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Marines Under Fire From Pentagon Cuts
The Money Times ^ | November 13, 2010 | Rich Smith

Posted on 11/12/2010 11:18:49 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

Never let it be said that President Obama lacks political instincts. When his "deficit reduction panel" outlined planned cuts to Pentagon purchasing this week, he made darn sure the news came out on Wednesday -- rather than yesterday, Veterans Day.

Otherwise, his panel might have made headlines for suggesting that the Pentagon axe the V-22 Osprey, and cut one-third of Textron's orders; kill Lockheed Martin's warplane, the F-35B; and cancel orders for General Dynamics' amphibious assault craft. As it happens, the U.S. Marine Corps relies or would rely on all of these costly weapons systems.

The President's panel proposed a wholesale reduction in Pentagon hardware spending, destined to deprive BAE, Navistar, Lockheed and General Dynamics of billions more in revenue destined for the increasingly irrelevant JLTV program. (America's Next Top Humvee ain't looking as pretty as it once was.) In the process, it seems the Marines will bear the brunt of the budgetary axe. At this rate, they may have to stage their next invasion armed with little more than M-16s and rubber dinghies.

Schadenfreude, Inc.

Ah, well. If anyone can get the job done, sans equipment, it's the Marines. Plus, the proposed cuts aren't set in stone just yet. We'll keep you updated on how this plays out. Meanwhile, there are a couple of winners we should highlight on the Pentagon funding front.

First up, the folks in Congress do recognize that if they kill the Osprey, they'll still need to find some way to get Marines to the fight. Thus, the deficit panel suggests a few United Technologies Black Hawk helicopters might do the trick. They're cheaper than the Osprey -- and soon, they might not even need pilots.

The other a big winner: Boeing. After losing the F-22 and F-35 competitions to Lockheed, and after Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen declared the latter plane the last manned fighter that the U.S. will ever build, it seemed that Boeing was out of the fighter game for good. But Pentagon penny-pinching has turned this theory on its head.

As plans for F-35 purchases ratchet back, we may instead buy more Lockheed F-16s, and Boeing F/A-18 variants, for some time to come. If nothing else, it's about time Boeing investors got some good news.

What do you say? Are defense spending cuts essential, or irresponsible? Scroll down, and sound off.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Military/Veterans; Politics
KEYWORDS: congress; marinecorps; military; obama
Aren't Sopwith Camels and Curtiss Jennys even cheaper?
1 posted on 11/12/2010 11:18:57 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: RedRover; jazusamo; Girlene; 4woodenboats; Grimmy; xzins; smoothsailing; lilycicero; bigheadfred; ..

(( ping ))

2 posted on 11/12/2010 11:28:45 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Wasn’t the original B-2 program to produce something like 132 bombers and we ended up with about 20 something? We will be lucky to get 200 F-35’s by 2020.

3 posted on 11/12/2010 11:30:44 PM PST by OCC
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There won’t be manned fighters anymore by the time the current cadets make O-5.

4 posted on 11/12/2010 11:45:32 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

An act of desparation from this administration. The first thing that is going to be gutted is Obozocare the #1 unecessary revenue hog. Next are his czars. I am going to enjoy watching our new Congress systematically destroy this vile anti-American cur and his cronies.

5 posted on 11/12/2010 11:58:57 PM PST by DarthVader (Nov 2 2010: That which supports Barack Hussein Obama must be sterilized and there are NO exceptions!)
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To: Lancey Howard; 2ndDivisionVet

WTH. Keep them all here and send them on maneuvers along the Mex border. Do lots of live fire exercises.

6 posted on 11/12/2010 11:59:56 PM PST by bigheadfred (wogga la hooga)
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To: bigheadfred

Whenever there’s sacrifice to be made it’s always the Corps that takes it on the chin.

7 posted on 11/13/2010 12:11:57 AM PST by Don'tMessWithTexas
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To: Don'tMessWithTexas

Among other places.

8 posted on 11/13/2010 12:21:12 AM PST by bigheadfred (wogga la hooga)
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To: DarthVader

There are a lot of federal agencies that need to be completely shut down before military cuts should be considered.

9 posted on 11/13/2010 1:36:56 AM PST by jospehm20
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I agree with those cuts. The Osprey cost the Marines, 30 billion, meanwhile the Marines had zero, no MRAPs, even though the denial weapon of choice for most of the trud world is mines.

How many contested amphibious landing have the Marines had? Vs how much time spent in country on mined roads?

Ditto the Army wasting money on the new Bradley.

10 posted on 11/13/2010 2:46:05 AM PST by Leisler (They always lie, so much and for so long, that they no longer know what about.)
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To: Don'tMessWithTexas

The CIC is a clear and present danger-a Domestic enemy to my Country. Every act the Fraud has taken after the Oath he has not/cannot honor-has followed the Communist dialectic for change. He is anti-Christian ,and has done everything he can to undermine and destroy the one branch of our Military that
has the best record for maintaining the Founding principle
most likely to restore what Obama would DESTROY.IMO it will be a Marine who restores America The Marines who will clean up the mess made by the enemy in the Peoples House.

11 posted on 11/13/2010 4:44:08 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The idea is to use the Military as lab rats in social
engineering- community organization. The Marines have been
rebellious and have not gone along just to get along but have
honored their traditions and the silly concept that they are the Few and the Proud-and not everybody can be a Marine so
the one least likely to qualify as PLO in the Corps. The one
who not even qualify as yardape intends to punish the Marines lest the other branches follow their example.

12 posted on 11/13/2010 4:48:26 AM PST by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There are four major weapons systems listed in this article:

1. V-22. Already in-production. The Black Hawk (UH-60) already in production as well, can't meet the standards currently set by the CH-46 fleet, so it isn't an option because replacing CH-46s would degrade the Marines' capabilities. The S-92 might be able to meet, but isn't really an off-the-shelf option and would require quite a bit of R&D funds to get into production. The EH-101 could be an off-the-shelf option, but would either send a heck of a lot of $$$ and jobs overseas, OR if built under license here in the states would require $$$ to stand up production capability.

My analysis is that even given the higher per-unit fly-away cost of the Osprey, the fact that its R&D costs are sunk means that it's a cheaper (or at least presents a much better ROI) day-forward option than any other alternative. Threatening to kill it is either a negotiating point, or payback for how Texas and Pennsylvania (Senator Toomey) are moving, politically.

2. F-35B Not in production, but well into R&D with a lot of sunk costs. F/A-18E/Fs and F-35Cs can meet all the requirements (and in some areas more, actually) ... except the ability to operate off unimproved/non-existent airfields and the LHA/LHD fleet. Which is pretty damn important given that the CVN fleet keeps getting cut back and the LHA/LHDs are going to be expected to step into the gaps more and more. The AV-8B is an aging platform, but could be SLEPed (or the Marines could just buy the Harrier GR.9s that the RAF/RN is losing). But even SLEPed the airframes will need to be retired in the mid-term, leaving a gap. Additionally, several of our allies (Italy, Spain - yes, I know, I know, and maybe the RN - should they actually make up their minds) are stragicially dependent upon the F-35B for their carriers.

My analysis is that while the F-35B isn't as cut/dried as the V-22, it still makes a heck of a lot of sense to keep it in production from a long-term military and diplomatic outlook.

3. EFV/AAAV Scheduled for production in 2012, I think, but still has major teething problems that have been difficult to resolve over what has turned out to be a ~30 year development timeframe. Planned unit buy has been cut back by half (although if it gets into service and works well there'll be pressure to ramp the numbers up again). The current vehicle (AAV) is aging, but effective in it's designed role and SLEPable (and might even be capable of being put back into production).

This is definitely a candidate for cutting, but could cause issues with the Marines' overall "over the horizon" forced-entry mission. Wouldn't eliminate it, but would bring it into very limited service before committing to go further.

4. HUMVEE Replacement The Hummer is in production and has shown itself to be versatile and upgradeable. Alternatives to it are currently available/in production for specialty missions (MRAP vehicles, for instance). Don't see a need to go down the replacement road just yet.
13 posted on 11/13/2010 5:24:41 AM PST by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

Then there’s this:

Want to Cut Spending? Abolish the Marines! (Barf Alert)

14 posted on 11/13/2010 11:56:36 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. ~Mencken)
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