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U.S. Army and Marine Corps Equipment Requirements: Background and Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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The United States Army and Marine Corps have been at war -- first in Afghanistan and then Iraq -- since November 2001. According to the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Peter Schoomaker, for the last five years, a period longer than World War II, the Army has had as many as 18 to 20 brigade combat teams deployed on a rotational basis in combat conditions. In a similar manner, the Marine Corps has deployed its forces and equipment in what has been described as the harsh operating environments of Iraq and Afghanistan where the heat, sand, and dust as well as operational rates have taken a heavy toll on the Armys and Marines equipment, which, in some cases, was more than 20 years old when the conflicts first began. At the same time that the Army and Marine Corps are contending with war-related equipment issues, the Army is reconfiguring its forces to a brigade-based force that could result in requirements for additional equipment. Other issues are as follows both services have undertaken modernization programs that could generate additional equipment requirements both services are now undertaking efforts to re-equip their pre-positioned stocks that were drawn upon to provide equipment for use in Afghanistan and Iraq and the transfer of large quantities of U.S. military equipment to Iraqi defense forces and possibly Afghan forces could also be an element of the overall equipment requirements. Congress, in its appropriation, authorization, and oversight roles may be faced with the following issues 1 Should the Army and Marine Corps reconsider the policy of keeping large quantities of equipment in theater instead of rotating it home when units redeploy from Iraq and Afghanistan 2 How and when will reserve forces be re-equipped 3 What is the impact on the Army and Marines of equipping Iraqi and, potentially, Afghan security forces and 4 How can the Army fully equip its Modular units

Subject Categories:

  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Combat Vehicles
  • Armor

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