Marines Get More Troops, Keep Generals in Defense Budget

The Marine Corps will get funding for 3,000 additional troops in the fiscal 2017 defense budget, according to a compromise version of the bill released this week.

The fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act would allow the service to grow from 182,000 to 185,000, even as it reorganizes the top leadership structure. The 3,000 additional troops would represent the first plus-up in years for the Marine Corps, which has been tasked with drawing down from a wartime high of 202,000 since 2011, and would return the service to a pre-war end strength.

The additional troops, if the bill is approved by the president and funded by an appropriations measure, likely would be used to bulk up the Corps’ cyber, information warfare and electronic warfare communities — a key growth area that senior service leaders have repeatedly emphasized over the past year..”

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The commander of a West Coast-based aviation logistics squadron was removed from his post on Friday due to dissatisfaction with his performance, according to an announcement from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, out of Miramar, California.

Lt. Col. Michael Hernandez, commanding officer of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 11, was relieved by 3rd MAW Commanding General Maj. Gen. Mark Wise, “due to a loss of trust and confidence in his ability to continue to lead,” according to the announcement.

“This was a strictly performance-based decision; there was never any concern of misconduct, a 3rd MAW spokesman, Capt. Kurt Stahl, told”

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The Marine Corps and the Army use different rifle ammo — and Congress is demanding a report explaining why.

The final joint version of the Fiscal 2017 National Defense Appropriations Act, released Wednesday, includes a provision requiring the secretary of defense to submit a report to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees explaining why the two services are using different types of 5.56 mm ammunition for their M16A4 and M4 rifles.

According to the provision, the report must be submitted within 180 days after the bill, which includes the entire defense budget for the coming year, is enacted..”

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The Marine Corps Needs More Vehicles That Fit Inside Osprey, Report Finds

The Marine Corps prides itself on being able to project power from sea to shore. But its land vehicles are just too heavy for its key airborne ship-to-shore connector, the MV-22 Osprey to carry. In a report released yesterday by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, authors Bryan Clark and Jesse Sloman say increased protection requirements are making new vehicles even heavier than the old ones they’re replacing.

As one solution, they say, the Marine Corps needs to invest in small, light vehicles that fit inside the Osprey. Currently, there are two systems that fit the bill: the internally transportable vehicle, or ITV, which is similar in appearance to a civilian all-terrain vehicle; and the Expeditionary Fire Support System, a trailer-carried 120mm mortar that can be towed behind the ITV.

But perhaps because of its small 4-passenger size and lack of armor, the ITV never really took off in the Marine Corps…”

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Want to win from the water? Add a fourth ship to deploying amphibious ready groups and double the number of strike fighter aircraft aboard.

Those are a few of the key recommendations in a new report from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, titled, “Advancing Beyond the Beach: Amphibious Operations in an Era of Precision Weapons.”

The 70-page document confronts the new challenges facing Marines and sailors engaged in amphibious warfare, in the form of surface-to-air missiles, anti-ship cruise missiles, and other coastal defense measures frequently lumped under the heading of anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) measures…”

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