WASHINGTON -- The House Armed Services Subcommittee on readiness met with senior leaders of the military to discuss amphibious warfare readiness and training Dec. 1, 2017 in Washington.
Lt. Gen. Brian D. Beaudreault, Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies, and Operations, U.S. Marine Corps, Vice Adm. Andrew L. Lewis Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans and Strategy (N3/N5), United States Navy and Mr. Cary Russell Director,
Defense Capabilities and Management Team, U.S Government Accountability Office (GAO) all testified on the state of readiness for the Navy and Marine Corps.
One of the items that have affected readiness is the continuing resolution Representative Joe Wilson, who chairs the committee, made it clear that the committee is interested in doing whatever they can do end the continuing resolution.
"So we find our maritime superiority edge narrowing through the continuing resolutions that is not allowing us to stay on glide path for readiness recovery and maintain a superiority on the sea need," said Lt. Gen. Beaudreault.
Earlier this year, Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, addressed readiness concerns in his Seize the Initiative 2017 message to all Marines
"We must improve our overall readiness," Neller said in his message.
"We continue to accelerate our purchases of new systems while maintaining current equipment. Right now, our 'ready bench' is not as deep as we need it to be for crises and contingencies."
Wilson asked Beaudreault what elements in the Marine Corps suffer the most from atrophy, to which he responded with, "Our ability to train at higher echelons above the MEU and Amphibious Ready Group Unit.
Our forcible entry ability core competency of the Marine Corps and Navy team here is at risk above the MEU level. Simply we can do some training, through the command elements through virtual systems, but at some point you have to put the ships to sea and go through a mission rehearsal, and the ability to generate the number of ships required to train at a Marine Expeditionary Brigade
level, just simply isn't there."
Lewis pointed out that even though there are some shortcomings with
readiness, the Navy and Marine Corps are still operating to the best of
their ability around the world.
"The Navy and Marine Corps team is forward deployed and standing the watch.
Today, Sailors and Marines are at sea aboard the AMERICA ARG and 15 MEU in Central Command, USS ESSEX in the Pacific and IWO JIMA ARG and 26 MEU in the Atlantic," said Lewis. "We are on the tip of the spear and working every day to sharpen it."
Chairman Wilson concluded the hearing by stating that the committee is in favor in doing what they can to end the continuing resolution and have an actual budget in order to provide the Navy and Marine Corps with the resources they need to maintain a high state in readiness to continue to protect the nation.