- The Department of the Navy wants to reduce the size of the Marine Corps by 2,300 troops, it revealed on Monday in its fiscal year 2021 budget request.
- The department said that the move is part of efforts to free up resources to “reinvest in modernisation and increasing lethality.”
- The FY2021 active-duty end strength for the Marine Corps is pinned at 184,100 in the latest budget request.
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The Department of the Navy revealed in its latest budget request that it wants to reduce the overall active-duty end strength of the Marine Corps by 2,300 Marines.
The fiscal year 2021 budget request “funds an active duty end strength of 184,100” for the Marine Corps, the Department of the Navy said in an overview of its planned budget for the coming fiscal year released Monday.
The department said that the current plan for the “reduction of active duty Marine Corps end strength is part of larger reform initiatives aimed at internally generating resources through divestitures, policy reforms, and business process improvements to reinvest in modernisation and increasing lethality.”
The reduction is expected to apply to less critical aspects of the Corps, such as those that “do not have a defined requirement in the National Defence Strategy.”
In the FY 2020 budget request, the Navy projected a steady increase in the active-duty end strength of the Marine Corps, but that no longer appears to be the case.
Last summer, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. David Berger, now the commandant of the Marine Corps, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a smaller Corps might be necessary should resources be constrained.
“Among the most significant challenges I will face as the Commandant if confirmed will be to sustain readiness at high levels for our operating forces while concurrently modernising the force under constrained resource limits,” he said, USNI News reported.
“We will need to conduct a deliberate redesign of the force to meet the needs of the future operating environment,” Berger told lawmakers.
“We will also need to divest of our legacy equipment and legacy programs and also consider potential end strength reductions in order to invest in equipment modernisation and necessary training upgrades,” he added.
The Department of the Navy reduced its overall budget by $US3 billion compared to last year’s budget.
Overall, the US military will increase in size by roughly 5,600 troops, the Department of Defence budget request revealed, according to Military Times.
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