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8th Marine and USMC reductions

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  • 8th Marine and USMC reductions

    Thought the article below might be of some interest to you.

    S/F Gary

    Subject: 8th Marines and USMC reductions

    Mighty 8th Marines to roll up its flag amongst others.....

    > Corps To Shed 15,000
    >
    > Further cuts are likely, commandant warns
    >
    > By Gina Cavallaro
    >
    > MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. -- The Marine Corps has unveiled a comprehensive plan to shed about 15,000 active-duty troops over the next four years as the service reorganizes into a "middleweight" crisis-response force, and the commandant is cautioning that further manpower reductions are likely.
    >
    > More than two-thirds of those 15,000 Marines will come from the operational forces, according to the results of the Corps' months-long force structure review, distributed in November to the head of every major command. Cuts and reorganizations are underway, but the most significant moves won't happen until the Corps' obligations in Afghanistan are complete, meaning current deployment cycles will not be affected, officials say.
    >
    > "We have very clear directions that this is a post-OEF plan, so we had to be very careful about how we took units off the board," said Col. Ray Coia, director of operations and plans at Marine Corps Combat Development Command, referring to Operation Enduring Freedom. "We couldn't do anything to interfere with what we're doing in Afghanistan. That's what took so long to get the plan in line."
    >
    > The deepest reductions will affect units on the East Coast. In all, II Marine Expeditionary Force will see some 7,000 Marines cut from its ground, aviation and logistics communities. Among the changes there, II MEF's three-star headquarters at Camp Lejeune, N.C., will be downgraded to a two-star command, the 8th Marine Regimental headquarters will be deactivated along with all three battalions that currently fall under the 9th Marine Regiment, which was stood up as part of the Corps' expansion just a few years ago to 202,000 active-duty personnel.
    >
    > About 3,400 Marines will be cut from units within I MEF, and another 250 Marines will be cut from III MEF. Another 4,000 or so manpower reductions will come from the Corps' supporting establishment, which includes elements involved in recruiting, base and station support, and training and education.
    >
    > Details of the plan are summarized in an internal 10-page document signed by Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, deputy commandant for combat development and integration and the head of MCCDC. The force structure review took four months to complete, ending in December, and was authorized for implementation in February by Amos and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
    >
    > But the changes spelled out in Mills' document are seen as only a starting point. As the battle over the burgeoning deficit in Washington continues, there will be pressure on all the services to cut even deeper. Amos has described the force structure review as a "framework that will get us down to 186,800" active-duty Marines, an end strength, he has said, that will allow the Corps to remain the country's crisis-response force that is light, flexible and capable of conducting a variety of missions.
    >
    > But recently the commandant has acknowledged that his ideal active-duty force may be pared beyond what was mapped out in the force structure review. Speaking Nov. 18 before a nonprofit group in Arlington, Va., Amos said: "My sense is that we are probably going to go lower than that. We are going to come down to well below 186,800."
    >
    > It's unclear how much beyond this 15,000 the Corps may shrink, but Pentagon planners have discussed cuts that could reduce the service by at least 25,000 Marines overall, according to sources at Marine Corps headquarters. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, some 172,000 Marines were on active duty.
    >
    > "We're looking at all options," Coia told Marine Corps Times on Nov. 23. "But we don't know if there's going to be another floor. You can speculate. However, whatever we do is going to be based on this," he added, pointing to Mills' document.
    >
    > The force structure changes spelled out in that document are slated to occur in phases through fiscal 2015, which ends Sept. 30, 2015. It spells out which units will go away entirely and which will be reorganized, where there will be personnel reductions and where there will be some growth.
    >
    > Logistics units, for instance, will undergo sweeping change. Many will be deactivated. Others will be restructured and realigned with the combat units they support.
    >
    > The MLGs -- Marine logistics groups -- will be operationalized, Coia said, meaning they will be balanced and organized to provide direct support to ground combat elements and general support to the rest of the Marine air ground task force. Instead of ad hoc support units being created and trained to deploy with a combat unit, there will be standing units distributed to specific combat logistics battalions and regiments.
    >
    > In the aviation community, several support detachments will be eliminated, as will the four tactical electronic warfare squadrons at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., to make way in later years for the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
    >
    > Not all of the units to be deactivated had been fully stood up, Coia said, explaining that some tank companies and helicopter squadrons, for example, were just beginning to grow. Their Marines have been redistributed.
    >
    > "There's no intention to do an early reduction in forces like we did after the Gulf War," he said. "We're not going to do that. We are going to use the normal attrition process to reduce our manning." Qualified Marines will have an opportunity to move well in advance of a unit's deactivation, Coia said. "I don't think Marines will need to worry about the 186K force," he added. "They'll be an important part of it if they want to remain in the Marine Corps and have a great career." Here's a look at some of the key changes that will take place:
    >
    > The MEF structure. Although II MEF will be made into a two-star command with administrative responsibility for training, providing and deploying forces, I MEF and III MEF will remain three-star commands. "This is an important point in the plan," Coia siad. "We are accepting risk in stating that we're a single major contingency operations force. We're only going to do one Iraq at a time. We won't be able to do two. We're only going to have the numbers of headquarters necessary to make one major regional contingency operation." The II MEF commander, he said, will have what he needs. If that means a boost to a three-star headquarters to respond to a sustained operation, it can be done quickly.
    >
    > Why dissolve 8th Marines? The decision to cut a regimental headquarters was part of the group's work to find efficiencies wherever it could, and it was determined that II MEF could close the 8th Marines regimental headquarters based on its units and rotations. "No one likes to see historic units like that go away, but you have to make hard decisions," Coia said. The remaining regiments at Lejeune, 2nd Marines and 6th Marines, will then each have four or five battalions. "In Iraq, we had regiments controlling up to 14 battalions," he said. "So it's definitely possible."
    >
    > MPs. Instead of being distributed throughout the force down to the major subordinate levels in each division, wing, logistics group and headquarters, MP companies will be consolidated and converted into law enforcement support battalions. The aim is to centralize training and develop a single mission set.
    >
    > The Reserve. The Reserve is undergoing its own force structure review, which is expected to be published within weeks, Coia said. Look for the reserve units to play a big role backing the active component. "When we took something out of the active component, in a lot of cases, we mitigated losing that capability by putting it in the Reserve," he said, explaining that the new structure will beef up some aviation units, civil affairs and air naval gunfire liaison companies.
    >
    > Field artillery. The reduction in field artillery batteries correlates to the reduction in infantry battalions, Coia said. "We're going down to 24 infantry battalions; we want to have 24 field artillery batteries so there's always a direct support capability available for the infantry units," he said. Within that framework, batteries will get a boost in structure so they can service split battery operations.
    >
    > Intel and communications. Reductions here are "miniscule," Coia said. "We brought in a total of like 11,000 enablers in the 202K plus-up. We're going to retain about 8,000 of those. We may be cutting back from the 202K, but we will be substantially better off than we were pre-9/11 in those areas."
    >
    > Why reduce recon? With some reconnaissance capability in the Reserve, the difficult decision was made to ramp down recon battalions by one company each. "That was one of the last things we took off, but we were trying to be as efficient as possible and, at the end of the day, they had a little excess capacity than what was needed, so we took some out," Coia said.
    >
    > Bands to shut down. Most bands have other missions, such as command post security, which they have done during deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. The bands at Marine Corps Air Ground Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga., did not have a secondary mission, so they are being disbanded. Any need for musicians at these facilities can be met by bands based at other facilities in the region.
    >
    > Some growth. Marine Forces Korea will gain seven staff planners; Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command will grow by 1,001; Marine Forces Cyberspace Command will increase by 243 Marines; and Marine Forces South will add 12 Marines. "We're beefing up the MarFors so they can be more relevant inside their theaters. We've done it with less people than we maybe needed and put a serious strain on them," he said.

  • #2
    Re: 8th Marine and USMC reductions

    According to the 2010 Force Structure Review:
    HMLA-567 will deactivate (FY 2011) and be replaced by Transitional Training Unit, Det.
    VMM-561 and VMM-562 will deactivate (FY 2012).
    HMH-362 will deactivate (FY 2013)
    The HMLA Transitional Training Unit Det that stands up in 2011 deactivates in 2014.

    561 has been operational for 1 year and has just started getting aircraft. It and 562 were supposed to transfer to 1st MAW to replace HMM-262 and HMM-265 so they can transition to the MV-22B. 562 and 567 haven't activated yet. HMH-362 was scheduled to go into cadre status in 2013 and reactivate in 2018 with the CH-53K.

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