USMC Budget cuts: Axing units in Recon and MARSOC

tigerstr

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Just read this in the digital version of Marine Corps Times (02/13/2012). It’s for subscribers only, so I will post the relevant parts:

2015 UNIT DEACTIVATIONS Ground combat elements:
Truck Company B, 1st Marine Division
1st Battalion, 9th Marines
2nd Battalion, 9th Marines
C Company, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion
C Company, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion
C Company, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion
3rd Combat Engineer Battalion


Αnd….

“Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command also may see its planned expansion slowed as a result of the budget cuts. The two-star command at Camp Lejeune, N.C., has been growing steadily with a goal of reaching 3,800 personnel by 2014, but Hejlik, a former MARSOC commanding general, called that number into question.

MARSOC will not have the exact plus-up that we wanted to give them,” he said. “The commandant is a huge supporter of MARSOC and where they’ve been and where they’re going, but they will not get the plus up in total that they were expecting.”



This if I am not mistaken, means a full third of regular Recon Companies (excluding Force) will be deactivated in 2015, if plans don’t change.

And MARSOC seems to get the axe too, even though it is part of USSOCOM.


Your thoughts/opinions?

Is this a repetition of past practices of “Big” Corps, ea cutting back on "special" outfits after major contingencies?

Is it a step in the wrong direction?

My aswer would be yes to both, but I am just an outsider looking in...
 

Marauder06

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...

Is it a step in the wrong direction?

...

It's hard to say without knowing what it was that MARSOC was expecting. It may be that whatever it was is no longer needed, or was in the "nice to have" category.
 

F.CASTLE

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It's hard to say without knowing what it was that MARSOC was expecting. It may be that whatever it was is no longer needed, or was in the "nice to have" category.

They originally wanted MARSOC up to the same strength as SEALs... I'll look around for the article and try to attach it to the thread Mara.
 

Rando134

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The entire Marine Corps is facing cuts. We are looking at going from 202,000 to 186,000. So "big" Corps, as you say, is facing cuts as well. You only listed 2015, the article goes in depth about many more units.

Is this a repetition of past practices of “Big” Corps, ea cutting back on "special" outfits after major contingencies?

Is it a step in the wrong direction?

My aswer would be yes to both, but I am just an outsider looking in...

We are designed to be small. I am sure MARSOC is still getting a plus, just because it is not exactly what they expected does not mean they are getting the axe as you say.
 

tigerstr

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They originally wanted MARSOC up to the same strength as SEALs... I'll look around for the article and try to attach it to the thread Mara.

I have seen this myself, and was something that was never verified or detailed any further. On the other hand, MC Times clarifies that probable cut backs refer to the 3,800 personel by the end of 2014. This according to various statements had to do with a) going from 30+ Teams to the TOE number of 48 Teams in the three MSOBs and -thats where most slots would go- creating a very strong force of SOF Enablers (Mara this is for you :-) ) in Combat Support (Intel, Fires, EOD, Commo etc.) and CSS.

It's hard to say without knowing what it was that MARSOC was expecting. It may be that whatever it was is no longer needed, or was in the "nice to have" category.

Without intimate knowledge, I cant argue with the "nice to have" thing concerning MARSOC, but cutting 1/3 of Recon Companies?
 

DA SWO

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I am sure the Marines are looking at future conflicts, and do you need to build a nit up if other assets become available.
 

tigerstr

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Just for the sake of argument.

The entire Marine Corps is facing cuts. We are looking at going from 202,000 to 186,000.
We are designed to be small.

US Navy active duty strength is about 328.700 and NSW has about 8900 people. (USSOCOM Fact Book 2012) . About 2,7%.

With USMC at future end strength of 182.000, MARSOC at 3800 people is way smaller in comparison, as a percentage ratio to total force. Just about 2,1%

( I loved the applicability of ratios when dknob posted on this thread :D )

Army end strength is now 547.000 and USASOC has 28.500 people (admittedly counting CA, MISO and SOF Aviation) . More than 5%.

Air Force end strength is around 330.000 with AFSOC having 16000 people. Almost 5%.

Part of this is comparing “apples and oranges” but do you see where I am getting at? :sneaky:
 

0699

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Just for the sake of argument.

...

With USMC at future end strength of 182.000, MARSOC at 3800 people is way smaller in comparison, as a percentage ratio to total force. Just about 2,1%

...

Part of this is comparing “apples and oranges” but do you see where I am getting at? :sneaky:

Once again, the Marines have to do more with less... :D
 

goon175

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I don't understand this. All the headlines have been about cutting the usmc and army down a bit, but growing the SOF force. Now, I know recon doesn't fall under that umbrella, but MARSOC does. On top of all the talk about the important role FID/UW will play in the upcoming years, how is MARSOC not growing to atleast what it was supposed to, if not more? Me thinks this is some inter-Corps politics at play here....
 

Manolito

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Did the article go into vehicle cut backs? When the Corps went to war for the first time inland farther than 35 miles it took its AAV and LAV, Hummers etc. Most of these vehicles had seen a lot of use then went on to have more and more armor added to the vehicles who's suspension wasn't designed for the additional load. All of this eqquipment will be coming home very tired. does the article mention a overhaul or rebuild program for the tracked vehicles or the wheeled vehicles?
Thanks
Bill
 

dknob

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Not to sound like a dick, but do we really need all the Recon Bn personnel?
I'd say no.

MARSOC is getting an axe because it's pool of candidates is diminishing
 

AWP

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From a numbers standpoint it makes sense. You only have a finite number of Marines who could work in MARSOC or Recon. Not knowing their manning levels, I'd say this allows for all of the units to be fully manned with qualified personnel...if the system is properly managed.
 
B

Boon

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Yeah I don't understand this based solely on the directive that SOF would expand their numbers and have greater worldwide responsibility, while conventional military forces would face cuts.
 

F.CASTLE

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Not to sound like a dick, but do we really need all the Recon Bn personnel?
I'd say no.

MARSOC is getting an axe because it's pool of candidates is diminishing


Neither of these statements has any validity behind them.... Do we really need all the Recon Bn Personnel? REALLY?!


I haven't heard anything about MARSOCs pool being diminished, however I CAN tell you its takes fucking FOREVER to get orders to attend A&S.... If their pool is diminished, they need to look at the application process and streamline that... However, I have yet to see anything published regarding a lack of candidates.
 

dknob

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with a cut back of tens of thousands of Marines, what's the justification to keep the Recon Bns at the same strength?? esp since Recon Battalions support the same Marine units who are getting smaller and smaller. If the Recon Bn was an asset enjoyed by all in the military I would understand, but it isn't.

It's like reducing the number of Ranger battalions from three to only two, but deciding to keep all three RRD teams in tact. Doesn't make too much sense to me.

Yeah, 20+ thousand personnel out of the 200,000 now may not seem like enough justification to cut back Recon Companies to the untrained eye. But clearly reading the article says that the majority of cuts will be from the II MEF. A large combat unit, with a good number of Recon marines within it.

So if the majority of II MEF is being cut or dispersed to the rest of the USMC, how is my statement that "we don't need as many Recon Bn guys" not valid??
 

0699

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with a cut back of tens of thousands of Marines, what's the justification to keep the Recon Bns at the same strength?? esp since Recon Battalions support the same Marine units who are getting smaller and smaller. If the Recon Bn was an asset enjoyed by all in the military I would understand, but it isn't.

It's like reducing the number of Ranger battalions from three to only two, but deciding to keep all three RRD teams in tact. Doesn't make too much sense to me.

Yeah, 20+ thousand personnel out of the 200,000 now may not seem like enough justification to cut back Recon Companies to the untrained eye. But clearly reading the article says that the majority of cuts will be from the II MEF. A large combat unit, with a good number of Recon marines within it.

So if the majority of II MEF is being cut or dispersed to the rest of the USMC, how is my statement that "we don't need as many Recon Bn guys" not valid??

Good answer. And no, I'm not on Family Feud. :D

Looking at the OP (and that's all the information I have), the two infantry battalions getting cut (1/9 & 2/9) were plus ups in the mid-2000s to the "normal" division staffing, so removing them is taking things back to the status quo. They were part of the early war plus up from ~185,000 to 205,000 (?). If the mission requirements of the recon battalions has changed, then I'd fully agree to drawdown companies (especially if they can't be manned anyway...), but if we're expecting them to complete the same tasks with less people things can get ugly real quick (burn-out, lack of training, etc)

It'll be interesting to see what happens.
 
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