Marine general sees some good in Gates' reductions

The Marine Corps' top general Thursday disputed the widely held view that the Marines took the biggest hit in Defense Secretary Robert Gates' latest round of "efficiencies," saying there was "a lot of good" in those actions.

Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, said he had recommended the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle because the cost of the revolutionary high-speed amphibious assault vehicle had become "too onerous."

Amos said that the soaring cost of the EFV created a situation in which he would have to spend 80 percent of his procurement budget to buy 535 vehicles. That did not make sense, he told the Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Va.

He noted that the Defense secretary emphasized in his announcement last week that cancellation of the projected $15 billion EFV program, after more than a decade of technology problems and cost overruns, "was in no way a refutation of the Marine Corps' amphibious assault mission."

The Marines are committed to developing an effective, survivable, and affordable amphibious assault vehicle "sooner, rather than later," Amos said. He suggested that the rapid acquisition of the Mine Resistant Armor Protected (MRAP) vehicles to counter IEDS in Iraq and Afghanistan could be the model for producing a quick replacement for EFV.

On Gates's decision to put the short-takeoff, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 on a two-year probation with a threat of cancellation, Amos said he was confident that the problems can be corrected. He called the STOVL F-35B vital to the Marines' expeditionary mission and to assuring close air support of ground forces while operating from "austere" airfields or "big deck" amphibious ships.

Amos pointed out that corrections already had been found for several of the problems that had slowed testing of the F-35B, including failures of a key structural component. The mid-fuselage bulkhead had been redesigned and has shown no new failures, he said.

He noted that an F-35B had conducted a vertical landing during tests last week at Patuxent Naval Air Station, Md.

The general also defended the Marines' commitment to the amphibious mission, rejecting the "erroneous claim" that forcible entry landings were the only purpose for amphibious forces. He said Navy-Marine amphibious units had performed more than 50 amphibious operations for humanitarian relief, disaster assistance or crisis response since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Amos contended that the Marines are leading the Pentagon effort to reduce energy consumption for deployed forces and were engaged in a major program to reduce the size, weight, and energy use of the expeditionary units. That project would address everything from what individual Marines wear and carry to the Corps' major equipment.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.