The Insider

SECNAV: Navy, Marine Corps lower unfunded priorities list due to top line increase

By Lee Hudson  
March 7, 2018 at 1:08 PM

The Navy and Marine Corps have requested roughly $1.7 billion in their fiscal year 2019 unfunded priorities list, a number that is drastically lower compared to previous years, because of an increase in top line budget funding, according to the Navy secretary.

Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters today after a House Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing that in past years the Navy and Marine Corps were “stretched to their furthest limits of comfort. We are very happy with what we have” in FY-19, he said.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told reporters after the same hearing the Navy’s strategic approach to the unfunded priorities list was to not “add on any new dimensions.” Instead, the service included projects to accelerate or increase the procurement quantities of certain items such as the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft.

Meanwhile, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller said today his service is focused on infrastructure improvements. He recently visited Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA, and service members there made it a point to show him the 1950s-era dining facility.

It “can service about 300 people, [and] there’s like 4,000 Marines out there,” he said. 

Further, Richardson said the Navy will soon begin revising its force structure assessment due to the release of a new National Security Strategy.

“The [2016] force structure assessment did account for a resurgent Russia, it did account for China, and all sorts of things so it wasn’t a completely uninformed dynamic,” he added.