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Guess What Branch Just Dropped $1 Billion On New Beach-Landing Boats?
To replace its aging fleet of Vietnam-era Mike Boats, the U.S. Army awarded a massive contract — nearly $1 billion — to Oregon-based shipbuilder Vigor Works on Sept. 28, Defense News reports.
The contract is for the faster and larger Maneuver Support Vessel (Light), a 100-foot long beach landing boat capable of hauling one M1A2 Abrams tank, a pair of Stryker armored transports, or four Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, and their trailers.
The new boats boast a top speed of 18 knots and will replace the slower 74-foot long Landing Craft Mechanized 8, which tops out at eight knots — and has been in service since the 1950’s. With an estimated completion date of 2027, the fixed-price contract for the MSV (light) comes out to $979,794,011, reports Defense News.
The news that the Army will be dropping a dime (give or take 9.8 billion) on new landing craft is likely to catch some folks off guard — especially current and former members of the smallest branch of the armed forces, the Marines, a scrappy service routinely wracked with insecurity over its place in the Defense Department hierarchy.
The service with beach landing & amphibious op expertise—US Army—was awarded a $1 billion contract for landing craft https://t.co/WygU1strUG
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) September 29, 2017
As much as the news is sure to stir up some old Corps rabble-rousers, it’s important to remember that for the Army, amphibious warfare and beach landings are nothing new — after all, it was the Corps’ bigger land-dwelling brother that led the charge at Normandy on D-Day, one of the largest amphibious landings in history.
That said, the new landing craft is likely to serve as a taxi for troops, arms, and equipment in an uncontested environment, rather than a combat ferry surfing onto a hostile beach to pour out its cargo of up-armored vehicles and heavily armed ground-pounders.
But, the news that the Army is eyeing a domain that the Marine Corps covets — at a time of increasing budget cuts, and finite resources — has faint echoes of a rivalry between the two services that dates back to World War II.
oh i know that. just wondering if this is them trying to inch on the Corps post-WWII turf
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) September 29, 2017
This could be good news for the Corps; after all, the Army has a history of passing along its hand-me-downs to Marines. So maybe they’ll get some “newish” Mike Boats to go with those M320 grenade launchers they just got.
Hat tip to Paul Szoldra for flagging this news on Twitter.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.