NDIA Logistics: USMC Envisions $11 Billion in Reset Costs
‘Some people would say we are headed towards hard times. I would tell you that we are already there,’ Lt Gen John Wissler, Deputy US Marine Corps Commandant for Program and Resources, told attendees at the 27th NDIA Logistics Conference & Exhibition with a hard assessment for the fiscal realities facing USMC logistics planners. Among those realities was an estimated $11 Billion (USD) requirement to reset Marine Corps materiel inventories following combat operations to date.
‘The hard times, fiscally, are already upon us,’ Wissler said. ‘And I think that it’s going to cause us perhaps to rethink the way we do business – not only inside our services but, I would offer, inside OSD [Office of Secretary of Defense].
Wissler expressed concerns over the lack of an approved budget for the current fiscal year (FY11), he added, ‘There were indications two weeks ago that we would probably get some sort of a National Defense Bill by 8 April. But some of the meetings I had last week have led me to believe that’s probably not going to happen. So, at best, we would get a Continuing Resolution. Is that a bad thing? I would tell you that for your Marine Corps it’s a horrible thing.’
Service losses under that Continuing Resolution scenario range from $2.4 Billion in military construction projects and 33 percent of service procurement funding.
‘Those are not small impacts to the Marine Corps,’ he said. ‘And they will have significant impacts for years – multiple FYDPs [Future Years Defense Program] to come if we in fact stay with that.’
Another problem is that lack of approval for FY11 funding causes FY12 plans to come into question and significantly challenges plans for the Marine Corps FY13 funding request that will be submitted to the Department of the Navy on 2 May of this year.
Acknowledging the realities of an uncertain future, Wissler observed, ‘Part of how we equip that [future Marine Corps] force will be to reset what we currently have when we come out of the current fight that we’re in. The best guess for the Marine Corps is that that’s somewhere around $11 billion.’
‘You see when we started in Iraq we took a set of gear, put it in Iraq, and didn’t bring it home,’ he explained. ‘We never switched out our gear over time. We just kept having units fall in on the same set of gear. When I was in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 we actually took our gear and started moving it…some of it, about 40 percent of it, straight to Afghanistan. As an example, not a single 7-ton truck [MTVR] came back home. They all went to Afghanistan.’
‘So that bill is a bill that continues to grow every day we stay in Afghanistan,’ he continued. ‘If it stopped today it would be $11 billion. We estimated that we would be able to eat part of that down over time. Although we had $3.1 billion in the FY11 budget and $2.5 billion budget to do that. They are looking like they may not survive first contact with the enemy but that would have gotten us down to almost half of it. But assuming that we could get that other roughly $5.5 - $6 billion investment taken care of, we have some pretty good estimates that we would still have a $5 billion bill to reset. And that’s to reset the Marine Corps. It has nothing to do with modernising or new capabilities.’
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