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Marine Corps Continues Modernization Programs Despite Flat Budgets

US Marine Corps

Marine Corps Continues Modernization Programs Despite Flat Budgets

The Marine Corps is pushing forward with its modernization priorities despite years of flat budgets.

Speaking at the recent McAleese Defense Programs Conference, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger said the service has been able to pursue the transformation of its troops without asking for extra money from the White House or Congress in the last two years.

Modernization initiatives across the Marine Corps have remained on track owing to cost-saving compromises, including system divestitures and troop discharges, Breaking Defense reported.

In order to proceed with the enhancement of Joint Light Tactical Vehicles and the purchase of new generations of drones, Berger had to divest the Corps’ Abrams tanks. He also plans to shed 12,000 Marines and give up towed artillery, helicopters and aircraft, particularly F-35s.

“We squeezed everything we can so that when it’s time to ask Congress for assistance, their support, I’m confident we’ve rung every bit of efficiency out of the organization up front,” Berger said.

For fiscal year 2022, Berger already told Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that he will seek funding no greater than what was given to the Marine Corps in 2021.

According to a Defense News report, the Biden administration’s first full budget request is scheduled for release on May 27.

President Joe Biden declared in an April announcement that the FY2022 budget request would earmark $715 billion for the Department of Defense, which Republican lawmakers say falls short of calls for a 3 percent to 5 percent annual topline budget growth in defense spending.