In it 2023 budget request, the Navy proposed prematurely terminating production of its most survivable amphibious warship, pushing construction of its next amphibious assault vessel a full decade into the future, and retiring four older amphibs for which it had no replacements. It also delayed the lead ship in a new class of light amphibious warships. If these steps had been accomplished, the Marine Corps could have been crippled. But Congress responded by blocking the retirements and mandating the preservation of an amphibious fleet at least as capable as today’s. It also made the Commandant of the Marine Corps the central figure in establishing requirements for that fleet. In a month, when the 2024 budget request becomes public, we will discover whether the Navy has learned its lesson or wants to take another run at hollowing out the nation’s amphibious warfare capability. If it goes after amphibs again, markup could be an exciting time on Capitol Hill. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: