EFV Lowdown

By Thomas Duffy / January 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Last evening the Marine Corps sent out an e-mail notifying reporters that the service's top combat development and integration officer would sit down Wednesday morning and talk about the recent cancellation of the Marines' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and what lies ahead for the service's amphibious warfare mission.

The subject line on the e-mail was "Signature Mission Intact, Marines Plot The Way Ahead For New Amphibious Vehicle." The message is as follows:

Please join Lt General George J. Flynn, Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, for a print media roundtable discussion (on the record) here at Marine Corps Base Quantico. The discussion will take place Wednesday January 12 at 9:00 AM. Topics will include the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle's cancellation and the way ahead--to include both interim and long-term investment strategies and plans.

Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the EFV was being canceled. The program, kicked off during the Reagan administration, has eaten up $3 billion and would cost another $12 billion to field a fleet of slightly more than 500 vehicles.

Gates made the point that the cancellation does not call into question the Marine Corps amphibious assault mission. He noted the Defense Department will "develop a more affordable and sustainable amphibious tractor to provide the Marines a ship-to-shore capability into the future."

Flynn should provide some specifics on that plan tomorrow morning.