cles now being sent by the thousands to Iraq to combat the pervasive threat posed by improvised
The Marine Corps briefed lawmakers on the proposal, which was
the outcome of a 90-day review
prompted by concerns aired by the
top Democrat and Republican on the
House Armed Services seapower and
expeditionary forces subcommittee.
The lawmakers, Reps. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., and Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., initially urged the Marine
Corps to consider a V-shaped hull
for the EFV, similar to the MRAP,
which deflects the blast away from
the passengers in the vehicles. But
Marine Corps officials said they were
concerned a V-shaped hull would
slow the vehicle’s speed in the water.
Ground Forces Get
Funding for MRAPs
The final $471 billion 2008 defense
appropriations bill includes $11.6
billion to purchase mine-resistant
vehicles for the Army and Marine
Corps, enough money to complete
plans to buy more than 15,000 of
the vehicles this year.
“We have the tools we need,”
John Young, acting undersecretary
of defense for acquisition, logistics
and technology, told Congress in
November. “We’ll have to work
some processes in the department
to execute it, and we will do that
and move forward.”
Over the last year, the MRAP
Vehicles have become the Defense
Department’s top priority, setting
off a flurry of spending and production on a new fleet of vehicles
that better protect deployed troops
against roadside bombs.
Conway Eyes Return to
The Marine Corps and Army are
closer than they have been for a
long time, said Gen. James T.
Conway, the Marine commandant.
“We have been operating alongside them, intertwined with them
really, over the last four, arguably
five, years, and that’s a good thing,”
he said during the 18th International Seapower Symposium at the
Naval War College in Newport,
R.I., Oct. 17.
The commandant cautioned,
however, that there is a negative
side to the close cooperation
between the two services.
“We are an expeditionary force
by our nature,” he said. “We are
very much taking on the profile of
a second land army, and we have to
go through what I would call an
‘expeditionary filter’ when we
come out of [our close relationship
with the Army] to get back to a
lighter, faster, more hard-hitting
kind of a capability that is deploy-able aboard our nation’s ships.”
In his annual guidance to the
Corps, Conway maintained that
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
SANDY HUFFAKER JR.
Congress approved $11.6 billion to purchase Mine Resistant Ambush
Protected (MRAP) vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps. A Force Protection
International MRAP model is shown here.
Though praising the Marine Corps’
closer relationship with the Army,
Commandant Gen. James T. Conway says his service’s ties are clearly with the Navy. He is shown here
speaking at the 2007 Navy League