A lack of ships still represents the biggest training impediment facing the US Marine Corps (USMC), according to testimony by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
“Based on our analysis of interviews with 23 Marine Corps units, we found that all units cited the lack of available amphibious ships as the primary factor limiting training for home-station units,” Cary Russell, GAO director of defence capabilities and management, testified on 1 December before the House Armed Services readiness subcommittee.
Russell added: “The navy’s fleet of amphibious ships has declined by half in the last 25 years, from 62 in 1990 to 31 today, with current shipbuilding plans calling for four additional amphibious ships to be added by fiscal year 2024, increasing the total number of amphibious ships to 35.”
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