The US Marine Corps (USMC) has retired 200 M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, M88 armoured recovery vehicles, and armoured vehicle launched bridges, and is planning to transfer them over to the army.
Over the past few weeks, the USMC has been standing down various ground vehicles as part of Commandant General David Berger’s Force Design 2030 plan. On 6 July, for example, the service announced that the last tank assigned to 1st Tank Battalion had departed the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California.
The service is now consolidating the vehicles at a logistics base in Barstow, California, and recently announced that its Railhead Operations Group staff is now verifying that everything is in order before sending the vehicles on to army depots in Herlong, California, and Aniston, Alabama.
“We have Marines from several units here to assist with the offload, on load, and securement of the equipment,” Chad Hildebrandt, the railway operations supervisor for the logistics base, said in a 30 July announcement. The loaded cars will be stored on base until we have all tanks loaded and secured, then they will all ship out to the army at the same time”.
The USMC is set to transfer 200 ground vehicles over to the army. (Getty Images)
Earlier this year, Gen Berger unveiled his vision for how his service should be manned and operating by 2030 to compete with China and Russia. One of his ultimate goals is to design a smaller force that is more nimble to support naval expeditionary warfare operations, and to achieve this the service is funnelling dollars away from legacy systems and towards modernised ones.