would be new budget guidance from OMB, or a disaster of some sort in Iraq or Afghanistan.

That amphibious study, which could lead to the Marines seeing their central mission stripped away, appears highly unlikely to go anywhere. Is the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, himself a Marine, likely to countenance such a move? Not likely. Is the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, likely to approve such a move when the Marines are so closely intertwined with the Navy? Well, no. If Gates didn’t kill the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle on April 6 — and it certainly would seem to have met many of the same criteria for termination as did programs such as FCS — why would he take such a drastic action now?

Meanwhile, the 2011 budget process rumbles ahead, with meetings of the Defense Advisory Working Group (DAWG) having started last week and continuing for the next week at least. The DAWG is comprised of the Deputy Defense Secretary, the undersecretaries for AT&L, policy, comptroller, personnel and readiness, and intelligence, vice chairman of the Joint Staff and the service undersecretaries and vice chiefs. Deputies from policy, PAandE and other shops regularly attend. These meetings are going on to ensure that the draft POMs — which are classified — meet the secretary’s guidance and to make any basic decisions that can be made at this point if there are questions. The Marines and Navy are scheduled to go before the DAWG this week and the Army is ready to go next week. I believe Special Operations Command and the Air Force have already gone through the wringer.

Bear in mind that OMB Director Peter Orszag issued a memo in June telling all government departments to come up with at least five “significant” program terminations or trims in their 2011 budgets. That could mean a surprise or two in the POM or in the QDR. But our source doesn’t think that’s likely given Gates’ earlier decisions.

As for the earlier estimate by David Ochmanek, deputy assistant secretary of defense for force transformation and resources, that there is a $60 billion hole that needs filling to come up with capabilities gaps identified in the QDR, our source says that estimate is wildly inflated, putting the number closer to $!5 billion over the five years of the review. Ochmanek said the US had to come up dough for missions like “U.S.-led counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations” and confronting “regional adversaries.”

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Ya know, many people will be critical of the decision to continue production of the EFV…many will say that the Marines have the best lobbyist on Capital Hill…but the truth of the matter is that the Marine Corps delivers. It is and has been on the cutting edge of technical military development while still staying true to warrior traditions. I don’t know if another service can replicate it but its the focus on winning battles that safeguards its acquisitions.

ya okay…you got a lil something on your chin, after you get that perhaps you could comment on the effectiveness of the marine corps without disparaging the other services.

Why are all defense blogs against the marines????

who said anything against the marines?


I believe the first shot was from a Marine supporter to every other branch. (solomon)

As for the EFV, regardless of what people claim, the EFV is well known to have problems which needs to be addressed, same with the Osprey. (I support the programs, but in their current form have flaws)

That’s OK Zach. The EFV and V-22 will take care of themselves one way or the other.

Besides, I’m jealous of any service where airmen know who they support. In the Battle of Nasiriyah, it wasn’t Marine Harriers or F/A-18s shooting up their own guys. But even given that and the Blackhawk shootdown over Turkey, I would never stoop to calling USAF Airmen “monkeys.”

From an Defense News at Aviation Week article accessible through Defensetech​.org (be sure to read the article about Marine CH-53K, too):

“The Air Force is advising as the Army moves into long-range, long-endurance UAVs. The Army plans to add large numbers of MQ-1C Warriors (see story, p. 28). “When the Army decided to create its own air force, we realized there was a conflict between our and their ideas as to who was going to drive these things,” Lt. Col. Dave Heideman of USAF’s LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education said at a Defense IQ conference in London in June. “The Army’s view was that any E-3 (private first class) can be a pilot–that [you] can teach a monkey to fly with enough bananas.””

Funny how Army “monkeys” seem to crash a lot fewer unmanned aircraft per 100,000 hours than those highly skilled officers flying them safely out of Nevada. And now they want to rename them remotely piloted vehicles…again…as if the name alone will preclude ultimate UAS automation.

Here you go guys:

http://​www​.aviationweek​.com/​a​w​/​g​e​n​e​r​i​c​/​s​t​o​r​y​_​c​h​a​n​n​e​l​.​j​s​p​?​c​h​a​n​n​e​l​=​d​e​f​e​n​s​e​&​a​m​p​;​i​d​=​n​e​w​s​/​U​S​M​C​0​8​1​8​0​9​.​x​m​l​&​a​m​p​;​h​e​a​d​l​i​n​e​=​M​a​r​i​nes Struggle On High-Profile Programs

and don’t forget this:

http://​www​.aviationweek​.com/​a​w​/​g​e​n​e​r​i​c​/​s​t​o​r​y​_​c​h​a​n​n​e​l​.​j​s​p​?​c​h​a​n​n​e​l​=​d​e​f​e​n​s​e​&​a​m​p​;​i​d​=​n​e​w​s​/​C​I​V​U​A​V​0​8​1​8​0​9​.​x​m​l​&​a​m​p​;​h​e​a​d​l​i​n​e​=​D​e​b​ate Soars Over UAVs in Civil Airspace

Folks, It is amazing that you have to be an 0–2 or above in the usaf to fly unmanned from a trailer in Vegas??The Army way is better/cost effective/let the games begin..SteatonUSMC/HMM165,RVN1973.CH53 crew chief SemperFi.

The Army has wanted it’s own air wing for a long time. Army brass have argued that the Marines and the Navy have their own air wings and the Coast guard obviously flies rotorcraft squadrons. The Army and Navy also have their own UAVs. I think the Air Force worries that if every branch has their own air wings, the Army too, then its own status will be greatly reduced to long range bombing and satellites. It’s sort of a “if everyone has an air force, then why do we need an air force?” Some of that worry may be about money– as Congress may then argue that of the Army has air power needs, then some of our defense funds will bleed away from the AF.

I empathize and don’t have any real answers to those question except to say that the force structure has to conform to the needs of forces on the ground as opposed to the needs of the posterity and traditions of one branch of the military.

My guess is that the Army will get some of its own CAS, perhaps some F-35s optimized for their missions, and the Air Force will remain as it is.

Daniel Russ

Maybe all the aircraft, manned and unmanned should be under 1 service?

With those in this service embedded with their users?

There is no way that any consolidation of Air Wings will occur in our military, with the importance of traditons and Obama as the president– it will never happen, the backlash will be too great.

marines and delivering the goods-“how do you spell Osprey”? from babe in the arms to academy graduate is the amount of time it took to get that air vehicle to the troops.

Sea Beast

I agree. It will probably never happen for the reasons you stated. I think about the UK military that kept units like the Scottish Highlanders and the Grenadiers and the Fusiliers.

Military traditions feed loyalty and honor. They are sometimes more important than expediency.

Daniel Russ

“…its the focus on winning battles …”

What was the MEF doing while 3 ID fought through Iraq and took Baghdad?

Why shouldn’t the Army have an Air Force? The Navy, Marines and Coast Guard have their own and the Army also has its own Navy run entirely by Warrant Officers.

Perhaps it is time for a consolidation similar to the Canadians or the British models. Either one combined service like Canada or each service stays in its own backyard. Air Force flies, Navy and Coast Guard sail, Army and Marines fight on land in land and amphibious ops.

It might simplify things!

The problem with all the services is that they don’t seem to to realize the other services are there to support them. If the Army needs Air why isn’t the Air Force providing it. Why kill the Warthog when it was a perfect close air support weapon?

Why isn’t the Air Force capable of moving all of the Armor we got and if it isn’t why not? If UAV’s are so important on a tacticial battle field why isn’t the Air Force flying a super mother drone up high and have a fleet of micro’s cheap and disposable down low. Why does the Army and MArine corps need to train their troops to fly UAV’s. All this treading on each other xxxxx comes about when one service fails to support the other. We need a professional capabilities integrator to straighten this out and narrow track the serivce into their respective domains and make damn sure no support need goes unfulfilled.

Of course this means Air Force pilots will have to become carrier qualified and operate of carriers on extended forward deployments like Navy and Marine pilots do.
Also Army personnel will sail on Navy ships like the Brits do.

I can’t imagine the USMC without amphibious operations as one of their core competencies.

Oh and speaking of competency, the sentence that begins with “The DAWG is comprised of…” is grammatically incorrect. The preposition “of” should never follow any derivation of the word comprise. Tsk, tsk.

The Marines are needed to supplement the Army in the Stan (or are they still there alone)? The Marines are the boots on the ground in a Naval assault, there are still many places that the front door is the ocean. When you need to kick in the front door, you send the Marines.
I spent 8 years in the Navy, so I had to deal with the Marines quite abit. They have the right attitude for combat, every man is a rifle man first.

Krepenevich will be so unhappy — no more programs to be sacrificed for the great COIN idol…guess that Foreign Affairs article didn’t get into the QDR, huh ? It is so very nice that the Marines got to keep their toys, while FCS money went to shipbuilding. From a power projection point of view, doesn’t make a rats rear end of difference in land-locked Afghanistan. The more disturbing trend is to see the Army trying to transform itself into the Marine Corps — so the eternal propaganda is having that much of an effect. Hell, why not just make everyone an infantryman, and do away with everything else ?

Bill R. — Krepenevich will be so unhappy – no more programs to be sacrificed for the great COIN idol…guess that Foreign Affairs article didn’t get into the QDR, huh ?

Think again.

Instead of roles, I think the armed forces should focus on zones of control. The Navy controls the sea and the coast. If they need planes to control the sea, so be it. The air force controls the skies. The army controls the ground. If the army needs planes for CAS, let them have planes.

The Air Force likes to focus on its core compentencies: air superiority and dropping bombs. They have a habit of resists/killing off programs that are dedicated to CAS. Killing the Warthog because you feel the F-16 is just fine for CAS? That’s the mind of an air jockey, not of an infantryman.

Maybe then these projects would stay on track. The Army should be able to follow and design a perfectly dedicated CAS plane without loading it with air-to-air, stealth, phase radar arrays, etc… cheaper planes that are better at their designated job. And it lets the Air Force forget about CAS and concentrate on shooting stuff down and putting PGMs down stove-pipes. Sounds like a win-win.

MAGTFs (Marine Air-Ground Task Forces) will be around as long as our Nation requires a Maritime forced-entry capability.
“The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
James Forrestal – Secretary of the Navy – 23rd February 1945. ARUGAH & Semper Fi!

If UAVs have a low logistical footprint and can be operated by an 18 year old kid efficiently and correctly, why not?

That being said, there needs to be one DoD OPR responsible for oversight on UAVs. Otherwise you’ll end up with the same problem the services have with automated test equipment — billions of dollars of obsolete equipment with duplicate functions out the kazoo.

As the wiseman said:Competition is fine but,Why we do not want to respect that each of us can do certain things with respect,yes Airmen are traind for space or Navy to protect the sea and Millitary the ground​.As simple as is equal= Budgeting,We will see who achives at best is nothing wrong to try it now!With respect to all service men&service women Truely yours,Maryam

I have a queation. Did we or did we not win WWII with the use of the Army Air Corp?

To be fair, the Army Air Corp is what eventually became the Air Force. It wasn’t spun off into its own branch until 1947.

But yes, I would be happy to see a new Army Air Corp created. No air superiority craft, just put Army support. Essentially fixed wing equivilents to the rotor-based craft the Army uses today.

Maybe I have my head full of sunshine here, but I think the Army would be a much better job procuring a ground support plane than the Air Force can. Not a knock on the Air Force, I’m just saying that they look at everything from the air.

Jeff, concur: Also would be a cost savings. For the Air Force now has what they call Space Command in CO. Peterson AFB.

Is there anything of any substance or even high school level seriousness or just one of the beter collections of sophmoric rubbish seen on this site. Semper Fi hyperbole (as if we need more of that?)and ground centric luddites…you could at the least be entertaining and witty if you insist on sounding inane to the point of nausea.

Mark didn’t like General Petraeus’ joke at the Marine Banquet. ;)

You know…General Petraeus…the leader who has been in theater 6 or 7 years, and was shot in the back accidentally by one of his troops when he was a battalion commander and nearly died.

He punished that Soldier by enhancing his career and sending him to Ranger school.

Peter03292006, during WWII the Army Air Corps was essentially it’s own branch of service at the time. It ran with near-complete autonomy from the Army, and even had it’s own representative at General Staff meetings when an air arm created in the Department of War (now the Department of Defense).

It only made sense to re-establish the Army Air Corps into an official separate branch known as the Air Force today.

“What was the MEF doing while 3 ID fought through Iraq and took Baghdad?”

Screening the right flank and probably rescuing Jessica Lynch

probably rescuing Jessica Lynch

True — it was the 3rd Light Armored Reconaissance Bn.

If nothing else, this writer have at least studied his acronyms. Lets see, you got the OMB, the DAWG, the FCS and the QDR and POMs, all the is connected to the DoD which is connected to the head bone the hipp bone is.…no wait, thats a song I learned as a KID. Writing is simple, bottom line up front, anything beyond that, you’re just wasting time. And I’am no pro.

As someone who ran a 6 man Recon team, and had to call in 250 and 500 pounders as far away as I could throw a smoke grenade thru heavy jungle, I say all services in combat should have their own close ground fixed wing air support. If you’ve ever had to throw dead enemy out of a hole and squeeze 6 men in a place build for 2 skinny NVA you’d know what I mean.


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