Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Most Army Brigades, Navy Planes Aren't Combat Ready: Leaders |

Most Army Brigades, Navy Planes Aren't Combat Ready: Leaders |

Only three of the Army's 58 Brigade Combat Teams are ready to fight; 53 percent of Navy aircraft can't fly; the Air Force is 723 fighter pilots short; and the Marine Corps needs 3,000 more troops.

"We're just flat-out out of money" to address those immediate needs and provide the additional personnel and maintenance funding to plan for the future, Navy Adm. William Moran said Tuesday in summing up the concerns of four-star officers across the services.

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, Moran and other officers said their first priority is for Congress to scrap the budget caps known as sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The Air Force currently is the smallest, the oldest, the most poorly maintained and the "least ready in our history," said Gen. Stephen Wilson, vice chief of staff of the Air Force.

"Your Air Force needs Congress' support to repeal the Budget Control Act," he said. "We need to act now before it's too late."

Gen. Glenn Walters, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, said 3,000 more Marines are urgently needed to bolster a force that is "insufficiently manned, trained and equipped."

In addition, the Marine Corps faces a $9 billion backlog for infrastructure, he said. The Corps also needs more amphibious ships, or "We will find our Marine Corps optimized for the past," he said.