With only 32 amphibious ships currently in the Navy's fleet the Marine Corps lacks adequate training and lift capacity for an effective fighting force. The 2016 Navy Force Structure Assessment (FSA) called for 38 ships, but in its recent shipbuilding plan (shown below) that number wouldn't be reached until 2033. This will have devastating effects on the readiness of our Marines. Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis told a House Armed Services Readiness subcommittee hearing that half the amphibious fleet was unavailable while undergoing maintenance due to inadequate and unpredictable funding from Congress. This is not acceptable for the force we depend on to be our first responders in a crisis. Congress provided significant investments for depot maintenance in Fiscal Year 2019, as well as advanced procurement funding for the LPD-17 Flight II and LHA 9 but more investment is needed to ensure funding for our Marines match the demands we place on them.
The Navy League is urging Congress to increase amphibious ship program funding for Fiscal Year 2020 so the Navy reaches its goal of 38 ships earlier than 2033.
Why you should Act
We need your voice to highlight the readiness challenges facing Marine Amphibious Ready groups (ARGs) caused by a lack of available ships including reduced training, degraded capability, and increased operational risk. Tell Congress the Marines need more amphibious ships in order to maintain enough capacity to remain ready to fight today.