Marines to Get Fewer Assault Ships

Marines to Get Fewer Assault Ships

The U.S. Marine Corps needs 38 amphibious assault ships for conducting crisis-response missions around the world but the sea service will likely have to settle for 33.

U.S. Navy officials have decided to cut five of these versatile ships to deal with the deep cuts to defense spending brought on by sequestration.

The 38-ship requirement comes out of a 2009 report the chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps submitted to Congress. It stated the Corps needs 38 ships to support two Marine Expeditionary Brigades conducting forced-entry operations.

Lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces told Navy and Marine Corps officials they were concerned about the risks of reducing the requirement at a July 25 hearing.

“I continue to have reservations about the direction of the capacity and capabilities of our fleet, specifically our amphibious power projection capabilities,” Rep J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said, calling the plan another example of the “dismantling of the world’s greatest fighting force.”

Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley told lawmakers that the 33-ship forces “has been adjudged to meet the needs of the naval service within today’s fiscal limitations.”

Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, acknowledged the service’s 38-ship requirement, but said the needs of combatant commanders continue to exceed that capability as well.

Realizing this, the Corps created a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, or MaGTFs, and has positioned them in key strategic areas in the European and African Littorals, he said.

These land-based forces have been useful. In December Marines deployed to evacuate some personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Juba. They launched MV-22 aircraft from allied nations in southern Europe, but mission took 3,273 miles and lasted 15 hours, Paxton said.

“While successful in the mission accomplishment these forward-deployed elements, however, are limited in operational reach and sustainability once they are on the objective.”

Forbes and other lawmakers asked about the risks of going with 33 amphibious ships instead of 38.

The 38 amphibious ships are to ensure the Corps can conduct two, simultaneous operations involving assault elements from both MEBs, Paxton said. The challenge under the 33-ship plan is it’s likely that some ships would have to be pulled out of the maintenance yard early or a new ship would have to be put to sea too early, Paxton said. This stresses the capability of ships over time, he said. It takes longer to get them where they are going, and it’s often uncertain how long they can stay on station.

“There is a hard and fast requirement for 38 ships … but we agreed at least in paper and as recently as 2009 we can live in the fiscal constraints with 33,” he said.

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The headline should read, “Those who fight for our freedoms to get fewer ships.” Sad day for our country.

There were 58 Allen M Sumner class DM’s that could handle several Marine Division operations;
70 were planned leaving 12 to operate today. An established ship yard could produce one a day.
Contact U.S. Army JAG for details.

DoD and the Marines need to get with the program. The U.S. is no longer the world’s policeman, or crisis responder. We lead from behind. The world can respond to it’s own crisis, or not. We will import the worlds, poor, uneducated and diseased. We will feed, clothe and educate them while letting them live on our military basis and that is all we will do.

it is really okay to make it at 38 or even at 48 or 88…if you have money to spare..sadly, US does not have money to spare…ergo, it is just but okey to reduce it at 33

With a huge and worsening shortage of hulls in the water, with not enough ships or subs to even meet current requirements, what does the Obama administration’s Department of the Navy do?

They announce today that they are going to buy another 37 million gallons of “biofuels” for the Navy. At eight to ten times the cost of conventional fuels.

You couldn’t make this stuff up. This is the most unrealistic, irresponsible administration in history. Obama makes the legendarily inept Jimmy Carter look like a paragon of realism and competence.

The legendarily inept Jimmy Carter far surpassed George W Bush in the Presidential Rankings Studies (JEC ranked at 27th out of 43, compared to GWB — ranked 37th out of 43). Congratulations to the GOP — your candidate/POTUS reached the goal of lousiest POTUS in over a century.

While the jury remains out on Obama, and his foreign policy problems: at least he hasn’t caused anywhere near the same level of national security disasters imposed on this nation by his predecessor, and his ship of fools.

“Presidential Rankings Studies” — have no idea what you’re talking about here, pal, and neither do any of the Internet’s better search engines. That phrase appears to originate with… you, actually, in other comments of yours. It certainly doesn’t index to any sort of objective source.

The taxes avoided by ONE ‘inversion’ or taxes evaded by US company buying and then moving its HQ overseas would pay for these extra ships

From what I understand they want to cut the marine ships to be able to afford the GW refueling.

If that’s correct I am not sure it’s the best move. First of all the CVNs are not even used at their full capacity, and it is unlikely to change in the future, as the F-35C and UCLASS will be quite expensive. Second of all, the LHAs will soon have the ability to carry up to 20 F-35Bs, which will greatly increase the carrier force. Also, the LHAs can work together with the CVNs to get access to support planes ( E-2, F-18 tanking, EA-18G… ).

Wouldn’ it be possbile to put the GW in storage for 10 years, then refurbish it with upgrades to replace an old Nimitz class CVN? All the money saved would go to more amphibious ships ( not necessarily LHAs ).

We could afford a lot more new weapons systems for DOD if: We could MAKE ALL JOBS IN WASHINGTON ——- “PART TIME” !!!!!!!! After all’ THEY ARE NOT IN WASHINGTON MOST OF THE TIME!!! They just came back from THEIR 4th of July vacation, and now A FIVE (5) week vacation is around the corner. With all of the problems that need to be taken care of , IT’S A DISGRACE!!!!!!! IF WE PAID THEM PART TIME, THEY WOULDN’T GET THEIR OVER-GENEROUS RETIREMENT CHECKS, OR OTHER BENEFITS! THEY DO NOT DESERVE ANY OF THEM!!!!!! I don’t believe they will be working in their home districts either (well, not most of ‘em). TIME TO MAKE SOME BIG CHANGES IN THE Washington CESSPOOL!

If we get to the point that we need 33 amphibs that can’t doing amphibious operations we will not miss the other 5. By then we should have engaged the nuclear option. If we really wanted to end all wars we can do it and it would not take building any more ships.

What foreign policy does Obama have? Turn on your TV and get off MSNBC and you may have a clue about Obama’s non-existent foreign policy.

Marines fighting for our freedoms? You must be joking.The only one fighting for our freedoms is Ron Paul and the ACLU.

If the Marines had claimed that they needed a THOUSAND assaults ships to do their job, and it was cut to 900 ships, the useful id!ots of the MIC would still be whining and flapping around circles like the right-winged Chicken Littles they are.

not to mention their will be less marines to man the ships.

gotta be nice to the corn farmers and their congressmen.

you are RIGHT about the louzy congress and the GOV. in general

While the left would continue sticking their heads in the sand and telling themselves how everything in the world is going great, our country is moving in the right direction, and how there will never be wars again due to Obama.

Just out of curiosity, how many times in the last 50 — 60 years have the marines conducted two brigade level “forced entry” operations simulataneously? For that matter, how many times have they conducted one opposed landing operation (which is what I infer is the real meaning of “forced entry”)? Against whom do we anticipate having to conduct these two simultaneous operations? Is this perhaps a mission requirement without a real mission?

Republicans voted for Sequestration and against compromises to avoid it as well as their partners in inaction across the aisle. And those fighting the hardest to prevent Sequestration’s repeal aren’t Democrats.

You hit the nail on the head. Illegals are more important to this president than minimum requirements for the Marines.

Wow, the headline should have been 20 year old decision reviewed again, same answer found. The USN does not now have 38 Amphibs, nor is any shipbuilding plan in the last 20 years projected to reach 38. The USMC and USN say the exact thing every year, and they have since the end of the Cold War. Must be a slow news day or the author is as ignorant as most of the commenters.

It is true that few presidents can much Bush for the unbroken litany of domestic and foreign policy disasters. Iraq and the Great Recession being the two most notable examples directly attributable to the Bush administration.

The basic comment that the U.S. is NOT the world’s policeman is appropriate. We don’t need 33 amphibs let alone 38. The threat is not out there for large force-on-force warfare navy requirements. If our “allies” pulled their weight, we wouldn’t need what we’ve already got. We need to make them pay to protect themselves. For example, the Congress added money to the Pentagon budget to start the GW overhaul. It’s stationed in Japan. Let the Japanese pay for it! And if they don’t, scrap it. We’re $17 trillion in the hole with no way to dig ourselves out. Time to cut back on the military, along with all the other entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare.

“The basic comment that the U.S. is NOT the world’s policeman is appropriate. We don’t need 33 amphibs let alone 38.”

We tried this after WWI. Didn’t work out so well when WWII hit and we had to get back in the game.

They did not break the law and they are here legally. POTUS himself has declared them refugees.

Just give them some WWII rubber rafts and 4 oars for each

We have immigrant money. No ship money or SSN money or help for vets. Bet you congress gets a raise.….again.

I’ve heard many peoplesay, why do we need this weapon system or that weapon system ? Why d we need new better airplanes ? Old ones have wear tear, jets and ships have a limited lifetime, engineers and designers need to be employed as well as the military industrial complex kept going in the event a war does occur and we need to ramp up production. If you have new designs in hand and factories already operating, the ability to increase production is much easier than starting from scratch. One thing to keep in mind also that a verystrong military capability precludes possible enemies from thinking about starting a conflict. A weaker capability tends to invite the players to try their hand at mischief to see what possible response can be attained. A strong military is needed to prevent wars.

Looks like the remaining few will have to stay out longer on deployment to cover. Too bad, another month on a clean warm ship with hots and cots. I was deployed to,Kuwait in 1998 for,6 months. All in tents no heat/AC. The Marines LAR came by for a week and when we went to,Doha they complained about the food. We were happy to,see plates! Sorry, naval deployments that visit exotic ports and have clean clothes don’t make me feel sorry for them!


Since when was a paid in Social Security Old age pension an entitlement. It is a forced retirement program and nothing else. Anyone who thinks it is an entitlement, like welfare has no sense.

Shows how corrupt and crazy the brass is. they waste billions on JLTV JSF and want more crap like MHS and cut much needed weapons like these ships we do need. Time to save money in the constructive way: fire and get rid of worthless Army and Navy brass!

In fact if you consider Social Security old age pensions an entitlement then you must also consider life, auto, home, flood, and health insurance, private or pubic, as entitlements. Of course any monies or income are considered by the Left as entitlements since they also believe that the USD is the property of the government and only on loan to the holder. That is an entitlement to any other than themselves, since they are the elite who own and demand/declare total control of that USD

We haven’t used a nuke in that same time period either. I guess we don’t need those either…

The problem is you don’t understand/appreciate what capability means. Just the threat of landing in Kuwait had a significant impact on how Iraq defended it in ’91. If you go down through history you can find how the threat of an amphibious or airborne op influenced enemy actions.

Good comparison with Insurance. What do we do to an insurance company that spends the customers’ principle to the point that it can’t pay its promised coverage?

When are we putting government officials in jail?

Maybe privatizing isn’t a bad idea. At least someone goes to jail when they steal the money…

(Something tells me you aren’t a fan of privatizing social security.)

The requirement for 2.0 Brigade equivalents of amphibious shipping is to ensure that one MEB is available at anytime. Desert Storm is a good example. Virtually the entire USN Amphib force that was able to get underway was in the Gulf for the MEB size assault. The entire construct is somewhat false, as there is significantly more capability in some areas and less in others. So it really depends on the mix you choose to determine your 2.0. For instance, if you ignore your fixed wing air component, assuming that 5–6 CVWs worth of airpower can provide that capability, then you have 2.0 lift capability in all the other areas. And you can always swap USMC F-18s for USN F-18 squadrons if required. That is why the Navy and USMC has said for the last two decades that 33 is not 2.0, but it is enough and meets the stated MEU requirements. And really, with 1.0 in Amphibious shipping and another 2.0 of equipment on MPS ships that can be offloaded in stream or in port, how much more do you really need?

Mr.Matthew Cox,

Not that folks probably care, but Ray Mabus is Secretary of the Navy.
Sean Stackley is ASSISTANT Sec of Navy for RDA.
(see 8th paragraph from the bottom)

gunnygil, First, the Federal definition of an entitlement is that it’s driven by users based on a formula. Which means it is typically ever-expanding without cost control, rather a set budget that everyone must live within.

Second, while paid for with payroll taxes, Social Security was designed as a pay-as-you-go program. Some people paid in; others drew out. It was never designed as a retirement program–just to cover those who didn’t have any other income on which to live. Someplace in the 1970’s the payroll tax was increased to generate a pot of money to cover when the people drawing out exceeded those paying in. This is called the SS Trust Fund and is currently at $3 trillion.

Not real cash, the government prints money to pay drawdowns against this Trust Fund not financed with real payroll deductions.

Third, when income taxes aren’t enough to pay off that unfunded drawdown, it adds to the annual deficit and accumulating national debt. So, one issue is that, regardless of whether you personally believe SS is good or not, and whether the monthly payments are too low for your contributions while you worked, from a self-financing, no-debt perspective, the payroll taxes are too low and/or the monthly payments too high. It’s not financially unsustainable.

The military retirement and health care system is worse, basically being totally unfunded, and will also have to be substantially cut Otherwise, how is the country to live within its means?

“And really, with 1.0 in Amphibious shipping and another 2.0 of equipment on MPS ships that can be offloaded in stream or in port, how much more do you really need?”

Good question. Gets back to a pet point of mine that asks why do we have a Corps of 200k when we can only put 30k on the ground? Seems like a second Army…

Uh oh? I don’t think anyone is supposed to ask that question.

Unfortunately, there isn’t $3T or even $3 in the Fund. It’s an empty box except for an IOU note.

A strong military will also tend to get you into unnecessary wars. Think Iraq. The Founding Fathers authorized an Army and Navy in the Constitution and then refused to fund them for years for fear of them drawing us into “foreign adventures” that would bankrupt the nation by “blood and treasure.”

I’m not saying we don’t need a strong military. I am saying ours is too big given the real threats. After all, if 2 million Americans in the active, reserve and guard can’t beat 10,000 insurgents armed with rifles, no navy and no air power, something is serioulsy wrong with our military (and its leaders).

“After all, if 2 million Americans in the active, reserve and guard can’t beat 10,000 insurgents armed with rifles, no navy and no air power, something is serioulsy wrong with our military (and its leaders).”

We played nice in the War on Terror, something that we didn’t do (as much) in the preceding wars.

Besides, we have always done well militarily; it is the resolve of our leaders and the people as a whole that gives out.….

Two good quotes: 1-Si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war), 2-Hope is not a COA. We need to be prepared for war, if we are not, potential adversaries may become actual adversaries. Every time we weaken our military — and our will — we end up in a war (and playing catch-up after getting smacked). History lesson: The only war in the last century where a Republican was president when it started was GWOT, and the terrs had seen us running since Mogadishu, no response to Khobar, the COLE, etc. I agree with crackedlenses in that we “played nice(ly)” in GWOT. While I am not advocating war crimes, I do think we have too many lawyers who are not combat vets (unlike WW2 where they generally were) determining what is IAW the Law of Armed Conflict.

Well, they don’t need 200k, at least in my opinion. I believe their plan is to shrink to something under 200k in the relatively near future, they already eliminated one MPS Squadron. The basic requirement for 3 USMC divisions is written into law, but it could be changed or the division can be shrunk. I don’t see a real need for much more than 2 divisions, although since the USMC has some additional requirements outside the division like embassy guards, security at USN Strat Weapons facilities, etc, it is not a simple 1/3 reduction.

I can’t believe some of the stupid ass comments I’ve read below. Granted, our POS POTUS causes more problems than he solves, but we still need the capability to fight war when we finally get a POTUS worthy of our respect.

It’s not the military brass, it is the senate armed services committee and house appropriations gang. The biggest question when new weapons systems are discussed: “can you build it in my district/state?

What the Pentagon needs and what is delivered looks like my childhood Christmases.

There is going to be less Marines, so there may as well be less ships for them to deploy in. Eventually some poor SOB will get elected and have to spend his time rebuilding the military like Reagan did.

We need to stop giving the 11 billion dollars to the terrorist Hamas through Qatar and use it for our US Marines. It would also save the lives of many Christians living in the Middle East.

Marines don’t actually man the ships. They’re operated by navy personnel and used to transport the marines.

Sorry, pal, Social Security and Medicare are not plans that can be cut back. We PAID for those plans out of our own pockets and we had no choice in it. The cuts need to come from programs where the bloodsuckers live: Obamacare, Medicaid, Section 8 Housing, Welfare and all the $$ we shell out for illegal immigrants.

Agreed, but a weak / inept / illegal president (such as we now have) neuters the best military force in the world.

if this government would quit supproting the millions of illegals or the hamas terrorist there might be more money for other things as well a bring the troops home and let the middle east get back to their normal terristic everyday lives

We have taken 25 of the newest warbirds schedules fpor the Marine corps and GIVEN them to Israel. You can see them on TV News while they are conducting aor strikes against civilian targets in Gaza. Congress has given Israel more then 151 billion dollars for Isreal’s defense forces. Yet Israel spies on us, killed our sailers on the USS Liberty and has, by their treatment of the Palestinians with our support, caused the USA to become the second most hated cpountry in the world. If we can find and elect people not in Israel’s lobbies pocket perhaps then our troops, students and seniors will get the help they need.

It’s an entitlement because you have paid into it and you are entitled to get something in return same as Medicare, neither is free but some in congress have twisted the meaning to be welfare.

Actually Social Security and Medicare. are paid for out of the pockets of those who use them, it’s not welfare it’s your own money . What needs to be done is to remove it from the general Fund and away from the reaches of congress.

“I continue to have reservations about the direction of the capacity and capabilities of our fleet, specifically our amphibious power projection capabilities,” Rep J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., said, calling the plan another example of the “dismantling of the world’s greatest fighting force.”

Who is this guy kidding, passing the buck. Why does he think the General is presenting his case for 38 ship before the armed forces subcommittee ? Hey get a clue , it’s you guys who allocate funding, it you guys who set sequester in place, it you guys who pay the bills from funds collected from the tax payers, it’s you guys who waste it on pork. The white House can’t cut funding that has been allocated for a particular purpose. it’s you guys in congress who are responsible for the state of the nations military.

Get a clue, then print the truth. Congress allocate funding for all domestic and foreign programs. Read the constitution and see it there in black and white for yourself. So if Hamas is receiving funding it’s Congress that’s doing it. Congress gives more funds to Israel than they do for the defense of our boarders from immigrants and it usually the right wing of congress doing this. you are wrong in saying finds are allocated to Hamas, that is simple untrue.

Oh, it has been past time to “Make some big changes in Washington”. Like everyone, especially the black guy sitting in the number one seat.

More lies by irresponsibly people to get hold of your and my hard earned money and you are not educated enough to no better. What is wrong with you people . You’re willing to give your hard earned money to any con artist with a sad sob story. Why don’t you take a trip to the Philadelphia naval yard and take a good look at all your hard earned dollars just rusting away. If you actually believe Obama was not born in this country you’ve got to be an illegal immigrant and should be deported.

Ever hear how Congress changes laws, even though taxpayers have paid into their plans, whatever those plans were? With the stroke of the president’s (if you can call him that) pen, what is now in place can be changed within a heart beat. It is what Congress sends to the president in acts, and the president agrees with his pen that changes can become law in an instant. This would include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any other “entitlement program” the Congress and the president deems to be changed. Would there be hell to pay come voting time? I would hope so!

Wouldn’t desire to bet against you with this one. They (Congress) are already walking and heading for the bank to deposit those “raises”.

Actually Steve, they took away our ammo when we first got to Vietnam, while guarding millions of dollars of American property and that is to include thousands of Marines asleep at night behind our surrounding lines. You may very well have intended to be joking, but these kinds of activities you speak about, do happen when some higher ranking individual does foolish if not crazy things like taking away the troops ammunition while in a combat area.

To me, putting females in combat should have happened the moment the woman libbers got what they wanted, and when the law was changed that you cannot discriminate based on the sex of a person.

Vietnam War Veteran

We should stop giving foreign aid to anyone, and start taking care of those that defend this country with the saved foreign dollars. Those dollars, however, will continue to fill the lining of the pockets of the top administration of those countries provided with our foreign aid dollars. And, of course those that protect and defend our country will continue to suffer while doing so. Been that way since America began, and will always be that way, especially when you have a president sitting behind the desk within the white house that asked, Why can’t the Veterans pay for their own health care, and thus take care of their own health needs, which were given to them in combat!

Vietnam War Veteran

Speak for you self , I respect any man who can deal with all the idiots sent to congress and still maintain an air of dignity. He hasn’t sent the youth off to be killed as the former, he was left with a bankrupt country and managed to hold it together. He deals everyday with thugs like Putin, Natinyahu , Kim Jong Un ‚Xi. Hamas, Terrorist of all kind domestic and foreign. He even has to listen to idiots like Palin, McCain, Graham and a host of other. Any man that can do that and still have to hear comments written by the uneducated masses, who only know what they have been told by people who don’t know themselves. That man I can respect because he is more of a man that some one sitting behind a keyboard passing judgement. If that offends you , good , it was meant to.

Seems to me you hit the nail right on the head with your statement. To answer, I would say those that would and could make the change, needs to have more than any intelligence they have which is seriously lacking; they need also to have what is simply called, common sense. Apparently they are showing they are in desperate need of. In other words, lacking to the highest power of math.

Good luck on that one, your statement finding people that cannot be put in Israel’s lobbies pockets. Good luck on finding any good person that cannot be bribed as well.

Power goes to the heads of those that sit in power, including the Congress of the United States. Congress will continue to write laws that benefit those sitting in power — which is a disgrace to the hard working individual within America that pays for the benefits and dividends that Congress passes for themselves year after year.

you got that right !

No two wars are the same and most of our conflicts were of our own making. It seem we never , never invest in our diplomatic corp. Added we need an armed force to defend the nation but not every nation in the world.. The reason we need such a large force is because we have made so many enemies by threatening force. The more threats we make the bigger the force we need to back those threats up. All those you mentioned we either created them or threatened to use force on them. Kennedy Created the Peace Corps. That has garnered more good will for America than all the wars we have fought.

Now they’re blaming others for what they did. They are the ones always wanting to cut taxes for Corporation and the wealthy then want to cut budgets that benefit, education, health care ships for the navy aircraft needed by the air force. Too bad their supporters can’t see the harm the people they elect are doing to them.

yep, the diplomatic corp will stop the next enemy…

BTW, we had a 15million man military in WWII. Your logic would say we created the Fascist threat and yeah, the Peace Corps is why we aren’t speaking Russian today. LOL. Who knew? That’s who we should have sent to get Bin Laden.

The brilliance of the “Blame America First” crowd.

Have you even served in the military? The Marine Corps have been forced to work with less than they need and have used equipment far beyond their projected lifespans. The time is coming when the military CAN’T DO IT’s JOB bec ause all the money is being spent on welfare for all the slobs who WON’T work!!!!

An Indonesian Tsunami like the last one or like what happened in Japan at Fukushima would require a huge Disaster Response that we as Allies or Good Neighbors would have to respond to. Evacuations of Embassies and a civilians from Crisis Hotspots like the one that happened in Liberia would also require a major response if it were time sensitive

Nobody with any reasonable amount of intelligence would measure the President against impossible or imaginary standards of perfection. Just judge him by his own words, promises and commitments. By any empirical standard, things have gotten much worse and beyond comprehension since he took office. This man has fallen short on almost every issue and no matter how you try to paint over it, the fact of the matter rests on his utter incompetence as an executive. We are well beyond ideological obedience.

Dirtbag Kerry gave $47 million to them last week. You probably weren’t aware ’cause the liberal press will more than likely hide the fact.

Then why does POTUS keep sending us to Africa?

But POTUS is increasing the number of subs that we have.

They would spend as much to bring it out of moth balls as to keep it running for that time.

In the Marines, one of our mottos is, “Adapt and improvise”. We do that because we spend less, and get better results. That does not mean to cut us to the bone and hope for the best. We always do our best, no matter the odds against us. That is why we are Marines.

Why do people keep forgetting about the monies that are handed out free to illegal aliens here in this country. They were not born here, they have not worked here legally, yet they get thousands in benefits every month. So cut them out. If Congress had not taken the surplus in Social Security and put it in the general fund back in the 50s or 60s, it and Medicare would be alright. So don’t go saying that Social Security has to pay again to this country from their nest egg. And as far as us being $17 trillion in the hole, stop to think that we were only $3trillion in the hole when he started. And then he started his Executive Orders to bypass Congress, and put us further in the hole.

From your reply, you clearly don’t understand a lot of things, like what I said. Firstly, we have nukes because the other guys have them. An analogy between nukes and marine landing groups is fallacious in the extreme. Secondly, I didn’t say we didn’t need the capability, just questioned how much capability we need and against whom do we plan on using it. The marines are requesting 38 ships so they can conduct two landings simultaneously. Why two simultaneously? And, outside of Kuwait (you’re right about that), what other examples down through history since 1960 are there of an amphibious landing threat affecting enemy actions? Certainly not in Viet Nam. With money for ships getting scarcer, is it a good deployment of dollars to build another amphibious support ship instead of another destroyer or sub?

This is why they weren’t capable of sending help into Benghazi (or so they say) because there weren’t any available forces in the area that could get there in time (as if they knew how long it would last). Now they want to reduce the capability of our response forces and put more people at risk.

Why that? The GW would have no air wing, no crew, it would just be in storage waiting to be upgraded and reactivated for another maybe 20 years of service.

The USN will have tough choices to make. They have been able to procure a lot of Super hornets because they were relatively inexpensive, but the next generation of planes ( F-35C, F/A-XX, UCLASS ) will cost a lot more. Can they really afford keep the same number of CVNs and hope they can fill the air wings?

It would seem resonable to cut the number of CVNs by 1 or 2, buy only 8 Fords, and reinforce the CVNs with the LHAs with F-35Bs.

Yours is the correct question. A Marine Corps has a place, but not over the equivalent of an FMF equal to one division in strength plus an equivalent amount of MAG support and the supporting units needed to maintain that level, and to provide embassy guards and MP’s for Naval Installations and ships.

Also, there should not be a Marine General on the JCS. They were meant to be a limited operations tactical force of infantry from the Sea, and nothing more. Reduce the size of the Corps to a mission oriented level and give the rest of their budget and manpower (and Helicopter Squadrons) to the Army. Their excess VMFA pilots are already Naval Aviators and Carrier Qualified, so they can be integrated into the Navy.

Marines can be carried aboard any Navy ship in the fleet, from tugboats and Tin Cans to Cruisers, and CV’s. They can even be transported aboard an AOE.
Specialized amphibious assault ships are what are being cut.
The current Government thinking being, they are not planning on needing to land Marines anymore on foreign shores if they do they will fly them to an airport/airfield or deliver them to a Port facility.
If the arena doesn’t have an airstrip or Port they don’t plan on going.
Beating swords into welfare checks.

They did well with those before! Makin assault.

We are talking about military preparedness and not illegal immigrants or tertrorists. Lets use the Coast Guard Motto ” Semper Paratus” — “Semper Fi”

dave — my lack of understanding what you meant might not be my fault. Communication is a two way street.

Yes other nations have nukes. They also have Marine landing groups. It’s not a false comparison.

You asked about forced entry as if we’ve never used the capability but as Kuwait demonstrates we did use the capability. Add the Dominican Republic, the early Lebanon intervention and Grenada to the list. Further keep in mind one doesn’t know if a landing is going to be unopposed until one does it. The enemy gets a vote. These things aren’t negotiated beforehand.

Why the capability to land two Marine Brigades? Well, history teaches us that landings sometimes happen on multiple beaches that aren’t adjacent. It also allows for the simultaneous deployment of two Marine Birgades at one point. Finally, sometimes one brigade might not be enough…

Why do we have an entire Airborne division and a couple of spare BDE’s/BN’s when we’ve only landed in BDE strength since WWII? It’s because you can’t be everywhere and you preposition forces. It’s because you cannot forsee every scenario. It’s because you can’t keep one asset on constant 24/7/365 alert.

It’s not necessarily an either/or argument with the building of amphibious ships.

Good points but SACRILEGE! to some :)

BS, take the same money and put it in an FDIC backed savings account and you’d have the same or better coverage that SS provides.

The Gov’t spending mandatory social security payments from the public is nothing more than a “legal” ponzi scheme.

You are totally off base with your comments. Let me lob some missiles every day into your home town and see how you react to it. Israel has been our only friend in that region of crisis. Gaza is a hot bed of insurgency along with Syria and Iraq. Let Israel stay in Gaza and take care of this problem with our assistance. Do you think that Hamas is going to be friends with the US???? They hate you today and they will hate you tomorrow because of the values that our country stands for. I agree that under no circumstances should we cut the ships in fact if our President acted like a President should he should send in Marines to the Ukraine and part them on the border and send that SOB Putin a message in no uncertain terms

I am a retired Marine Corps. I made an opposed landing in 1965. That fit into your 50 — 60 years range.

I left off the rank in my previous comment. I am a retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant.

I’m sure the author that writes/post’s for Mil​.com had to come up with a story or would be let go. It’s the same story over and over again with a slight spin.

People complain about the Congress, both Dems and Repubs but nothing ever changes. Elections are being bought by the highest bidder and every person in Congress is a multi millionaire. None of them care about the Nation, they only care about how much wealth they can funnel into their own pockets or the pockets of their supporters.

Even the Soviets did not invest in this magic winning formula of diplomats…

Unless you think of spies as a special kind of diplomat. Hah!

Da Nang?

Well said. Besides, what makes Obama less of a president that George, Jr. — America’s first MBA president who, like his Wall Street Buddies (Halliburton, included), raided American taxpayer pockets trumping up a phony war in Iraq (think “Wag the Dog”) and was THE most illiterate man to ever sit in the White House!

If the Amerindians were given back the United States by the United Nations most Americans would probably fight to the death for the land they thought was theirs. Suffice to say we are simply glad it does not happen to us. If the UN and global powers can make capricious promises relating to land that people live on without consulting those people in any way, a dangerous precedent is set.

” no uncertain terms”.

That is a phrase that has little meaning from the POTUS to our enemies.….…

Yikes, a savings account?! With returns below inflation?

Even a Roth IRA is preferred for tax deferral purposes.

It’s probable that they will simply stop enrolling people in SS and phase out the program. Little do the last recipients know that without continued support of SS in withholding that they will be left holding the bag after paying for people long dead…and thus it is up to them to trick a new generation of people to pay into it.

Sadly there are comments that are off base and not a resolution to the basis for Forces Forward in the defense of USA interest. We have allies that have restrictions on where we can base our troops, what airbase we can operate from, and air space we can not enter or cross to meet the needs of our forces when responding to and emergency or crisis. This stated it’s important to acknowledge that us who respond with comments certainly do not have all the information necessary to make a professional interpretation of the facts, and to develop a plan of action to succeed in what ever crisis arises.
I’m a Vietnam Marine Combat Grunt. It doesn’t make me the “Sec of State”. But having been in battle I strong stand behind our troops 100%. Politician make war, not the Military. The Military carries out those orders as directed.
Amphibious War Ships project our Marines and Sailors forward with a reasonable force to establish a foot hold where it’s needed, no questions asked. Many of our allies take the handouts at the expense of us tax payers. But don’t step up to the plate when the battles commence!
It’s to the United States Best Interest to have competent war fighters forward for short notice response.

Oh Really? Please show how the numbers of subs currently in commission, funded or planned to be in commission in the next few years and actually through the 20 year submarine plan is greater than it was on 20 January 2009.

I’m waiting.

If you use LHAs as small attack carriers then they are not being used as Amphibious ships thus making the 3 number go down on a one for one basis. When they embark an air wing of F-35Bs, you will need the rest of the squadrons of maintainers and support people like a CVN and that plus the support equipment for the jets will take up the space that would have been used for Marines and their equipment.

Secondly, you could never use it without an CV nerby to supply airborn early warning and control (E-2D) or Strike Support Jamming (EA6 / EA18) . A bunch of fighters without those assets are not of much use in many situations and if you’re there and then it escalates, it is too late to say “We’ve got the wrong carrier here”.

Lastly, the lack of amphibs is not a new issue, it has gone on for a number of years while the GW refueling issue is very new — just popped up this year. Trying to tie the lack of amphibs to the GW refueling is a bunch of crap.

I’ve been by the Philadelphia Navy Yard many times and the ships there are OLD and of little future use. They were worn out but were kept in mothballs for emergencies. Are you suggesting that the Navy should be forced to continue to use the old and worn out ships forever? I mean, hey! THere is a US Navy Frigate tied up in Boston called the USS Constitution and shamefully, they only get underway once per year and then don;t do much. Some people may say that a 200+ year old Sailing Frigate is not much of a Naval Asset but hey, we wouldn’t want to see the hard earned dollars rotting away.

Must be a good thing then that we didn’t elect Kerry. He went to Yale at the same time as George Bush and got lower grades than Bush did. Funny thing about that assertions of illiteracy, the stuff that Saturday Night Live and the Daily Show are comedy, not reality. Just like how most people believe that Palin said “I can see Russia from my porch” when in reality that was an SNL skit.

Falklands. If we had used our amphibious capability in VN we would have tied up considerable NVA forces for the price of 1 or two landings.

Reminds me of the Carter Administration.

You understand wrong.

The 33 ship amphib force has been the decision for the last 20 years, go back and check any 30year shipbuilding plan submitted.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, a plan for 38 amphibs. The author obviously has no clue about what he is writing about. The USN currently has (wait for it.…) 33 ships and plan to retain that number for the next 30 years. They say the same thing every year, 38 ships to reach a full 2.0 MEB of lift, but we will live with 33. The reconfirmed the 38 requirement in 2009 but still programmed for 33.

This is non-news.

100% behind your feelings, plus we do need to get off our sixes and start voting them out after 2 terms down there, or if during their first they show them self’s worthless. esp. since they won’t put in place laws limiting how long they can be there.
house and senate get into DC and never or rarely leave till they go out in a pine box is wrong, a president can have the max of 2 terms they can stay till they die. leaving us to start looking at simply stopping to let them and start voting

14 years in the Marines, 5 tours in Iraq, 2 in Afghanistan and 1 year in Africa plus a couple floats and lots of “TAD’s” to shitty third wold countries. Last time I checked Humanitarian Aid is not taught at School of Infantry on either coast. Afghanistan has no amphibious mission, Iraq had just river stuff and that was slim. Marines need to get back to their mission. Hard to do that when your Commandant is a pilot with no combat time. Last time he was muddy cold and wet was at TBS. We are not Team America Wold Police, we are not the Army, we are the Marines who’s primary mission is to “Locate and close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver”

I’m glad I didn’t get educated where you did!!!

Reality check needed ! The last conventional war that we won was Korea. Think about it we lost the rest since then.

It’s not a bunch of crap because the money comes from the same place. Also the LHAs are going to be equipped with planes that are better than anything the Navy has on its large carriers.

20 F-35Bs could destroy up to 20*3 sorties per day*2 JDAMs = 120 targets per day or 480 targets with SDBs.

It is true that the F-35’s capabilities will be limited initially but they will quickly expand.

In fact the F-35Bs would help the non stealthy planes by attacking the hardest targets, finding targets for the F-18s, increasing their SA etc…

The LHAs could operate on their own in low intensity conflicts, so you won’t have to deploy a CVN.
An AWACS variant of the MV-22 could even eventually be possible: http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​2​/​0​7​/​0​9​/​o​s​p​r​e​y​s​-​n​e​x​t​-jo

The full aircraft carrier capability of the LHA would not be used at the same time as the amphibious capability. The LHAs would complement the carriers at the beginning of a war to gain air and sea dominance, and attack thousands of targets. When this has been achieved, they can be converted for amphibious assault then back again to aircraft carriers depending on the situation.

With the new strategic impact of the pacific pivot, now their is such a plan.

Also, each LHA costs ONE THIRD of a CVN ( and even less compared to the first Ford ).

I can see two immediate needs for simultaneous MEB deployments. Israel and Korea. War plans are developed on capabilities. These numbers don’t just appear out of thin air, but rather from detailed war fighting plans. Our capabilities continue to deteriorate with a progressive President and Congress. Quick sending money to our enemies, reduce social welfare programs, and you can maintain a strong peace keeping force. Like it or not, we are the world’s police officer.

Since we’re discussing the Gator Navy and the Marines embarked thereon, and since there seems to be lots of knowledgeable folks monitoring this particular topic, let me pose a history-related question — does anyone know when the Navy started using the term “Amphibious Ready Group” or ARG officially? I’ve found references that go back as early as 1964, but have found no official doctrine, publications, correspondence or anything else that says when the Navy first codified it as consisting of an Amphibious Assault Ship (like the early Thetis Bay, Boxer, Valley Force, etc.), an LSD or LPD & perhaps an LST or AKA. Anyone out there? Working on a paper for Marine Corps History Division. Thanks!

I served on an LST out of San Diego for 5 years in the 80s. Pier 9 thru 12 was amphib country: LSTs, LPDs and LSDs. Now that area is a ghost town. The Marines need dedicated hulls for them to do the job. and we need to have them available. These multi purpose ships are okay, but there are only so many. I remember going on Westpacs with a mixed group — anything that came along we ( Marines and Navy ) could have done. With less hulls you can only do so much.

let’s do a little history on amphib use since WWII. It was used to a greater or lesser degree in these conflicts either through over the beach assaults or air insertion. Also it has been used as a force multiplier by it’s mere availability and threat of use.
Desert Shield / Storm
just to name a few.
Had there been a MEU in the Med. during Benghazi there might have been different outcome.
Fact is we will complete our assigned mission with 38 ships, 33 ships, or 23 ships. Question is what will the cost be in lives? A view of the world as it exists today could easily see a need for 2 or more MEB’s in different parts of the world or the same area. remember the mission is to assault and seize areas that will allow the heavy US forces to be inserted.

Your response lacks coherence or connection with reality. The LHAs are not going to have planes that are more capable than CVNs, the CVNs will have F35Cs which will be more capable (range and loadout) than F35Bs. __Suggesting that an AWACS V-22 “might eventually be possible” is absolutely true and absolutely ridiculous. The cost to integrate and test something like this would be in the tens of Billions of Dollars at a minimum. If you don’t believe me, talk to anyone connected with the E-2 or E-3 programs.__Lastly, in any modern conflict there would not be time to leave a war zone, go back to the US and then unload the airgroup and equipment and onload the Marines and their equipment. Just the offload and onload times are a week or more and that is without any transit times or allowing for a rehearsal landing or other workup. If you’ve ever operated with on or with an Amphib, you would understand why this is crucial in many ways. __I know that you really want to say that the LHA can be a replacement for a CVN but it can’t. I am a Surface Warfare Officer and would dearly love for this to be the case but it just is not. Just based on what you’ve said thus far, it is painfully obvious that you have no experience in the area of amphibious or carrier operations and suggest that you talk to some knowledgeable people._

No, you are wrong.

While the strategy of the Pacific Pivot was created in the past few years, there has not been a plan to go beyond 33 amphibs. A shipbuilding plan that schedules shipyards, budgets the cost of the ships and plans when they get delivered.

The F-35C will be available several years after the F-35B and in smaller numbers initially. And even if the F-35C has longer range, why not use the F-35Bs also to try and obtain air and sea dominance?

As for an AEW AWACS, building a brand new radar would cost a significant amount. However, maybe they could reuse an existing radar design.

Here’s an example for instance of an APG-80 integrated in a pod for AEW helicopters: http://​ukarmedforcescommentary​.blogspot​.fr/​2​0​1​2/0

With an APG-81 it would be quite good to detect targets below the horizon. It could be used to guide long range SAMs like SM2 block IIIs.

Why would you have to go back to the US to load the amphibious force? That would take way too long. The amphibious force would be pre-positionned in a harbor in the area, possibly Japan or South Korea.

LHAs are not designed to replace CVNs, but they could complement them thanks to their versatility and could be used in low intensity conflicts on their own.

This being said, would it be worth it to build 1 less of the CVNs and 3 LHAs instead, maybe, it depends on the scenarios. Do you want more amphibious capability or not? And are low intensity conflicts probable or not?

The tens of Billons of Dollars assumes that you reuse the radar design. Just integrating and testing EXISITING SYSTEMS onto a V-22 platform would be in the tens of Billions of dollars. The Software integratoin alone is Billions of dollars. How much to you understand about the size and complexity pf main Misson Computers and software loadouts on a Command and Control platform?

Your comment about being able to guide SM2s pretty much proves my point. You have absolutely no idea how much in dollars or years it takes to integrate even an existing capability onto a new platform. Are you cognizant of the specific hardware and software required to do what you are suggesting?

Oh, and the offload and reload is not a trivial event and requires significant facilities. They actually do that in Japan but if you keep the amphibs in the US or Japan while you transfter the people, who is attacking the enemy now that the 20 F35Bs have left the area? Are you suggesting that the rest of the Amphibs do the landing and then the LHA catch up later?

No it wouldn’t cost tens of billions of dollars, this is completely nonsensical. In the link I posted before, do you think it cost tens of billions to equip the helicopter with the radar pod? Or when they change the radar on a fighter ( say from an APG-68 to APG-80 on an F-16 or from an APG-70 to APG-82 on an F-15E) are you going to tell me that the integration cost is in the tens of billions?

It would cost a certain amount, yes, but it would be well worth it because it would fill a capability gap for the LHA carrier group ( which would be worth in the order of 8+ billions — 3.3B for the LHA, 3B for the 20 F-35s, plus around 2B for the escort ships).

The V-22 could also possibly reuse some of the F-35 hardware and software to control the radar. And the V-22 probably already has a link 16 datalink.

As for guiding the missiles, I don’t think it is the V-22 itself which would guide them, the targeting informations would be datalinked via a standard datalink ( link 16 or other ) to the ships and the ships themselves communicate with the missiles.

All this being said, even without V-22 AWACS, the LHA could still use its own F-35s as AWACS. For instance, maybe it would be possible to have the F-35s take off with empty external tanks and refuel them right after take off with V-22s. The F-35 could land vertically with the empy tanks because the internal payload would be light ( probably 4 AMRAAMs). Then the F-35Bs can be refueled every couple hours with V-22s for a maximum patrol time of 5–6 hours.


I said that the LHAs would be used as aircraft carriers in conjunction with the CVNs in the first phase of the war. When the time has come to mount an amphibious assault, the LHAs go to Japan to exchange their aircraft for the full amphibious assault hardware.

If the marines are so sluggish that they can’t load their vehicles on a ship in 24 hours I would seriously doubt they would be able to survive an enemy armored attack.

Anyways I am completely wasting my time here. You obviously hate the idea that the LHAs could be used as small carriers so you will always come up with more nonsense.

I think the IJN disproved this idea off Guadalcanal in 1942

If we’d stop trying to support the rest of the world and stop taking in illegal immigrants, we’d be able to afford those ships. National Security and caring for our veterans should come before giving money to so many other countries. Especially to those who hate us and want to kill us.

Look at logistic. How many men do you need to maintain a helicopter, tank, and other weapon system. How about support staff like logistics and food? Relative per “combat personnel”. Unless you’re going to outsource these to the combat zones. Add rotation for deployment & training.

The recession was already starting, slowly but surely six months before Bush took office.


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