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Marines Attempt to Define Future Amid Budget Cuts
Fox News ^ | February 13, 2011 | AP

Posted on 02/13/2011 3:16:51 AM PST by Scanian

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A faster, high-tech seafaring tank for U.S. Marines has hit countless setbacks and cost overruns during the past two decades, and now it is one of the pricier items on the Defense Department's budget-cutting list.

Even the Marine Corps' top brass agrees the estimated $12 billion program has to go. But that doesn't mean the debate is over.

A group of Republican lawmakers is questioning the Marine Corps leadership's sudden change of heart over the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Generals have long said the amphibious tank under development had come to symbolize the force's very identity and represented the future of the Marine Corps, which has been relegated largely to landlocked wars over the past decade.

The legislators want Marine Corps leaders to explain the new position they took last month in backing Defense Secretary Robert Gates when he announced that the EFV should be cut.

Republicans fighting to save the EFV say they want to know why generals spent 20 years pushing for the amphibious war machine only to turn around over a span of months and say it has become too costly.

"If this program was going well three months ago, and according to all reports to Congress it was, and according to the U.S. Marine Corps it was, why all the sudden are we finding it's over budget and unsustainable? What did the Marine Corps miss?" asked California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, a retired Marine who sits on the House Armed Services Committee.

The tank's apparent demise also highlights a breakdown in congressional oversight of military programs, Hunter said. More than $3 billion was spent on the EFV since the 1990s, and Hunter said he wants to know why it took so long for the Defense Department and the Marine Corps to realize...

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: amphibioustank; budgetcuts; costoverruns; duncanhunter; gop; robertgates

1 posted on 02/13/2011 3:16:56 AM PST by Scanian
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To: Scanian

Duncan, the man that spent millions on a plane that never flew, what a damn tool. Has no concept of debt.


2 posted on 02/13/2011 3:22:52 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: Scanian

Duncan Hunter is not a retired Marine.


3 posted on 02/13/2011 3:35:37 AM PST by Former War Criminal (My senior Senator [who served in Vietnam and Rhode Island] said so.)
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To: org.whodat

Are you talking about Duncan Hunter’s father and the DP-2?


4 posted on 02/13/2011 3:47:29 AM PST by Former War Criminal (My senior Senator [who served in Vietnam and Rhode Island] said so.)
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To: Former War Criminal

Both Hunters were Marines.


5 posted on 02/13/2011 4:01:21 AM PST by Recon Dad ( Zero point two... Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son)
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To: Scanian
I am certainly not one who can argue for or against if the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was that much better than the AMTRACS (amphibious tractors) that the Marines already have.

(This is a picture of the current amtracs in Iraq - I made the picture click-able and the link goes to http://www.amtrac.org):

I did find what seemed to be a more or less balanced article here:

The USMC’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

And apparently this is the official government website for the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle here:


6 posted on 02/13/2011 4:49:11 AM PST by KimberInKhaki
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To: org.whodat
Are you referring to the 'OSPREY'?

He wasn't alone in supporting military projects that never were deployed but that does not mean that he is necessarily wrong about this.

I am not a Marine. I only know about this project what I have read. The point is if this sea going tank was not a good investment in out defense, why did we spend Billions on it before arriving at that conclusion?

Are our Military brass just as likely to waste the tax payer's money as your everyday politician?

Is there a better solution to the problem of supporting the marines in making an assault or rescue landing type mission?

7 posted on 02/13/2011 4:49:33 AM PST by wmileo
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To: wmileo

I’ve monitored the EFV program for more than 15 years. As most major defense acquisition programs these days, the vehicle became a nightmare of complexity. Complex engine, challenging high-pressure hydraulics, and a structure that might well be vulnerable to IEDs that emerged after the EFV design was set. Complex problems demand complex solutions, which get more and more expensive over time. The DoD simply told GD “enough.”

But the basic problem remains: How do we kick down the door and continue the fight inland if the Navy won’t come within 25 miles of the beach? So EFV will be re-invented tomorrow. And the existing AMTRAcs will be extended far beyond their intended life.

TC


8 posted on 02/13/2011 5:12:52 AM PST by Pentagon Leatherneck
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To: Recon Dad

Duncan Hunter Sr. was in the Army as a officer. Duncan Jr. is a Marine!


9 posted on 02/13/2011 5:23:51 AM PST by Marine Special Ops Mom
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To: Recon Dad

Duncan Sr. was an officer in the Army. Duncan Jr. is a Marine!


10 posted on 02/13/2011 5:24:01 AM PST by Marine Special Ops Mom
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To: Recon Dad

No, Duncan Hunter, Sr. was a U.S. Army Ranger in Vietnam.


11 posted on 02/13/2011 5:51:04 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: Recon Dad

I thought the father was an Army Ranger.

Is the son drawing retired pay from the Marines?

Sorry to nit-pick. I’m waiting for Spring Training to start and the snow to melt at Fenway Park.

As to the general point of the article, yes, I think that up-armored Amtracs at that price is a boondoggle. Put the Marines in additional Ospreys and practice some of that vertical envelopment. Land them on the beach if it makes them feel better.


12 posted on 02/13/2011 5:54:03 AM PST by Former War Criminal (My senior Senator [who served in Vietnam and Rhode Island] said so.)
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To: Former War Criminal

Yes, I think that is what they called the turkey.


13 posted on 02/13/2011 6:46:14 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: Scanian
The EFV is not a "sea-going tank". As usual, the media couldn't tell a tank from a doorknob!

Duh...it has a turret with a gun-thingy and tracks and it is made of metal...gee it gotta be a tank!

The concept of the EFV is good, but the technology challenge is audacious. Just like the Osprey, that all of the budget-cutting nimrods attack, and the CH-47 from the pre-Viet Nam war era, they were ahead of their time.

But, we have to make a choice. Do we provide our Marines with the proper tools to enhance their survival and success, or do we use that money to pay-off the Union Thugs like the UAW, NEA, SEIU, etc.?

14 posted on 02/13/2011 6:48:32 AM PST by Redleg Duke (I DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIBERAL MEDIA!)
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To: Redleg Duke

I’ve heard Bradleys and Paladins called “tanks.”

Ignorance is bliss, what can you say.

I don’t expect much military knowledge from “journalists” who mostly hate the military.

If they do a decent job of reporting the congressional proceedings, that’s about all I expect.


15 posted on 02/13/2011 6:55:13 AM PST by Scanian
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck
And the existing AMTRAcs will be extended far beyond their intended life.
Not a first - Marines using old equipment has been the norm since Tun Tavern.
I know nothing of this project and will defer to your expertise. However, given that we've been in space for over 50 years, the comment, "complex problems demand complex solutions" sounds pretty thin for a project that's decades old.
While beach landings may not be totally avoidable, I'd rather we spent more money finding better ways to avoid them.
Semper Fi ...
16 posted on 02/13/2011 7:11:26 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

I recently talked with some Marines and contractors and they said that the EFV is all but officially dead, which is probably for the best. It doesn’t make sense for Marines to cross miles of unprotected ocean when they can get to their landing zones much quicker in a chopper or Osprey.


17 posted on 02/13/2011 7:16:20 AM PST by LiveFree99
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck

Or how about this. We don’t get involved in any overseas entanglements so that way this sort of vehicle will ultimately be unnecessary. Let’s start by having nothing to do with the current revolution in Egypt.


18 posted on 02/13/2011 7:33:22 AM PST by MinorityRepublican
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To: Scanian

It really doesn’t matter what the Hunter family’s military lineage is.

These are good questions and an even better question is: If this thing is so vital to the Marines how can it take 15 years to develop? How can any machine take 15 years to develop?

As for IED resistant, the Amtrack isn’t nor are most of the old gen armored vehicles. The new trucks are of course and look how long it didn’t take to develop them.


19 posted on 02/13/2011 7:37:34 AM PST by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average.)
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To: LiveFree99
I recently talked with some Marines and contractors and they said that the EFV is all but officially dead
Probably died from hardening of the arteries hydraulic lines.

they can get to their landing zones much quicker in a chopper or Osprey.
I certainly agree, but Marines are still going to die whether it's on a contested beach head or a hot LZ.
20 posted on 02/13/2011 9:37:28 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Pentagon Leatherneck
Thanks for the informative response.

Your explanation is better than anything I was able to find from the actual article.

I also wanted to take time to defend Duncan Hunter. He is a cut above the pack when it comes to federally elected officials, especially those from the land of sunshine.

21 posted on 02/13/2011 10:56:36 AM PST by wmileo
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To: Redleg Duke
"Do we provide our Marines with the proper tools to enhance their survival and success, or do we use that money to pay-off the Union Thugs like the UAW, NEA, SEIU, etc.? "

That would depend on who is going to prevail, Leftists or Patriots?

22 posted on 02/13/2011 11:05:44 AM PST by wmileo
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To: Former War Criminal

The son Duncan Jr. is still in the Marine Reserves.


23 posted on 02/13/2011 2:02:42 PM PST by Marine Special Ops Mom
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To: KimberInKhaki

I worked on the powertrain of that rig before I retired.
It’s like a formula race car, incredibly capable, but also incredibly complex and costly.

I’m no expert in combat vehicles, but it looked way over the top to me.

Then again they put the turbine engine in the Abrams instead of the diesel and made it work, even though it’s also expensive, and sucks fuel like crazy.


24 posted on 02/13/2011 2:07:18 PM PST by nascarnation
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