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Marine Corps needs more Marines that Congress has approved

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After a Marine Corps force structure review, the Corps has determined it needs about 12,000 more active-duty Marines.

“We determined that we need to increase active component end strength to at least 194,000, to build new capabilities that will deter, and deny adversaries and meet future Joint Force requirements,” Assistant Commandant Gen. Glenn Walters said in a written testimony.

Lawmakers have yet to fund the increase in the size in the Marine Corps approved by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which called for an increase to 185,000 from 182,000, according to the Marine Corps Times.

The 3,000 increase of Marines in not enough to meet emerging threats, said Walters.

Commandant Gen Robert Neller said the Marine Corps is prepared with several versions of its force structure, depending on the amount of money Congress appropriates.

“So we’re hopeful that Congress is going to appropriate the money to take us to 185,000, as it says in the NDAA. That will get us started,” he said.

Neller said the force structure is not focused on the creation of more infantry battalions, artillery batteries, or tanks.

He has said the Corps is looking to put Marines into jobs such as electronic warfare, cyber operations, and intelligence analysis; jobs necessary for future wars.

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